I attended ConnectiCon again this year, and it was a rousing success!
This year, instead of the madwoman drive I did last year, we carpooled with Pete and Katie Tarkulich, of Bardsworth and Fairy Magik. Chris and I drove up to Rochester, NY, where we all piled into Pete’s station wagon. (Somehow, two artist alley tables’ worth of stuff, plus luggage, plus us, all fit at once.) It was much much easier than trying to do it all by myself like last year and I can’t thank the Tarkulichs enough for agreeing! ^_^;;
Chris is VERY EXCITED. We did a lot of bouncing, dancing, and flailing while sitting at the table, since conventions do tend to drag a bit when you’re sitting behind a table for three days. Naomi and Alyssa from Prime of Ambition were sitting right across from us, so we ended up waving and flailing at them a lot, too. ^_^;; I guess I wasn’t quite as silly last year, since I didn’t have Chris with me. Hopefully I didn’t shatter what respect they had for me before!
Our other neighbors in the Artist Colony were Tina Pratt to the left, and Kevin and Blondie to the right! So I was rubbing shoulders with good company the whole weekend. :D I have come to the conclusion, after overhearing Tina’s Snickerdoodle plushies all weekend, I need to sell more things that squeek.
Some highlights from the weekend include my first Super Art Fight! I’d never seen one before, and now that I have, I really really ridiculously want to try it. Before the show started, the Macarena started playing, and right on cue, everyone that I was sitting with immediately started doing the hand motions. Then when Jamie Noguchi called up for a volunteer to do it on stage, I decided I needed to run up there to show them how it was done. XD So if you’re wondering who the awesome fat girl doing the Macarena on stage was, it was me.
There were a couple blocks of nonspecific webcomic programming that I decided to check out, figuring that I’d just show up and see what happened. The first one on Friday night dissolved into bad fanfiction readings, so I kind ducked out of that one. The second, which was on Saturday afternoon, was titled “The Secret Webcomic Panel,” and was apparently so secret that no one was actually scheduled to run it! So when I wandered in to check it out, there were about 20 people sitting in the panel room, waiting for something to happen. I sort of slunk up to the microphone and sat down, introducing myself in a fake whisper, since it was the SUPER SECRET WEBCOMIC PANEL!
Eventually, a staff member came in and out, promising to find more webcomics to join the panel. Meanwhile, I took some questions from the audience about the glamorous life of a lower-tier webcomic artist, and when the staffer came back, he said that some people were going to try crashing the Cyanide & Happiness panel, which was running next door, and that they had plenty of room for everyone. He also apologized that no webcomic people had showed up for the panel. I was like .___.
But thankfully, a few of the audience members pointed at me and said, “SHE CAME! SHE CAME!” so it was all good. ^_^ And lo and behold, like three Garanos readers were actually in that room! All at once! So it was very nice when they came up to say hello as everyone left the panel room.
Um… let’s see. Saturday night, we made our traditional pilgrimage to City Steam Brewery, a restaurant and pub in downtown Hartford. Chris and I were so tired and hungry that we decided to have dinner in a quiet part of the restaurant, but we then took a swing through the room where all the other webcomics were gathered to say hello before we turned in for the night. I was delighted to find that Lar DeSouza remembered me from ISCA con!
Sales were awesome, and ConnectiCon is now a close second to Ohayocon for best con of the year. The only thing that could have gone better were my Pokemon badges, which I didn’t really restock before coming. By the end of the weekend, I sold out of all but two of the designs, so the board was covered in SOLD OUT notes like this:
I hadn’t really sold that many buttons at Penguicon, so when I was looking through my button stock, I saw the bag full of Pokemon buttons and figured it would be enough, not bothering to actually go through each design and see how many I had. I could have easily sold twenty more badge sets, but alas. ^_^;;
I had Garanos Volume III debuting at this con, and it was really nice having all three books in a row on the table. ^_^
There were some problems I had with this convention, most of which revolved around the communication issues with staff. I feel this convention has a lot of good things going for it in relation to the webcomics community, but staff communication has been really awful ever since I first tried to get involved with it in 2008, and this year was unfortunately no exception. As a webcomic, trying to get in touch with the right liaison was a big headache, and we never did figure out what my tier status was, so I’m probably safe to assume that they’re just going to keep all of the $150 I paid to get my table, with no reimbursement based on my comics in any way. My updated bio and picture for the program guide and website were also lost to the ether, so Alex’s Guide didn’t get any exposure that way. As an artist, vital information like where and when to check in for Thursday night setup was not emailed out until the Tuesday before the convention, and I’m not sure if it would’ve been sent out at all if a few of us had not lost patience and raised a shitstorm about it in the forums.
But for all that, it seems like it was a very successful convention, and while there were problems, the staff were aware of them and said they were working to fix them, so I’m optimistic about that.