Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mid Ohio Con 2010

The Mid Ohio Con simply wasn't my show.

I'm not saying that I didn't have a nice time, but... well, let me explain.  I've been to the San Diego comic con, and well, that's a show on it's own.  I've been to other shows over the years, from small comic book shows to full blown comic conventions, and as an Artist/Creator/Publisher/Exhibitor I probably wouldn't go back to a comic book show because I mainly do comic strips, and material based on comic strips.  I do not normally do superhero stuff, as much as I do like that kind of thing, and my artwork is not in that genre.

Call me a geek, but having Lord Vader and entourage march

past my booth was a totally cool moment!

Now, having said all that, the Mid Ohio Comic Con was more comic book show than convention. There was an awesome Costume Contest, to judge by the terrific costumed characters that paraded past my booth, and there was a tremendous amount of Star Wars material, but the rest was mainstream comic books, and tons of it. So much so that I was bored walking the floor after my first round through.

You may know from previous blogs that I've been to the Baltimore Comic Con the last two years, and I loved the energy of the Artist's alley, and the variety of stuff to see. I wasn't neccesarily 'in' to all that I saw, but the variety was wonderful. Here at Mid Ohio I didn't even see that much Manga! Two booths had some manga, and each had under a dozen books.... more like extras they had lying around. I also looked for graphic novels outside the superhero genre, and saw nothing by Chris Ware or any other big name I would have liked to pick up. I did see one copy of American Born Chinese, but nothing else by Gene Yang, or any other favorite Creator. So... the Mid Ohio Con was not my show... as an Exhibitor or as a Spectator.

Of course, there were a LOT of people having fun at the show, so remember, you're just reading one man's opinion.  I was warned by other Cartoonists that Mid Ohio Con was very small, and not worth going to.  Well, it was not small by any means.  There were a lot of booths, and a lot of people walking around.  There was a totally different crowd on Sunday than on Saturday, which I thought was unusual... apparently people chose to come for one day, instead of getting the weekend pass.  Which may indicate that the show was smaller in the past.

I've seen a lot of Ghostbusters in my day, but this guy really stood out. :0)

Now, if you're local to Columbus, and love comic books, then this is definitely a fun event to attend.  And there were a few celebrities from TV and movies, so there is a little more pop culture than I let on earlier.  If you're an independent Creator, then it may be worth a shot, especially if you do superhero stuff.  And of course there's always a fun time at shows like this... like a rock concert, there is an excitement that comes from a lot of people sharing a common interest and gathering together in one spot.  I enjoyed myself, and met some great people, but I have to admit to disappointment at how many people walked by our booth without even looking to see what we had to offer.

I'll freely admit that a lot of women like my work, and so have been fortunate enough to be spotted by women who have been dragged to comic shows by their boyfriends.  Some have even thanked me for offering something that 'they' can enjoy, which is an awesome feeling.  At this show, though, the women who had been dragged to the show either talked on their cell phones the whole time, or ran by... possibly assuming that each booth was the same, which at this show is easy to understand.

I was very surprised at the lack of browsers!  I mean, you're paying to be at an event, so why not look around?  Baltimore Comic Con is a 'browsing' show, and that's why I enjoyed it both personally and as a businessman.  Here, I was frustrated to watch folk run by without the slightest glance.  Still, I don't believe in a hard sell, so what can you do?

I'll wait and see to determine if I'll go back next year.  After the two Baltimore cons, my internet sales went up drastically.  If sales go up in the next few weeks, then Mid Ohio Con just may see me back again.

Cheers,    JOHN :0)

PS I've added a HappyGlyphs Flickr account!  Check out the link at right for lots of pics, from my Studio to Events to Artwork.  Lots of fun stuff to come. :0)

UPDATE:  Looking through the program, I see there were some panels and other events that I did not know about over the weekend.  Manning a booth means that you don't see everything, although at this show I thought I did.  There were announcements of a sort, but no one could understand a word of any of them.  There were also big names from the comic book industry, including Matt Wagner, who I would have liked to have chatted with professionally, and others that are quite popular.

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