East Bay Comic-Con 2015 thoughts

Another con has come and gone, yet I remain the same.  This one was a little different for a few reasons.  First, this was the smallest con I’ve ever done.  Much smaller than the huge areas covered by APE and Big Wow.  Second, this con was only a one day affair.  Previously the cons I’ve done lasted for two.  Third, I was completely on my own this time.  No one to help me run the table or even visit me.

So this was a different experience.  In some ways.  I liked working a smaller show that only lasted six and a half hours.  The shorter time and more intimate setting seemed to encourage more interest and activity from the attendees.  Having no help, I didn’t really get to nerd out and explore the show all that much.  I pretty much just had to man the table.

By the way, you want to know how it looks to run a table?  Here was my view.

East Bay Comic-Con

East Bay Comic-ConYeah, all the beautiful people come out for these things.  And those were the only pictures I took since I was working.  There were quite a few people in costumes, some of which were really fun, and many others I had seen at previous cons.  So that was cool, if you are into that sort of thing.

It was kind of an odd day.  I had to drive about an hour and ten minutes to get there, and it took me through the Delta, which is a wired place.  Driving the levy roads through some of the most bizarre and magical looking fog I spotted three coyotes running in the fields not far away.  It was almost like something from a spiritual journey, soundtracked by whatever strange songs I found on the local radio stations.

Oh, and my cat had gone missing that morning.  Don’t worry, he turned up later.  And my dad had to watch the kids that day, since my wife had just started a job.  Which always worries me a little.  And my house is in disarray, being repaired by some severe water damage caused by toilet my daughter flooded.

So my mind was a little scattered.

How was the show?  Did it top my very underwhelming performance at APE last year?  It did.  Though that really wasn’t hard.  My sales were slightly better, though nothing to right home about.  One nice bonus was this show was a lot cheaper than APE, so I didn’t lose nearly as much money this time.

I had a lot of people complimenting my prints, especially the Mario/Ninja Turtle one.  I probably had over sixty people say something about it.  Maybe more.  It was literally stopping people in their tracks and causing them to call over other people to see it.  The crowd was wild for it.  Pity no one bought it.

The other one people really like was my Milhouse print.  That got a lot of smiles.  And I sold one.  So that was nice.

People were less interested in the books.  But a fair amount still leafed through them and read the description on the back.  I didn’t have I’m Famous! with me this time.  Maybe that would have gone over better.  But TDM and Back Office got a decent amount of attention.  And I did finally sell a copy of TDM to the strange guy I’ve seen at every show who takes a long time to really examine everything and either remains silent or blabs way too much.  He did not want me to sign it.

I had a new phenomenon occur at the show.  A number of people remembered or knew of me/Black Snow from either previous cons or some kind of word of mouth.  So that was kind of cool.  One guy who bought TDM from me last year came up to tell me how much he loved it.  It’s nice to feel like my time in the comic world has had some impact on others.

Did this restore my faith in conventions?  I wouldn’t go that far.  The day I make a profit I’ll be excited.  It’s not really about the money, but making a small profit, or just breaking even, would ease my guilt about investing what little money my family has into my own personal passion project.  Plus if I made that much it would mean enough people liked what I was making.  Which would sure be nice.

I’ve got at least three more cons scheduled this year, so hopefully they will continue to improve.



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