Friday, April 03, 2009

Guest Artist at the NJ Comic Book Show

So I was the guest Artist at the NJ Comic Book Show a week or so ago. I needed to practice my sales skills, but wish I was more prepared. It's been a long while since I went to a comic book show, as apposed to a convention or other type show, and I was kind of busy that weekend so only put a few hours into prepping.

IF I had more time to plan, I might have done better, but not by much. As it was, though, the economy and the crowd made it a difficult place for me to get the word out about HappyGlyph Comics. For one, the entire crowd at this show were looking for cheap, specific copies of old Marvel and DC superhero books. Those who came with lists to fill were an immediate write-off, and those only interested in superhero comics, and big name titles like X-men, were also hopeless to attract.

I had a tough day ahead of me, being the only apple in a crowd of oranges, but let me add that the host of the show, and many of the Dealers, were really nice, decent people. I made some new friends, and even ran into an old friend from way back. That helped a bit, but the economy was another brick wall I had to face.

The dealer next to me was offering some great books for only a quarter, even when people were telling him they'd pay a lot more for them, and some people were buying them up to sell elsewhere! Many dealers had dollar books or less, so even discounting my comics to a dollar was just chasing the market. (Please note in the top photo my hastily put together sign for dollar comics... you have to go with the flow!)

I did make some sales, though, even the bigger books, against all odds. Unfortunately, I ended up spending a lot myself on some great deals. :0) Quite a few browsers picked up the freebies I offered.... postcards and stickers, so I did get the word out, which is sometimes the most important thing. I definitely saw an increase in website hits, so the day was a success. :0)

Overall it was a fun day, even though everyone was moping about the economy, and rightly so. Still, for a small show, there was quite a crowd, especially in the early afternoon. It was also good practice for doing a comic-con. A comic-con, especially one like Baltimore or San Diego, will have a much bigger crowd of people looking for something different, and willing to give us independents a chance.

Experience is a great teacher, so I'm looking forward to getting out there again sometime! Cheers, JOHN :0)


Brian Hughes said...

Excellent John, and well done! You survived untraumatised, which is the best thing. Next time tell 'em you're Stan Lee and you're moving in a different direction...that should get 'em bobbing.

John said...

Cheers, Brian, for the hurrahs. :0)

As for telling them I'm Stan Lee, that would be hard unless I put up a big sign. Many people wouldn't even make eye contact... kind of a "noone is talking to you so I won't either" approach.

No hard feelings, though, since I know they were'nt looking for anything different. I really should do a superhero comic, and name it something like X-Minds, or The Inquiring Four, just to get the attention of the superhero set!

Cheers, again, JOHN :0)