SHAUN MANNING

conventions

Make Comics with Me! + A2CAF

ComicsShaun ManningComment

I’ll be teaching an eight-week graphic novel writing class at Writing Workshops Detroit starting in June — if you’re local and interested in writing your own comics, I’d love to see you in class!

My next convention is Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, aka A2CAF June 14-16— and holy wow, look at that guest list! My kiddo is so, so excited to meet Raina Telgemeier and Lucy Knisley, I can’t even tell you. A2CAF also hosts the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics, and there are a number of stellar entries this year. We love The Hidden Witch, The Prince and the Dressmaker, and everything Lumberjanes — and for the nominees we don’t know, I guess we have some more reading to do.

San Diego looms large

ComicsShaun ManningComment
sdcc badge packet.jpg

San Diego Comic-Con is less than two weeks away! I'll be at Artist Alley table AA-19 with copies of Macbeth: The Red KingStar Wars AdventuresInteresting DrugHell, Nebraska, and maybe a few other things. I'll also be doing a few Star Wars Adventures signings at the IDW Publishing booth, which should be rad.

I love SDCC, I really do. It's just such a spectacle. And I love getting to see industry friends -- and pretty much everyone is there -- and meeting new folks. After a number of years reporting on the show for Comic Book Resources, this is my first year with a table. It's thrilling and terrifying.

If you're at the con, come say hi!


In addition to SDCC, I've been busy with a couple more projects. One is a Superhero Thing with artist Ross Taylor, which we're hoping to debut next year. The other is Another History Thing, set a few hundred years after Macbeth and not in any way a sequel. But it's super fun. I'm pretty deep into research mode now, even trying to read a couple books in French. It's going... actually much better than I thought it would. Thanks, Duolingo!

This weekend: A2CAF!

ComicsShaun ManningComment

This weekend I'll be exhibiting at Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, my most local convention and one that I really enjoyed last year. It's a very kid- and youth-focused show (it was previously called Kids Read Comics Festival), and this year I actually have kid-friendly comics to sell! Thanks, Star Wars Adventures

I'll also have copies of my previous books Hell, NebraskaInteresting Drug, and the IF: Crime anthology -- no Macbeth for now, sadly, as our the demise of our intended printer has led to delays. Aiming to have copies for San Diego Comic-Con next month and get books out to Kickstarter backers around that time, as well.

Hope to see you round the cons!

C2E2, Ann Arbor and Lansing cons, and the Macbeth Kickstarter

ComicsShaun ManningComment
c2e2-header-logo.png

My first convention appearance of the year will be at C2E2 this weekend, where I'll be exhibiting at Artist Alley table D9 with Spencer and Locke creator David Pepose. C2E2 is one of my favorite shows, big but not too big, with a ton of support for Artist Alley. And of course, as a former Chicago resident, it's always nice to get a chance to knock about town. (Yes, I miss it!)

After that, I'll be attending but not exhibiting at Motor City Comic Con in May, then I'll have a table at Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival June 16-17 and will be a guest of Lansing's Get Geek'd Entertainment Expo July 28-29. Also working on plans for San Diego Comic-Con -- stay tuned!


The Macbeth: The Red King Kickstarter is going strong! We've got a ways to go until meeting goal, but we've got plans in place to finish strong. Thanks so much to everyone who's supported the campaign so far -- if you think the book looks rad, tell your friends!

I'll have Macbeth pins (also known as badges) at C2E2 for Kickstarter backers -- stop by and say hi!

My Latest Rejection: A Response and Appreciation

blogShaun ManningComment

I get frustrated. I do.

I'm always pitching, and most of those pitches are rejected. I've got a ton of stories I'm really excited about, things I think would be awesome comics, novels, short plays, and so on. It bums me out.

But man, it would never even occur to me to publicly lash out out the people that said no. There's self-preservation, for one. And then there's basic human decency.

Look, there's always a reason behind rejection. It may be a story is a poor fit for an agent or publisher, it may be they're already working with something similar. It could be that it just doesn't fit with their schedule. 

It might just not be very good.

They might just not like you.

You might never know the reason for sure. If you know it, you might not agree. That's fine. Folks have different tastes.

Personal attacks are never ok. What does an agent's appearance or age matter in a prospective professional relationship? Or why mention that dance means something different to her? And what could you possibly hope to gain by complaining about standard industry and conference practices (which are very, very reasonable if you take even a second to consider the world through the agent's point of view) when trying make a good impression?

It comes down to power, of course. The writer of the original post has been made to feel weak, so he's going to reclaim his strength. He's older and wiser (and better dressed?) than these puny agents, he's not only gonna deliver the next Booker Prize-winning opus but by damn he's gonna restore some common sense to the whole publishing system. 

He's above it, he wants you to know. He's a published author, he knows how the game is played. Or should be played, and it's not the way these Millennials are doing it.

Which is rubbish, of course.

Nobody owes you a publishing deal. You do not have a right to an agent's representation, or any more of her time than she feels your pitch has earned you. 

Yeah, I get bummed out when things don't go my way, and that happens a lot. A LOT. Sometimes I wonder if I could have pitched it a different way, sometimes I wonder if my timing was off, or if I came off as annoying. Sometimes, yeah, I think the decision makes no goddamn sense. 

But I've been fortunate enough to work with some stellar editors, and to be on very good terms with others whom I haven't yet had the pleasure of working with. I have an agent for certain projects, and have been very happy both with our initial introductions and ongoing communications, as well as, of course, the work they're doing for me. I hope I give these good people reason to enjoy working with me, beyond my masterful control of imagination and language.

The O/P lays out a few "rules" for those who might be faced with so tawdry a task as meeting face to face with an agent or editor at a conference, but he misses out the most important:

Rule #1: Don't be a jackass.

#Shakespeare400: Of Macbeth and Paul Ryan

Comics, My FictionShaun ManningComment

There's been quite a lot of talk in the last week or so about William Shakespeare, marking the 400th anniversary of his death. Today is also his 452 birthday -- so HBD, Will! To celebrate, Cambridge University Press has asked folks to write short plays inspired by the man and his works, which I did over a series of lunch breaks: 

 Paul Ryan (after Julius Caesar)

It's not my most polished work, but it makes me smile. Thought I'd share.

More to the point! This summer will see publication of my next graphic novel with Anna Wieszczyk. It's called Macbeth: The Red King and has nothing to do with Shakespeare. (Ok, maybe a few things. But it's entirely different story.) It's about a noble warrior reclaiming his birthright, ably leading a war-torn country through both grace and force, and how the love of his royal wife gave him the strength to rule but the bitterness of his stepson threatened to unmake everything. It's not the "real" story of Macbeth, but neither was Shakespeare's; instead, it's a story of Macbeth, and I'm quite proud of it.

I'll have early copies at Ann Arbor Comic Fest in June, the book will see a wider release in August through indie publisher Lucha Comics. Sign up for my email newsletter to hear about how to order or where I'll be signing, and/or follow me on Twitter for very regular updates -- I'm gonna be insufferable on Twitter when this comes out.