“I don’t even know what to say about that,” continued Smith. “There is gambling and smoking and drinking, but it usually isn’t part of the story. It’s usually the unsavory character and it’s usually him trying to use those things as a scam. There’s no way anyone has been rewarded for those behaviors. As far as sex in ‘Bone,’ I don’t know what she was looking at, but her sex tolerance level must be really low.”
“I think there’s a couple things that are in playing in,” said Waid. “I think the internet and the existence of the internet makes that sort of thing more common than it used to be. I’m not slagging on the internet. It is what it is, a force for good or evil depending on how you use it. But I think that one of the things the internet provides is, when most of us were growing up, if you lived down in East Jesus Nowhere and you had crackpot theory about something or you were incensed about something, you’d talk to other people and they’d set you straight because it was a crackpot theory. Being part of society, you are sort of forced to listen to other people with different points of view and maybe come up with a more rational synthesis of all this stuff. With the advent of the internet, there is no opinion wacky or crazy enough that exists that you can’t find 12 other people out there who share this with you.”
“I honestly don’t expect this book to be banned in the school,” said Smith. “I can’t really imagine that they’re going to open up ‘Bone,’ and I’d be surprised if they find anything that encouraged kids to gamble or anything bad or have sex or anything like that. She just has a high tolerance for protecting her son and if she doesn’t want her son to see a little cartoon Bone smoking a stogie, she can keep it away from him. I have a very low tolerance, myself, for banning books. Let’s leave that to the Nazis and not us.”
Another fan asked for advice regarding time management when it comes to writing.
“You want to take this?” Smith asked Waid after laughing.
“I got nothing. Unplug your internet router for several days,” said Waid. “If you look at any writer’s internet history for a day, you will find we all go online with the best of intentions – ‘What’s the synonym for rampart?’ Then half an hour later, you’re looking at old episodes of ‘What’s my Line.’ Then there’s a trail that leads you – porn, porn, porn, DVD.
“The prevalent myth is that the answer to writing and creating is to sit down in your chair and write,” said Waid. “There’s some days it’s happening, and there’s some days it’s not. If you instead need to go ride around on a bicycle for a while, or go into the woods, whatever you have to do to feed your head, latch onto that. If you find anything that works that makes you feel creative, for the love of God, hold onto that and don’t let it go, because it’s fairly rare.”
Smith discussed his theories and ideas on the concept for writer’s block. The creator said that he believes writer’s block is really your brain telling you that you missed something in your story. “All of a sudden, something will happen and you’ll crack the nut. It’ll be something you’ve forgotten to put in,” said Smith. “There’s you need to put in there and it’s coming. It’ll just bubble up from the basement of your brain.”
“I think writer’s block is your subconscious telling you that you have made a wrong turn in your story,” said Waid. “There’s something in your subconscious saying, ‘Before you waste another three days going down this road, you idiot, go watch a movie and clear your head.'”
One fan asked about how they got their indie products into stores to begin with. Waid said that he couldn’t really answer the question because he “started out in the majors.”
“Not that I mean that in a condescending way,” he clarified. Smith jokingly flipped him the bird and told his story of how he first began in publishing. “I would go to these shows, like a country music star going off to radio stations, and hand them my single.”
Smith soon realized his flight left in approximately one hour. Waid and the crowd agreed that he needed to leave right away. “Thanks guys. See, time management,” joked Smith as he departed the panel, leaving Waid to answer a few more questions before wrapping up.