My fourth appearance at this show marks a full year since I've been appearing at this local comic convention back on March 16th, 2014. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, the San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention is an event held at the Granada Hills Pavilion in the northern part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. While it is primarily a collector's show consisting of mostly comic dealers and toy vendors, it also hosts appearances of legendary actors, established comic artists and cartoonists, up-and-coming television and film talent, skilled craftspeople, and of course, independent comic creators----though I think this was the first show here where I was the only indy comic artist on the guests list. How was the show for both myself and as a whole? Let's review:
As with most conventions I exhibit at, I got to the building about an hour early to set up at 9:15 with the show starting at 10:00, excited to see how the event would go this year. While this is a small sized convention, the crowd is very loyal and remembers you if you did any previous shows there. That brings me to the show's three organizers, Rick Flake, Bob Ranken and Joe Williamson. Knowing them for a full year now, they have gone above and beyond to make this show a fun event for everyone three times a year (Spring, Summer, and Fall) since 2013. Joe in particular has helped alot in getting me exposure on radio shows and podcasts the last two years thanks to his entertainment connections. That being said, being the only indy comic artist at a convention like this turned out to be a good thing, as I was a veteran vendor to some customers, and I stood out more to new ones. I made some great sales throughout the show (eight books with a profit of $65.00) thanks to customers both familiar and unfamiliar. I also did a total of three interviews discussing my work. The first two were from friends Dulcy Brightman, a video blogger (who I met at Long Beach Comic Con last year, and also attended SF Valley Comic Con last November), and Kinte Indy Showcase, a podcast host and friend of Joe Williamson who interviewed me on his show last year. The third was Casey Driver, a photographer and videographer who asked me alot of questions about my Hawaii upbringing. We then exchanged business cards, and I asked him to put the video he shot of me up on youtube. I did get to walk around the show floor a bit once my good friend Andy showed up to support me as well, and I spoke with director Thomas Churchill, actress/singer Priscilla Soltero (both of whom I met through Joe at the Pasadena Comic and Toy Show), artist JD Correa, and Steven E Gordon, whose work I admired when he was the character designer on the "X-Men: Evolution" animated series. Looking through his character prints, I asked him if he had one for Iceman (one of my favorite mutants), but sadly he didn't have one. He did say that he was planning on creating prints for the "new recruits" characters from "evolution" soon. When I returned to my table, I then had actor Carel Struycken (best known for playing Lurch from the Addams Family movies) come by my table to see my work. As we're talking, a star-struck fan interrupts us to take a picture with him. A nice moment. The only person I didn't get to speak to was TV producer John Semper, who appeared out of nowhere to attend the show. I admired his work on the Spider-Man animated series from the 1990s, a show that was the first to take the wall-crawler seriously. As I didn't want to leave my table again to stalk him, I just thought to myself "there's always next time."
And there will be a next time, as before I packed up and left the show when it ended at 4:00, I asked Bob Ranken when his next convention at the Pavilion will be. So, look for me back in Granada Hills in August for SF Valley Comic Con's second show of the year. In the meantime, I will be attending a signing this wednesday at The Comic Bug in Culver City for writer friend David Walker, then I will be attending Wondercon on Easter Sunday to support my fellow indy artists there. So I will be moving the TV inspiration topic back another week in order to discuss Wondercon 2015. It already feels weird and sad not being able to be a part of the show as I have been the last three years, but attending is still the next best thing. Until next week, have a Happy Easter everyone!