Thursday, July 19, 2007

Big Apple Comic Con

After a two-year absence from the convention circuit, Megazeen decided to have a go in the city that never sleeps, cuz hey, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere, right?
Now, the Big Apple Con is not Wizard World or San Diego by a long shot, but it is a LOT friendlier toward small-press indy comics. For example, they don't make you take out a home loan for a table (hi Gareb) and the show is small enough that the artists are fairly well integrated with the dealers, so the fanboys trying to fill the gaps in their "52" collection from the dollar bins might actually see something GOOD and WORTH READING for a change. But I digress. You'll find I digress often. Another perk is that the guys who run the show REALLY love comics and are not so driven by the almighty dollar. They're cool, they still really admire the art of comics and not the speculation (as much).
So we took our prize money from the Comics Jam War (we won third place, don't hate me cuz you ain't me) and got a table. Jeremy, Tom and I arrived nice and early and, as is typical with most of these shows, they sandwiched the Christians by the comic porn. Ha ha. Never gets old guys. So anyway, our neighbors included a young lady in a red vinyl dress that squeaked when she walked, and an overweight dominatrix.
WWJD? He'd make friends, so we did just that. Always better to talk WITH people than to talk AT them. Then we finished setting up our table with our comics and I left my "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" bible prominently on the table (gotta love them XXXchurch guys, you ROCK!).
Almost immediately, one of the show organizers asked us if we'd be willing to participate on a panel discussion for indy publishers. Since Tom was willing to man the booth, Jer followed me with his high-tech video camera to the 18th floor where we did a Q&A session about the creative processing, publishing and realistic expectations. Since I've been reading a lot of CEREBUS lately, I adopted a Dave Sim like attitude and had some fun with it, figuring the audience would rather hear some truth and humor than rambling subjective nonsense. I think it worked well. Once Jer gets the tape edited I'll post what I can on Youtube or something.
Jesus Marquez and Inkboy joined us halfway through Saturday, since they hit Mocca first. What hosers planned both of those events the same weekend?!?
That's when we really started drawing sketches. It's amazing how many people won't give your table a second glance normally, but how many tightwad scabs will flock to you if they see the old "free sketches" sign. I'm learning that free is not always a good thing. If someone is paying for art, you know they'll care. But FREE sketches? "Hey, can you draw me a girl dressed like a devil with an angel's halo? Cool! I'll be back in like 20 minutes." You can't even take the time to WATCH or TALK to me? Or (heaven forbid) plop down a buck or two for one of our comics? I got so annoyed I took the sign down (sorry Keith). Keith drew headshots of the red vinyl girl and the dominatrix- they didn't ask, he just did them as gifts, and they came out great. I drew a Nightcrawler but Jesus drew a better one.
We only met a couple of fellow believers. There was a guy who did some mad crazy multi-panelled shots that would look pretty cool in Megazeen. The other guy in his "Jesus is Lord" t-shirt barely noticed us as he couldn't get his eyes off the porn across the way from us. With his eight-year-old son in tow.
Sales-wise we did better in 2 days than we ever did in 3 days at Wizard World Philly. We still spent more money on swag than we made, but the best part about doing these shows is that we get together as friends to do our thing. That's pretty priceless.

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