Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dispatches from Planet Comicon: Author Angela Roquet

Whenever I saw "novelist" in the Planet Comicon program guide, I made a mental note to visit the author at the show, supplemented by finding their table on the guide map and highlighting it in yellow.  Organized, that's me.  And, authors became a main quest during my day at PC.

Angela Roquet, author, consequently caught my attention in the guide.  There was a little stumble when I couldn't find her on the guide map, but a quick message via Facebook to the cooperative and quick-to-respond author let me uncap my highlighter and mark the location of Ms. Roquet.

I found her table fairly early in the day, and we had a very pleasant discussion.  She is local to the state of Missouri, though not a Kansas City resident.  Still, only being a couple of hours drive from KC, she's close enough to consider a local author.

Angela has a multi-book series called "Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc.", with the first book in the series titled "Graveyard Shift", followed by "Pocket Full of Posies", "For the Birds", and three others.  I had already downloaded "Graveyard Shift" to my Kindle, so I bought the next two in the series.  

Angela has also written short stories (including "Season's Reapings", a Christmas-themed story!!!), and other novels outside of her series.  One, "Blood Moon", is more in the paranormal romance genre, and led to an interesting turn in the conversation.  I asked Angela if she knew Lisa Kessler, an author with several paranormal romance publications.  She said yes, she had been acquainted with Lisa for several years.  She asked if I knew Lisa through her books or her opera singing.  Neither, I answered, and explained that I met Lisa and her husband Ken a few years ago in San Diego.  Yes, friends, that would be Ken Kessler of "Sounds of Christmas" internet radio!  And, astute readers may recall that Ken's first CD release "Sounds of Christmas" featured Lisa singing "Christmas Vacation". Just goes to show that everything comes around to Christmas music :-)

I haven't read Angela's work yet, so I can't give a book review.  I can tell you that it was a great pleasure spending a good bit of time at the Con talking to Angela.  She was exuberant about her work, friendly, and excited to be there meeting friends and fans.

Angela can be found at, and her books are also available on Amazon.

The Mysterious Angela Roquet
I'll definitely be getting a copy of "Season's Reapings" for my Christmas library, and can't wait to dive into "Graveyard Shift" for one of my summertime reads.

And Hey!  If you've read this far, here's the best part: as of this writing, you can download the "Graveyard Shift" ebook for free!  Go to Angela's website, click on the book cover, and download away!  I love free stuff.  Especially books and music.

Please visit Angela's website and treat yourself to a free book!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dispatches from Planet Comicon: KC Comic Artist Megan Fitts

This past weekend (May 20-22) Planet Comicon took over downtown Kansas City.  A few years ago, when I went to my first Planet Comicon, it was in a venue about the size of a high school gym and Billy Dee Williams was the star attraction.  Three years ago, the second time I went, it took up half of Bartle Hall, Kansas City's convention center.  George Takei, Wil Wheaton, and Peter Mayhew were the 'A' list guests then.  I got an autograph from Mr. Takei, and a pro photo op as well.  However, a visit with Lee Meriwether was a highlight of the Con.  She was talkative, totally delightful, and having a ball!

This year I went back again.  Planet Comicon is huge.  It takes up the entire convention center for its three day run.  George Takei was back, along with Jenna Coleman, Barbara Eden, one special guest I'll be blogging about later, Kevin Smith, and even The Great One, Stan Lee.  It don't get no better than Stan Lee.  I opted not to pay the $100 autograph fee for Mr. Lee, however I did get to visit with many fine artists, several of them local.  I'd like to take the opportunity with a few posts to introduce Merry & Bright readers to some of these wonderful artists.

At the top of the list is Megan Fitts, a Kansas City artist who recently received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute.  As her thesis, Megan created and (with the help of a Kickstarter campaign) self-published a comic book called "I Am Nora", the story of "a clone working in a hospital (who) discovers a taste of humanity and individuality."

Much to my embarrassment, I forgot to become a backer for her project before it ended.  Fortunately for Megan, her campaign was fully funded and she was able to publish her work.  Fortunately for me, I saw that she was in "Artist Alley" at PC, so I was able to stop by, meet and chat with Megan, and buy myself a copy of "I Am Nora".

"I Am Nora" is a wonderful, beautifully conceived and executed graphic story.  It has minimal dialogue, instead allowing the art to tell the tale.  Color is used strategically to marvelous effect - color is indeed a major character in this story.  Megan's drawing is simple yet filled with subtlety that adds amazing depth.  The eyes of the characters bring them to life, their posture gives them their energy.  I'm not giving away any of the story apart from the quote above, as there is great joy in knowing little when you open the book and then experience the story as it unfolds.

Following the story are four pages of insight into the creation of "I Am Nora", with sketches and notes about Megan's creative process.

A bonus find at Megan's table was "Old Friend", an earlier comic book she published with a 9-page, wordless story about a graphic artist, with fantastic, surreal elements.  It's heartfelt and totally engaging.

I encourage you to check out Megan's Tumblr page, The Art of Megan Fitts where you can hey! read "Old Friend" for free!

Well done Megan!  Der Bingle wishes you continued success!

Hmmm.... I wonder what sort of Christmas artwork Megan could do...