What’s the best idea you’ve ever had? Regale us with every detail of the idea — the idea itself, where it came to you, and the problem it solved. Photographers, artists, poets: show us BRIGHT.

Hollywood / Western, Los Angeles

Hollywood / Western, Los Angeles

The best idea I ever had was to make the cross-country move to Los Angeles, California from snowy Buffalo, NY.

After graduating from University, I knew I wanted to travel and I did just that working as an actor in the professional regional theatre scene. It was an amazing, eye-opening two and a half years of my life. But like any actor eventually experiences, there came a time in late 2009 where I had no gigs lined up. Instead of waiting around a half-year for the big regional auditions, I decided to bring myself closer to the entertainment hub.

So I considered my options: New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles.

To be honest, I was initially leaning towards NYC, but an hour-long conversation with one of my best buds who had moved to LA immediately after graduating gave a convincing argument. Then one of my other best buds who had lived in LA close to a year was also persuasive.

So I took a swing and moved.

But I didn’t come alone! My now-fiancee and mother of my daughter joined me in the adventure (we were only dating a few months at the time) and now almost five years later, it’s clearly the best decision of my life. I’ve unexpectedly changed fields (but not before booking a lead role on Spike TV’s “Deadliest Warrior!”) as I now work in publishing, but it still fuels my creative spirit being around passionate, energetic people who share a common interest — to make awesome comic books! I didn’t just jump in to a career shift, rather it was the result of energetic networking, going with the flow of life and not hesitating when opportunity arose. Luckily, living in LA still provides plenty of performing opportunities, but at the moment my focus is on improving myself in what I now do for a living.

I do miss the charm of my hometown — yes, Buffalo certainly has its charm — as well as the family and friends I had to move away from, but Western New York didn’t offer a whole lot of upward mobility in what I wanted to do with life. I’m not the type of person who’s ever content with where they’re at — I’m always trying to get to the next level and Los Angeles provides endless opportunities to reach those power-ups.

Plus, there’s something seriously therapeutic when you walk outside in the middle of January and it’s 72 with clear skies and a bright, warm sun.

My first ever NBA game was unforgettable — not only because the home team Los Angeles Clippers won in dramatic fashion (120-116 in OT), but it was an experience I shared with my Dad, a man who has taken me to more Buffalo Bills/Sabres/etc. games than I can count (when I lived back east, he used to have season tickets). Add to it the fact that he attended Buffalo Braves games in the ’70s (who eventually moved to San Diego and became the Clippers, later relocating to LA) and hasn’t attended an NBA game since, I could not think of a better way to commence this Holiday break!

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GO CLIPPERS!! (I now own a hat)

This weekend was the 5th annual Long Beach Comic & Horror Con at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. It was a mellow show with a consistent stream of excited fans who were interested in the BOOM! Studios and Archaia line-up, and indie stuff in general. Below is a small gallery of my favorite photos of the show, taken from behind the BOOM! booth!

I took pictures of Alyssa Milano with fans at the BOOM! Studios/Archaia Entertainment booth during Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo this past weekend in Los Angeles. Scored a quick selfie!

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Alyssa was promoting her upcoming comic book with Archaia, “Hacktivist,” due out in January 2014. And scope this — when I humble bragged about this photo on twitter, Alyssa tweeted back:

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Word.

Dudes, everything about The Dudes’ Brewing Company’s Double Trunk Double IPA is 100% win — especially the taste, color, gorgeous label design and 10.8% alcohol content! Man, that label though — it’s what caught my attention and as an elephant lover, I had to give it a swing. Plus, the name of the brewery itself sounded inviting. Nice work marketing guy! The 4-pack was well worth the price and I’m looking forward to trying out the line-up of this local brewer here in Los Angeles.

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A couple weeks ago in Los Angeles I attended Neil Gaiman’s talk on his latest novel, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.” It was a great experience as I’ve never heard him speak live before, and he even dished on his upcoming “The Sandman: Overtures” series out in October. Can’t wait for that one!

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“Gaiman Talks ‘Sandman,’ Walks to ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane'” — Click to read the full article

“Neil Gaiman took the stage at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California for an intimate and lively discussion of his newest novel, ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane.’ While the award-winning writer focused mainly on the autobiographical origins and construction of the New York Times #1 bestseller, Gaiman also covered a myriad of other topics, including his upcoming highly-anticipated ‘The Sandman: Overtures’ miniseries from Vertigo Comics, reflection on the original ‘Sandman,’ adding new stories to his ‘Neverwhere’ universe, his marriage and relationship with musician Amanda Palmer, odd writing rituals and many more stories from his long and successful career.

Gaiman, who reads a chapter from his book during tours, opened the event by explaining how satisfying it is for him to experience an audience’s reaction to hearing his words for the first time. ‘The fantastic side of doing something like this is, the entire writing process is ridiculously lousy,’ he said. ‘You come up with a great line, write it down and the room is quiet. My wife and kids make fun of me when they catch the facial expressions I make while writing. It’s a wonderful moment, reading a line out loud that I think is funny to an audience and they make the appropriate noise.

‘The best noise I ever heard from an audience was here in LA for ‘The Graveyard Book’ tour,’ Gaiman continued. ‘I read a moment from chapter 7 of ‘Graveyard,’ where somebody you think up until that point has been a nice person reveals himself to be a dangerous person. I got to that point, and the entire audience gasped dramatically. Then I closed the book and they all went ‘Awww!’ It was the best!’

The ice broken, the author began to reveal the mosaic of life experiences leading to the creation of ‘Lane,’ beginning by reminding the audience that he wrote ‘Coraline’ for his daughter Holly, Gaiman said ‘Lane’s’ dedication is to his wife, musician Amanda Palmer. ‘I had gone to Florida to work — which included a ‘Doctor Who’ script — and I missed my wife, dearly, who was making an album in Melbourne, Australia. This particular time wasn’t like when we’d check in on the road with long phone calls, because she was making an album. She’d send daily ‘I love you’ texts that closed with, ‘But I’m making an album.’ I missed her, so I started writing her a short story,’ he explained, evoking a collective good-humored sigh of endearment from the crowd.”

…I’m the best Dad in the sea! My fiance texted me this photo today while I was at work — apparently the Boon Monster was carrying around this picture all day of me reading comics in Hawaii. I must be doing something right!

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And the other night I added some new photos to the Boon Monster tumblr. My favorites are below — a retro shot of the first photo ever taken of the Boon Monster seconds after she was born over 2 years ago, and a shot from this past weekend when we had a family lunch at Tender Greens restaurant in Pasadena. The Mom and I look really tired, and I think there may be lettuce in my teeth, but that’s OK because the Boon looks so cute!

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