US Trip

Posted onCategoriesComicon, Drago Bentley


Four weeks in and the trip is almost over. So far, this is what I’ve done:

  • got lost driving around San Diego a few times before I got fed up and bought a phone with a gps on it – it’s been a godsend! Now I drive like a local: fast and furious (hey, that’s a great title for a movie, isn’t it?);
  • experienced the balmy weather of southern California – ‘balmy’ is the right word because the summer here in SD is more like our spring. I think even Brisbane right now has higher temperatures! But the rest of the US is baking in 35+ degree heat – I don’t know but it has something to do with air currents;
  • attended San Diego Comicon and sold a heap of comic books – saw a bit of the exhibits but because the exhibition centre is so big, it would have taken over a day to see everything (according to people I spoke to, anyway) and I couldn’t take that much time away from my booth;
  • met Adam Levine singer for Maroon 5 (he stayed at the resort I was staying at – he’s a noisy bugger but pleasant to speak to, even if he does wear eye-liner);
  • met the producer who did the Men in Black trilogy and Cowboys and Aliens – he said he’s been working on a story similar to Drago Bentley: Space Detective, although mine was different. He said he had trouble getting it finished. Also heard that JJ Abrams (?sp) is involved in a series involving a detective and his android, but no mention of a blind detective and his android and sassy, smart-alec PA, so kiss my ass JJ Abrams!;
  • went for a swim in the Pacific Ocean (big deal, right, but how many of you have done it from the west coast of America, huh?);
  • went up to the Hollywood sign at the top of Beachwood Boulevard – man, the houses along the road leading up there are expensive-looking;
  • went up Mulholland Drive (if you’ve watched any movies about Hollywood, they’re sure to have mentioned Mulholland Drive – there was even a movie called Mulholland Drive, with Naomi Watts in it). The drive made me think of the old film noir movies I’d seen because the houses have a 40s look about them (but not shabby or run down);
  • met lots of Californians – they were friendly and approachable and polite, unlike their brethren from the east (which I will experience next week when I finally make it to New York). Mention you’re from Oz and they react nicely to you. You can even call them Yanks and they don’t get offended;
  • got mistaken for a Mexican for an instance, once – but he probably wasn’t serious albeit he was a Mexican himself (not sure if that’s a compliment or not… hmmm);
  • drove across to Vegas in 4 hours. The weather was a hot 35C but it was bearable; nice a dry. The desert landscape was like all those movies you ever saw that were set in the desert (does that sound stupid?);
  • went on a 12 hour round trip to the Grand Canyon – man that’s a sight and nice to see… for about 15 minutes max, but I was stuck there for 4 hours. I ain’t complainin’ or nothin’ ya’ll understand, but it kind all looks the same after that;
  • went out over the Skywalk platform that extends 50 feet over the canyon and has a glass floor that allows you to see 2500 feet to the bottom – the guide said it would take about 12 seconds to hit the ground, if you jumped;
  • went to a mock-up of a cowboy town – I think they filmed a few western movies there;
  • went to a Vegas show called Jersey Boys, which was excellent! I loved it. The audience were singing to the old Frank Valli songs (eg Big Girls Don’t Cry);
  • experienced The Strip – the stretch of road that houses expensive hotels that collectively have more wealth than Sydney and Melbourne together (okay, I’m kidding but it looks like there’s billions of dollars in property here… astounding);
  • drove back to San Diego – a six hour trip I did in 5 hours;
  • IMHO, the California and Nevada cops look like they belong in a tv series like CHIPs or something and the black and whites they drive (the police cars) look like they’re straight out of a Blue’s Brothers movie – all surreal and it’s no wonder people don’t take them seriously unless they have a cop gun leveled at them – I’m sure they all think they’re auditioning for a Hollywood movie or some new reality tv series… bloody posers!;
  • stayed at La Jolla beach for a night and saw the fur seals and their little fur seal cubs… very cute – where’s a baseball bat when you need it, that’s what I say (sorry, bad joke);
  • drove back up to LA for the Hollywood Pitch Fest that had 200 writers like me pitching their stories to agents, industry reps and producers. This was really good because I had many many requests to read my scripts – and not just Drago Bentley: Space Detective. When I get time, I’ll have to follow up with a few I didn’t see or pitch to and see if they’ll accept any one of my stories – watch this space, I guess;
  • I left Hollywood on 2 August and arrived in Orlando at 6am but rather than sleep I went to Universal Studios to do the ride thing (oh, I forgot to mention that I did go to Disneyland in Anaheim, which was cool – gees it’s clean but the queues! An hour long, each one. I did it once but got impatient, especially since I only had half the day in there and wanted to see everything before I ran out of steam) – and talking of steam, it’s so steamy out there (inside hotels and places they have the air con set on ‘artic’, so when you set foot outside, one’s glasses, should you be unlucky enough to wear them, will steam up, guaranteed!).
  • Vegas was hot, but not like Orlando;
  • went to the Kennedy Space Museum, thus fulfilling a childhood dream – it was so good!…

There’s more to come