Breaking in the Hamblin Way Category

Breaking in the Hamblin way #3 Conventions

Written by on Jun 18, 2013
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Breaking in the Hamblin Way!

The Convention Circuit!


            Hey people, how is it going? I know it has been a while, and you probably have no idea who I am! Here is a quick refresher; my name is Austin Allen Hamblin, and I have just graduated high school as of May 2013. I haven’t been around much due to a crazy schedule, but I will be around a lot more I promise.

            This article is all about the convention circuit. I will talk about the do’s and don’ts; what to do as a creator and as a fan. So lets jump right into this!


As a fan!!!


            As a fan going to a comic book or anime convention is a great thing. You can go around and meet all of your favorite creators, meet new ones, buy comics you have been looking for, or just hang out.

            My first piece of advice is something that comes easy to me, but might be a little more difficult to other people; talk to people! I see too many people go up to a creator just get their books signed and just walk away! I can understand if you are a very shy person, but I think at the very least you should thank them.

            I look at it like this, this artist is working on my favorite comic book! I need to ask him about anything and everything about it. I want to get some behind the scene info on my favorite comics out there. You will be surprised what the creators have to say and sometimes you can make a great friend with them just because you talked to them.

            I have done this many times and I have created some lasting relationships with Ryan Stegmen, Phil Hester, Jeff Balke, and many others. It is a really great thing to say “yeah I’m friends with someone who draws Spider-man!” It helps pick up the women. ;)

            Another thing is that you can bring non-comic fans with you. Generally, there is something for everyone. There is anything from actors and artists to writers and a lot of wierdos who can sometimes be the coolest people in the world (like me).

            Know your convention! The worst feeling in the world is going to a convention and seeing an artist but not having a copy of your favorite book for them to sign! Therefore, look up on the website/facebook page to see what all of these people have worked on. No use in meeting them and not having them sign something for you.

 The next thing comes as common sense to most people, but to others it’s not… Bathe at least once a day, even if the smell doesn’t bother you it might bother the people around you. Also don’t forget to eat, I have fallen victim to this before. I get so excited and happy to see people I just don’t eat… Then after I leave I am absolutely starving.

This isn’t everything you need to know to go to a convention, but this might help you out a little bit!


As a creator/artist


Just going


            Okay, this is where I’m going to think people are going to disagree with me, but here I go anyways! Unlike the fan, as a creator you have to go and try to network and find some work, collaborators, or publishers. I’m not saying that you can’t have any “fun”, but it’s not as easy.

            The first thing you can do that will go a long way is to print some business cards. It’s the easiest way to stay in touch with people. If you don’t have any it is extremely difficult to stay in touch. I’m not saying you have to get some fancy, elaborate business cards printed that cost 5 dollars a piece, just have something.

            Earlier, I talked about talking to creators. As a fan you just want to ask about behind the scene stuff, but as a creator you want to learn how to get better. The main thing is to listen. I was at a con recently and someone went up to a professional to ask him to take a look at his artwork. The professional agreed, but when he nicely made some suggestions the man made excuses and told him when he was wrong… He told a professional, whom he had asked for pointers, that he was wrong. Frankly, I don’t think that man will make it in comics.

            What would he do if an editor asked him to make some changes? Say no? Make excuses? That wouldn’t exactly fly. Especially if he told the editor he was wrong. As far as I am concerned, if you ask for someone’s input you should’nt be able to tell them if they are “wrong”. You should listen and possibly take notes; if something is not clear make a follow up question.


Setting up


            If you are setting up make sure you are ready. Don’t go out and get a table at C2E2 if you have one comic out. It would be a waste of time. Never have a number in your head that you will sell a ton of items. If everything goes south, you will be devastated.

            One thing that I always notice is the setup of a table. If everything lies flat some people walking around will walk right on by. I, myself, bought a three tear display rack so people could see the merchandise better.

            Also, it’s all about presentation. Dress nice because, well, would you buy a comic from a complete slob? I wouldn’t! So be presentable. I’m not saying wear a suit; a nice shirt and pants will do.

            One of the things that I have talked over with some people is bugging people. Do not, I repeat, do not go out and stop people to sell them your merchandise. You are capitalizing on most people’s inability to say no. Sure you’ve made some money and sold some books, but how many people are mad that they bought that book? You’re destroying your fanbase before you have one.

            One thing that bugs me is when people give out free candy. It does not work. People will come get candy and then walk away so your just out the money. I do suggest on top of selling your comics, you can sell original artwork, prints, buttons, along with shirts.


The Drag along!


            In the past two weeks I have been to two cons; one setting up and one walking around. Both times, my wonderful girlfriend went with me. I have asked her to write a little bit about here experiences seeing as how she is not a gigantic nerd like me.


            I have never been to a comic convention before meeting Austin, and I did not know exactly what to expect. I had a picture in my head of a room filled with 30 year-old men who still lived with their mothers wearing capes. In reality, I learned that comic conventions are home to a variety of different people. 

            Everyone should be able to find something of interest to them at a comic book convention.  For example, I am not a huge comic book fan, but at the convention I was able to find other so-called nerdy items that I thought were cool, such as Harry Potter and Doctor Who sketches, shirts, and toys. I was even able to purchase a caricature of Doctor Who’s body and my face!

