Archives: Con Reports
Since I’ve been hanging out at the weekly Sunday Comix meetings, and therefore Bob Corby, the mind behind SPACE, I got the chance to show some of my work at a Chili Cookoff last weekend! The deal was $15 for a half-table, and all the chili I could eat.
I’m like, helllll yeah.
So I made a little money, got some chili, and got to talk to a lot of folks. ^_^ It was an interesting task to try to pare my display (which is usually a whole 6-to-8-foot table) down into half the space.
Ohayocon was about a 10 on the awesome scale. I had a lot of misgivings going into this show, since for the first time, the artist alley was put in its own separate space, not in a hallway or on the way to another destination like it was in years past. The alley was placed in a U-shaped balcony/mezzanine area in the Battelle Grand ballroom of the Columbus Convention Center, while the dealer’s room was on the floor of the Battelle room.
But it turned out I had nothing to fear from the location, since foot traffic was pretty great all weekend. It seemed like the staff made a point of directing people up to us, and I suppose that the artist alley is more of a hotspot at Ohayocon than it is at some other conventions, so there you go.
This Ohayocon toppled the previous year’s record of Best Con Sales Evar, too. We saw a lot of friends, I got a few more people added to my Epic Shirt, and all was well.
Alex and Jon had the most epically tech table I’ve ever seen! Jon’s iPad was showing off NNFB pages, and he had this little attachment that let him take credit card sales, as well as an app that kept a tally of his sales. After boggling at that setup, I slunk back to my table with my quaint little paper tally sheet, feeling like a bit of a luddite.
The only disappointment I suffered during the weekend was that I missed out on saying hello to the Foglios, who author Girl Genius. Hopefully they’ll get back to this part of the country sometime soon so I can rectify this!
Youmacon 2010 was a bit of a disappointment. I recall saying in my 2009 annual report that I hoped that the luck I’d had with Youma that year wasn’t just a stroke of beginner’s luck, but luck did not take my side in 2010.
The convention changed venues this year to the Detroit Renaissance Center, which is a huge facility of maze-like catwalks and elevators connected to a high-rise hotel. For having so much space, however, the areas the convention used seemed unusually packed. It’s wonderful that Youmacon is growing, but the artist alley in particular was way too crowded, and made it hard for people to actually stop and look at a comfortable pace because people would be lurking behind them, wanting to get by.
I made less than half of what I did in 09. I attribute it equally to the crowding, the location of my table, and the fact that my across-the-aisle neighbors, The Beargieful Empire of Creative Enterprises, were like a black hole of button sales, so I didn’t sell many buttons myself. It’s certainly not their fault, it just happens. I experience a similar phenomenon whenever I’m placed next to Disjointed Images. ^_^;;
And of course, I can’t go without mentioning the horrendous elevator clogging that goes on at conventions of this size. The task is tripled in difficulty when you’ve got a dolly of artist alley supplies to take up to the 35th floor of a high-rise. On Sunday morning when I was trying to move my car to a nearby garage for a quick getaway after teardown, I ended up walking down the 35 flights of stairs because the elevators were taking too long. ^_^;; The next few days, my legs were like clay.
But there were good things about Youmacon, too! I got to debut the Corn, for one! And I also met more than a few readers, including some new faces, who now read Alex’s Guide. I also got to hang out with Kelly, Amanda, Natalie, and Trae, better known as OLAC, all weekend. ^_^ Since Sunday night was Halloween, I also stopped in Toledo on my way home from the convention to hand out candy at my parents’ house.
I’m not sure if I’ll be going back to Youma this year yet. I’ll definitely keep it on my radar, but I’m really hoping they go to a different venue this year, or alternately, plan the artist alley space better so everyone has room to breathe.
Time to catch up on some con reports.
So! The Festival of Cartoon Art is a triennial event held by the OSU Cartoon Library and Museum. I missed out on going in 2007, when I could’ve used my student status to get a huge discount on admission, so I was not going to miss out on it this time around.
Thursday was full of academics presenting their papers on various subjects about comics, followed by a celebration of 100 years of the comic strip Krazy Kat. There was also a reception down by the Cartoon Library, so I got to say hello to some of my old coworkers. ^_^ I caught up with Paul Fell once again, and got to rub shoulders with some pretty huge giants.
Friday was the first day of speakers at the Festival Forum: Tony Cochran, Jen Sorensen, Dave Kellett, Paul Levtiz, Dan Piraro, and a couple others whose names I can’t recall. Dave’s talk was especially relevant to me, being a fellow webcomicker, and it is fortunately all on YouTube!
That night, there was another reception downtown at the Hyatt! I ran into Tom Richmond, who introduced me to several other people who were starting to put comics online, so we got to talk shop about it. I took my Epic T-Shirt with me and got several more awesome people to add their signatures to it, including Dan Piraro, who was nothing short of hilarious.
Saturday was the second day of the Festival Forum: Steve Breen, Jan Eliot, a Tribute to Jay Kennedy, Gene Luen Yang, and Roz Chast.
I really loved hearing Jan’s talk about cartooning for the New Yorker, and Gene Luen Yang’s comic “American Born Chinese” really needs to get onto my reading list like NOW.
The climax of the evening, of course, was an Evening with Matt Groening at Mershon Auditorium. It’s old news now, but they discussed the then-recent Simpsons couch gag that was directed by Banksy, as well as a preview of that year’s Treehouse of Horror episode.
Sunday’s big event was the Art Spiegelman talk! He spoke all about his various publications and such throughout the years, from Maus to Raw to the New Yorker. I totally brushed by him at one of the receptions over the weekend, so my cardigan had Art Speigelman molecules on it. Brrrr.
Probably the most awesome thing that came out of the weekend was getting to hang out with Max, Canada, and Kira a little bit, and getting a more official invitation to join Sunday Comix, which I’ve been attending almost weekly ever since. ^_^
You can see the rest of the photos I took here.
BODYSLAM! was a fundraiser for Love Your Body Detroit, an activist group promoting body acceptance in the Detroit area. I heard about the event through Amanda’s blog, Fat Waitress, which is part of the Notes from the Fatosphere feed. They called for artists and speakers last December, so I signed up to see if I could perhaps branch out into a new audience.
The atmosphere of the event was really nice. I haven’t gotten to hang around a large group of body-positive people since the Fatshionista meetup I attended last year. I made up my display to showcase my OOTD illustrations, and they got a very good reception. I made prints of my 6 favorite drawings, a few of which I even sold! I also designed a set of body-positive slogan buttons to debut at the event.
My neighbor in the row of artists was Wednesday Lee Friday, a local author, who also bought a color drawing from me!
I must say, it was liberating to not be afraid/hesitant to draw someone fat, as it is at pretty much all of the other conventions I show at.
After the show was over, I drove back to Toledo for the tail-end of my sister’s birthday Trek Move Marathon, which was a joint effort with her BFF, Amanda. (I saw Star Trek IV for the first time!)
Pretty good weekend. :D