This year’s Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo was my first comics-only convention, not to mention my first small-press convention. I went to SPACE two years ago after hearing about it via ComicSpace, and got lots of cheap comics, but this year I took the dive and became an exhibitor.
I couldn’t rely on my usual tchotchkes (Naruto and Pokemon buttons, etc.) at this convention, and even Dollar Drawings had to become “Look at My Comics and I’ll Draw Your Face,” so my sales weren’t great. The fact that I’m a full-color artist and all my stuff is POD made my comics much more expensive compared to a lot of folks there. Still, I got lots of good feedback on my comics, handed out lots of business cards, and sold two copies of Alex’s Guide to a Life Well-Lived.
I was pleasantly surprised to find myself next to Nate Bramble, who used to be on Digital Strips! I was a listener way back in the day when he was still one of the hosts, so it was really cool to meet him in person. (I always thought he had an interesting speaking voice.)
Some things that Chris and I figured out/thought of for future cons:
- I need to Ka-Blammify the rest of my comics and get the prices down on those. Since they’re all short comics, the price will go waaaaay down with Ka-Blam. (Everything but Garanos is still published with Lulu.)
- On that note, if I can get the price of Alex’s Guide down to 5 bucks, I could sell a metric ton of them. As it is, I lowered the prices on all my short comics from $15 to $12 just for SPACE.
- Having a lot of stuff to sell (like I do) has both good and bad parts. The bad part is my table potentially seeming cluttered.
- I could probably do well to spruce up some of my table hardware. In particular, some little book stands, and possibly look into a PVC pipe banner stand.
Even though I only made back about half my costs, I think this was a very good learning experience. ^_^ The good thing about this con is that I didn’t have to sell people on the fact that I do comics, like I normally have to at anime cons. They also don’t need to ask if such-and-such character on a keychain or print is “from something.”
Chris had a good idea to make a set of four coasters of the seasonal goddesses from The Shepherd. Ideally, I’d like to get a new lot of blank coasters to make more, but since I don’t have the capital at the moment, I might be cannibalizing Jigworthy coasters to make them instead, and have a set or two for Penguicon.
There were also flyers about for some interesting-sounding art and comic shows coming up in the next year, which I will definitely be investigating.
So that was SPACE! Next weekend I’ll be going to Okoboji, IA for the Toon Award Exhbition weekend. I’m really REALLY looking forward to that!