It's been awhile since my last blog here (mostly due to me being backed up with art and comic projects, my day job, and the thanksgiving holiday), but I'm back to talk little bit about the event that marks the end of my comic convention/podcast/comic shop signing circuit for the year 2015. Brave New World Comics, a small comic shop in Santa Clarita with a large loyal following, worked in conjunction with Barbra and Bryan Dillon of Fanboy Comics (comic vendor friends of mine who also had a table there) to make this indie-creator friendly event a reality. I must mention first that in between Comikaze Expo and this comic shop event, I did have a vendor appearance at the fall edition of the San Fernando Valley Comic Con, however that show was very lackluster in both sales and customer engagement. This small comic shop event in Southern California's Antelope Valley was the complete opposite, and this great experience actually began long before the event started:
Earlier in the day Saturday, I spent the afternoon in Valencia with my friends Chazlynne and Nathan Bishop, who I had not seen in six years-----Chazlynne. specifically, I had went to elementary school with back in Hawaii. We went to lunch, and had alot of time to talk about what we're all up to now, and old times growing up in the 50th state. As the comic shop show start time got closer (the show hours were from 6-9 pm), I realized that I would also be meeting up with two other Valencia and Santa Clarita friends who were planning to stop by the shop to see me. Upon setting up my display in the shop ( the first time I had ever been to Brave New World Comics mind you), I instantly loved the intimacy of the small shop, which featured seven independent artists between their downstairs floor and upstairs loft. I wasn't even done setting up when a new fan of mine that i had met at San Fernando Valley Comic Con, came by with his friend to see my work and buy my books. Charles Winters, who since the valley convention, has been sharing alot of my artwork and art-related posts on Facebook and twitter, purchased the first issue of Damn Tourists, and stuck around to chat about my work and some of the conventions that he's attended. Shortly after Charles left, two of my other Santa Clarita friends walked into the shop: friend and animal trainer extraordinare Tuesday Torrese, as well as special education teacher and number one fan of the FOS Mongoose, Wendy Shaner. They picked up some books and chatted also ( I even gave Wendy a printed version of her mongoose monday illustration game sketch prize that I signed for her). Rounding out the sales was Chaz's husband Nathan, who picked up at least five of my books------how a bout that! Before the event was over, I did some christmas shopping at my fellow vendors tables, who in turn shopped at my table and purchased more books!
When the clock on my droid phone struck 9:00 p.m, I had a great feeling of accomplishment inside of me. Taking a chance on a shop that I had never been to, in a town that I had never been to, and all the while, I never felt more at home------thanks mostly in part to the friends I knew there that came out to support me, and especially to the wonderful Barbra and Bryant of Fanboy Comics for putting alot of leg, arm, everything-work to make this holiday show happen. As the title of this blog states, this show was the best way to end what had started out as a very challenging year for me both financially and mentally. It only gives me even more motivation next year to not only return to larger conventions as an exhibitor, but to also hit up other smaller shops and conventions in towns that are starved for new, off-beat comics. The sky's the limit in 2016!