            Being a drag along can be boring at times if you are not completely involved in the comic book life. Therefore, I suggest bring something to entertain you during what can be up to hours of walking around or sitting. Speaking of which, I would like to take this time to thank my uncle for buying me a smartphone for Christmas!

#2 The 24 Hour Comic Challenge

Written by on Jan 31, 2013
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#2 The 24 Hour Comic Challenge

            The twenty-four hour comic challenge… An extremely difficult, and scary concept. A twenty-four page comic, written, drawn, and lettered in twenty-four hours. All the credit for this idea goes to Scott McCloud. Now a while back I was contacted by a facebook friend of mine about doing the challenge. I was really excited to do this, but only one problem… I had never met any of them before.

Never the less I mustard up some courage and told him I would be there! It was about a two hour ride, to our hosts house from mine. It would be in the capital of my great state of Iowa, Des Monies. So my father and I traveled down about seven hours early that day to make sure we had the right place. We did and being there so early made me look like an over excited little kid, but hey that’s basically what I am. So my dad got a hotel room for the night we hung out, ate some Hardee’s, and then my father dropped me off.

It had been decided that a group of us would do this, all together we had five people. Three writers, and two artists. We started off by doing an outline, everyone that is. Were we thought of a general idea of what we thought would have the story about then assign an action to each amount of the pages. This was the first time I have ever written an outline like that, I kind of like it to be honest. So after doing that we separated artist and writers. At first we were writing the script with panel descriptions and dialogue. After arguing on dialogue for a while we figured it would be faster if we could get something to the artists to draw.

So we wrote a script with panel descriptions, then after we were done we went and looked at the finished art pages and wrote the dialogue. This was much more efficient due to the time constraint. So after getting the first script of panel descriptions done, the writers got to take a little nap. Now we had one artist named Sean Eike with us who went to the Kubert school for three years and interned at Marvel who sat down and drew, drew, drew did all off his pages with out taking a break to sleep in between. The other artist we had was Adam Van Wyk who is a layout artist for various animation projects including some of the straight to dvd movies that DC puts out.

So I was working with some great guys, but I can’t forget the two writers I worked with. One was named Dale Terrell who had never actually written a comic before so he brought in some really cool new ideas and was a huge help in the writing process. The other was Jon Raleigh who had a great understanding of comics and was a joy to work with. All together we got the job done and in twenty-four hours we got the book done. In my opinion it looks really good, and we will have it up for sale sometime by the end of the month.

Random fact about me is that I am a Kansas City Chiefs fan.


If you feel the need to get in contact with me here’s how!


#1 The way I write!

Written by on Dec 20, 2012
Filed in: Breaking in the Hamblin Way  |  No Comments »

First off I feel that it is proper that I introduce myself I’m Austin Allen Hamblin. I’m 18 years old I am in my senior year of high school, I play the tuba, love rock music, and most of all and possibly the most important I LOVE comic books! So much so I hope to make a living writing them someday.

I feel that I should tell you I am in no way qualified to tell you how to break into comics, because I’m not even in them myself. I like to think that for some reason I’ll be working for one of the big four by the time that I am twenty. Hey a kid can dream can’t he!

Through all these articles I will keep you in the loop of my comic career, because I need to find someone who cares right? Well ok that’s a lie because everyone at my high school thinks that I am going to be the next Stan Lee, but hey at least they support me! I will also be showing you the way I do things in hope that I may be able to help you make better comics! I’m not one of those people looking to get ahead….or am I…. I just want comics to grow as an art form, be respected by all, and to be in every household! I dream big, but you know what they say if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not dreaming big enough!

This article’s topic is going to be about the way that I write! Well all I have to say now is don’t judge me these are some very weird ways, but hey they work for me.

First: Toys

            Yes I still play with toys….but its to help me write! This all reverts back to when I was little I of course had loads upon loads of toys. Most kids would have to toys and say they’re fighting! I being the little philosopher I was I always asked why. The toys I played with would have to have a reason to fight! I thought that it was absurd to think anyway else.

I personally think that it helps. I mean look at it this way a story with fifteen characters. Is it easier to keep track of everyone in your head using a paper and pen to make notes, or is it easier to have fifteen toys that represent characters that you can physically see and move around. You can put these guys over here doing this and those guys doing that over there.

It’s something to think about, plus it’s an excuse you can give your parents or girlfriend to keep buying more action figures. I keep buying more Marvel figures and telling myself that I’ll be working on Avengers and my investment will pay off soon…so yea…..hopefully!

Second: Floating

Floating is sometimes a good thing. Floating is basically when you think about an idea for months before ever writing things down. It may sound stupid, but after months of thinking when I do finally write things down things flow out of me like a river. Instead of thinking and thinking about what should I name this character keep it on the back burner for a while and work on other things!

If you have no deadlines on something why try and force it? If you can’t think of something just write down your ideas and come back to it. I have a binder of character ideas, comic ideas, random scenes, that I like to call the crank files. If I’m stumped in a story I go look through the crank files and that normally helps!


The last thing all I have to say is carry around a notebook at all times. Funny things, scenes, and dialogue happen everyday! So do that!


I will leave you until next time with a quote and a random fact about me!


“They laugh at me because I am different, I laugh at them because they are all the same.” Kurt Cobain


My favorite comic book is The Boys by Garth Ennis!


If you feel the need to get in contact with me here’s how!


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