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Surviving 2020: Kyrun Silva

Surviving 2020: Kyrun Silva

2020 was a year that upended all expectations. Though the threats that 2020 brought affected people in a variety of ways, for most it became a year of simple survival. For nerds, of course, we turn to the things that occupy our attention, inspire our imagination, or generate conversation. This year, we are looking at the things that helped us survive 2020. Today, Kyrun Silva––creator at Taurus Comics and co-host of the Con Artists podcast on this very website––shares what kept his spirits up this year.


Okay, let’s get this out of the way: 2020 sucked for most of us. For me it sucked a lot. No comic book conventions, no family gatherings, no martial arts training (which also meant I didn’t get my black belt this year, maybe next year; who knows?), and so many other things. 2020 will be a year that remembered forever, but even through all this turmoil Some things still brought joy to my life. A few of those joys were geeky things. While my family’s love (and the sheer variety) of anime––a mainstay of my 2019––allowed us to explore all of the feelings that came with the pandemic, there was one thing in particular that––aside from annoying my wife for half the year––really hit me hard.

HAMILTON

I have to admit, ever since July happened my family hasn’t been the same.

July 3rd, 2020 was the exact day. It was a warm evening. Dinner had been consumed, and we sat down to relax. Instead of watching more anime, I suggested we watch Hamilton, which had just been released on Disney+.

I heard about Hamilton over the years. I even watched a couple of YouTube videos showing clips of the original cast performing on stage, off stage, and in the White House. For years, my wife and I tried to get tickets to see it live. When news got out that Disney had bought the rights to stream it, I knew I had to watch it. From the opening couple of notes I was hooked. The music, the voices, the pageantry, the dances, I loved every minute of Hamilton. Maybe a little too much.

Source: Disney

The entire musical is three hours long with an intermission in the middle. For my wife it probably felt like an eternity. The problem is, after my first viewing, my love for Hamilton didn’t end. One viewing turned into two, then three, and soon became double digits.

I quickly found the soundtrack and lyrics online and soon began singing the entire musical all day every day. My enthusiasm for this phenomenon spread to my oldest son, who quickly joined me in my madness. He and I started taking different parts of the show––he, as Alexander Hamilton; me, as Aaron Burr. Then my two youngest joined us.

My wife was not amused. She said I was a grifter1 of sorts, tricking them into liking the show. I say they just have good taste.

Presumably, this is Kyrun and his son at least twice a day. At least. Source: Disney

I became a Hamilton zealot, searching from anything I could get my hands on about the musical. My browser history became filled with searches of the cast and crew. Even to the point where I started watching the show Station 19 because Okieriete Onaodowan, an actor from the musical, was now on the show. Side note: I already watched all the episodes of Black-ish that featured another Hamilton cast member in Daveed Diggs.

Hamilton is still played at least once a week in my household. Yes, the enthusiasm may have died off a little, but the love is there.


2020 was a crazy year. Though I wasn’t able to consume my geekdom in ways I had been accustomed to in the past, I found alternatives that filled that void and helped bring my family together. We’ve created new memories together that will strengthen my family’s ties and give us something to look back on years down the line.

Con Artists #06 – Tickets & Tables

Con Artists #06 – Tickets & Tables

As the pandemic rages on, more and more independent artists are left figuring out how to manage their careers in the absence of in-person events, specifically exhibiting at conventions.

The pandemic is also a time for reflection. As the big conventions struggle to give fans some semblance of the con experience through digital-only replacements, independent comickers D. Bethel (of the webcomic, Long John) and Kyrun Silva (of Taurus Comics) come together to discuss the difference in experiences, expectations, and realities of what going to a convention means for fans versus what it means to creators and how the chasm between the two experiences may be larger than they thought.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELEVANT INFORMATION:

OTHER EPISODES:

U3DS

U3DS

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew enthusiastically plays the 2nd edition of Pathfinder, despite not fully enjoying the first edition, while D. Bethel gets really excited to play an adventure game based on one of his favorite comics, Blacksad, but gets horribly disappointed by Blacksad: Under the Skin.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • The Volumometer Incident” (10 July 2014): Where Andrew shares his experience playing the Pathfinder card game.
  • Starting By Starting” (03 January 2020): Where D. Bethel discusses the noir adventure game inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, Frogwares’ The Sinking City.
  • Nature’s Velcro” (03 July 2020): Where Andrew plays the computer RPG, Pathfinder: Kingmaker.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • Here’s D. Bethel’s fan art of Blacksad.

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Con Artists #03 – StocktonCon, pt. 3

Con Artists #03 – StocktonCon, pt. 3

In the final episode of this initial experimental run of Con Artists, the second and final day of StocktonCon has come to a close and rather than have an exhausted (which they were) drive home, Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics and D. Bethel again probe into different aspects of reading, making, and selling comics. They probe the circumstances that would have to occur to go pro, the processes of writing and editing comics, the different facets of indie comics, and dive deep into nostalgia to close out the weekend.

Creating this podcast ended up being a very enlightening process, shining light on angles of creativity previously hidden by ignorance, willful or otherwise. We hope you’ve enjoyed Con Artists and, with luck, there will be more in the future!

