I just finished an appearance at the second of two local conventions this weekend, and they both were fantastic (albeit exhausting) shows: a short trip down the street Saturday afternoon to Emerald Knights Comics and Games in Burbank, close to my apartment, and then a longer trip across the valley to Granada Hills most of Sunday for the 2nd of three San Fernando Valley Comic Con events. Despite the fact that these were both smaller, local shows compared to larger conventions like Wondercon and Long Beach Comic Con, the smaller size of both events was a great advantage in getting to know my customers better without all the loud noise and constant loudspeaker announcements. How much of an advantage were these shows for me? Well, let's start with the first show I did on Saturday at Emerald Knights Comics.
The event, a kind of mini-artist alley called "Support the Independents," is a showcase for new comics talent held twice a year at this spacious, two-level comic shop (they had another one in February). I first heard about the show from my good friends Bryant and Barbra Dillon over at Fanboy Comics, who were a part of the shop's February event, as well as this one. I arrived about fifteen minutes before showtime, setting up my table in about twenty minutes (hey, it's not how fast you set up, it's how organized and attractive your table looks). After exchanging pleasantries with the three other vendors around me, I began making my sales. Alot of my friends showed up for both support and to purchase books from me, and some new faces came by to get better acquainted with my books and artwork. One of the highlights of this show was a customer who purchased the first four issues of my science-fiction series "Cosmic Force," as he was very intrigued by the story. The day ended with a representative from the Comikaze Expo convention (an event branded by Stan Lee and Elvira that takes place on Halloween in Downtown LA) asking myself and the other vendors if they were planning on exhibiting at the show. I am, but I still have to get some things worked out first, as I'll be possibly sharing a table with a friend that I did a freelance job for. Final thoughts from the Emerald Knights Indie Comic Artist Event: A decent turnout with 8 books sold and $40.00 in sales! Now onto Sunday at San Fernando Valley Comic Con.
This small, but intimate convention located at the Granada Hills Pavilion is a show that I have done three times last year (they have shows in the spring, summer, and fall), and because I have both developed a great relationship with the three promoters and am usually the only independent comic creator at the show, They make sure that I get as much promotion for my work as possible. This show was no exception. While my sales were a little less than Emerald Knights at 5 books sold and $30.00 profit, customers were now purchasing a full series of my books. For example, my first sale was from a customer who bought all three issues of my "Damn Tourists" comic series. Another customer picked up an issue of The Figure-Of-Speech Mongoose, and my first issue of Damn Tourists. I even go to do a raffle at the show with two of my books included. Even one of my new co-workers from my new job showed up to greet me at my table, and thanked me for telling her about a show that was within walking distance from her house. Toward the end of the show, I got two offers from writers looking for an artist for their projects. They were introduced to me by one of the show's promoters, Joe Williamson, who continues to be a driving force in my increased exposure for both myself and my artwork. I can't thank him enough for what he's done for my visibility as an emerging comic artist and writer in the year that I've known him.
And that was how my convention weekend turned out. 13 books sold, $70.00 profit, customers purchasing multiple books from me, friends coming by to show their support, and being able to sell myself and my work on the microphone in front of a crowd. I think it's safe to say that each appearance I do, no matter how big or small, only gets better, and it will continue to get better with two more shows on the horizon: Sherman Oaks Comic Expo and Comikaze Expo---which will be my first large convention in over a year. Until the next blog everyone!