The Comic Con Connection...
Hello out there all you Afro Stache-ians! This is the return of the Mack- er, blog!
Yes, I have not done a blog in quite a while. I honestly couldn’t tell you why I stopped doing it. Perhaps out of a lack of anything to write constantly. Or maybe there was some other worldly crisis that needed my attention. OK, it really was because I got lazy and said I would “do it next week.” Then each week after that it got easier to say again and again. But not anymore!
This past weekend was the San Diego Comic Con. As many of you might know, Afro Stache Studios was able to attend as an exhibitor! Yep! That’s right! We had a table in the small press section! How about that? So I thought I would give you a review of the convention from an exhibitor’s point of view. But keep in mind, this was our first time going!
So have you ever been to Comic Con? If you have, you know what kind of an overwhelming experience it can be. They say that Comic Con is the third largest event for Hollywood with Cannes and Sundance coming in ahead of it. Now, I’ve never been to Cannes nor Sundance. But let me tell you, Comic Con is quite the spectacle! I mean, if you stand on one end of the convention floor, you cannot see the other side. No joke! And let me tell you, there’s not enough floor space for all that cool stuff!
Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, this was our first year exhibiting. It was extremely exciting. I mean, we have done other conventions before, like Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con and the Long Beach Comic Con. Those are some great shows. I’d recommend going if you haven’t already! But San Diego was something else! Those tables are already sold out probably as I write this. I think we had to sacrifice a first born something in order to get our table. Just kidding. We just got lucky in the fact we got our application in at the earliest possible time, so we were first in line should a prior exhibitor decide to not show up the next year. And then we had to send samples of our product to ensure we had a quality product. I guess Comic Con Small Press has standards, which I will get into later.
So the day arrives and we finally make our trek down there! The drive sucks in the middle of the day, parking is sold out or outrageously expensive, and the lines to check in were long! Whew! Long story short (too late), our table is up and running right before Preview Night begins. Yay!
I honestly don’t know why I was stressing about getting set up before opening. We didn’t sell a damn thing that night! All of the attendees were there for their exclusives and could care less about Small Press. But it’s not like I didn’t talk to possible future fans. I got a chance to meet some neighbors in Small Press and even some people I met at other conventions were there to say, “Hi!”
The next four days are a blur! Now, I could tell you what I did manage to check out, but you know, there is so much coverage of practically every big thing out there, I’d just be repeating what you might already know anyway. Besides, we were so busy talking to people, we hardly got a chance to walk the floor to check things out! I think I may have walked the floor for a total of an hour and a half for all four days. And to attend a panel? Yeah, that wasn’t happening! Not that it was a bad thing. Sure, I would have loved to check out a bunch of the panels, but I wouldn’t have met some of the people I did. I would much rather talk to a possible future fan than satisfy my geek-side. But I did get a chance to see some of the other Small Press stuff available. Let me tell you, Comic Con having standards is no joke. There was some really incredible things I saw. This is a great time to be reading, or start reading, or even publishing, comics. Yeah, the Marvel, DC, Image, and other companies are great, but the Small Press stuff that’s coming out is awesome! Go out there and check out some other titles. You will not be disappointed in the efforts that these people put into their work. Their hearts and souls are poured onto the pages of which they create, and it’s all beautiful! And you have to realize, most of these people have full time jobs in order to pay for this fantastic world of comic books for you to enjoy! Go check them out!
Now, that being said, I couldn’t tell you how many people we did end up talking to. And one thing I did learn, not everyone who comes to Comic Con comes for comics. Duh! Yeah, I knew that already, but having the reality of it right in front of your face affecting you, opens your eyes widely to it. But don’t let this bring you down my Stache-ites! I wouldn’t really have cared if we only sold one comic. If we were able to entertain just one person and they became a fan, it was all worth it. Would we like to make a living off of doing comics? Sure! Are we now? Absolutely not! But we don’t do it for the wealth. We do it because we love what we do and we hope you’ll be entertained. That’s all. Love and passion for the craft!
So, I’ve heard some jaded comments at the Con about it not being about comics anymore. I don’t agree with that. Sure, it definitely is more geared towards movies, TV, exclusives, toys, and everything else you can think of. But not about comics? Let’s face it, everyone who goes to Comic Con knows that it convention originally started as a comic book convention. So much of what is being shown there revolves around comic books. I know some people will be there only for pop culture props and previews, but that’s OK too. Because you never know when one will walk by a comic vendor and take an interest. I’ve also heard that the convention has become too packed and it’s crazy with lines and people can’t see what they want to see. Uh, yeah. If you were lucky enough to buy a badge, you already knew that you’re going to be sharing the hall with over a hundred thousand people. If you don’t like crowds, you shouldn’t come.
Now, don’t get me wrong, even with such negativity in the air, there was some awesomeness everywhere. I had an incredible time. I got to hang out with my buddies who create Poverty Pack and Poverty Thrill Adventures with me. Then I got to talk to a bunch of people about our books. Even sold a few to them. Will they be back for more? I hope so! But were they entertained enough to make a purchase and take a chance? Absolutely! And that makes all the difference, my friends.