OTHER EPISODES:

  • Con Artists #01 – StocktonCon, pt. 1 : The drive home from the first day of the show. Kyrun and D. discuss making sales, confidence, and the comics they grew up reading and enjoying.
  • Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2 : The drive to StocktonCon to start Day 2 of the show. They discuss the importance of continuity, the level of fan engagement and ownership over continuity, and Dan’s strange reading habits growing up.

REFERENCES:

  • Kyrun’s favorite cover from his favorite run of Darkhawk:

Cover to Darkhawk #22 (1992). Art by Mike Manley.

  • D. Bethel’s favorite cover from his favorite run of X-Men:

Cover X-Men #7 (1992). Art by Jim Lee.

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Special thanks to Kyrun Silva for agreeing to this experiment (and for driving us to and from the convention). Thanks to Ben Schwartz of Empire’s Comics Vault for hosting the table.

FEATURED GUEST:

-Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics

FEATURED RECORDING EQUIPMENT:

-Tascam DR-40

FEATURED LOCAL COMIC SHOP:

Empire’s Comics Vault

FEATURED EXISTENTIAL WESTERN WEBCOMIC:

Long John

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Road Music” by D. Bethel

Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2

Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2

With the first day of StocktonCon completed, Kyrun and D. Bethel begin the second day by getting in the car and driving down the 99 to Stockton. It’s early, they’re tired, they’re going wherever the conversation takes them.

While this morning conversation doesn’t touch on conventions or marketing strategies, they dive deep into a major aspect of comics culture: continuity. It’s at the heart of a lot of stories and in the hearts of a lot of fans, often to the point of taking despicable actions when a creative team makes changes that they don’t like.

They examine their own thoughts about the importance of continuity as well as why, it seems, so many people hold continuity with the highest possible value. Also, for some reason, the conversation dives deep into D. Bethel’s own biases when it comes to mainstream comics and how––and if––he overcame those biases.

OTHER EPISODES:

LINKS:

  • “Shortcast 45 – The Cure for Canon Shift”: An episode of A Podcast [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes where D. Bethel and Andrew Asplund have a long conversation about the necessity of (or problems caused by) continuity in fiction.
  • “Shortcast 68 – Swinging Gates”: An episode where D. Bethel and Andrew Asplund discuss “ComicsGate”, the vitriolic (and dangerous) reaction of some fans at attempts by the industry to include more diversity and modern sensibilities in mainstream comic books.

––––––––––––––––––

Special thanks to Kyrun Silva for agreeing to this experiment (and for driving us to and from the convention). Thanks to Ben Schwartz of Empire’s Comics Vault for hosting the table.

FEATURED GUEST:

-Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics

FEATURED RECORDING EQUIPMENT:

-Tascam DR-40

FEATURED LOCAL COMIC SHOP:

Empire’s Comics Vault

FEATURED MORNING BEVERAGE:

-Hot Tea, Brand: Yorkshire Gold

FEATURED BAD X-COMIC ANNUALS CROSSOVER EVENT:

Shattershot

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Road Music” by D. Bethel

Con Artists #01 – StocktonCon 2018, pt. 1

Con Artists #01 – StocktonCon 2018, pt. 1

Welcome to the only briefly previously announced, limited series, side-podcast called Con Artists.

Hosted by D. Bethel, what you’ll hear over the next three weeks––posting on Tuesdays––is a conversation between D. and Kyrun Silva, another independent comic creator based in Sacramento known for founding the imprint, Big Tree Comics, before leaving and starting a more focused venture with Taurus Comics, as they drove to and from this year’s StocktonCon where they shared a table in the Artist Alley.

Day one table setup D. Bethel shared with Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics at StocktonCon 2018.

Starting on the drive home from the first day of the two-day event, the discussions of Con Artists are much less focused than that of the main show, A Podcast [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes, and instead follow the natural progression of the conversations as they occurred.

That being said, the conversations revolve around a clustered group of comics-focused topics: making comics, reading comics, and selling comics.

In those topics, D. and Kyrun talk about their history of comicking, the books and characters they grew up loving, and the art of tabling and selling at a show like StocktonCon. It’s two guys talking shop while driving down the freeway. Though it’s an experiment disguised as a side project, [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes is proud to host the limited series and we hope those listening enjoy it.

OTHER EPISODES:

  • Con Artists #02 – StocktonCon, pt. 2 : The drive to StocktonCon to start Day 2 of the show. They discuss the importance of continuity, the level of fan engagement and ownership over continuity, and Dan’s strange reading habits growing up.
  • Con Artists #03 – StocktonCon, pt. 3: Where Kyrun and D. talk about the breadth of indie comics, writing comics, and dive headfirst into personal nostalgia.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Special thanks to Kyrun Silva for agreeing to this experiment (and for driving us to and from the convention). Thanks to Ben Schwartz of Empire’s Comics Vault for hosting the table.

FEATURED GUEST:

-Kyrun Silva of Taurus Comics

FEATURED RECORDING EQUIPMENT:

-Tascam DR-40

FEATURED LOCAL COMIC SHOP:

Empire’s Comics Vault

FEATURED VEHICLE:

-2003 Ford Expedition

FEATURED HIGHWAY:

-CA-99

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Road Music” by D. Bethel