Monday, October 01, 2012
Ohio Comic Con 2012
This was my first 3 day show as an exhibitor, and, although it was exhausting, I think the extra day was worth it. I do wish Columbus had chosen a different time of year to do major road construction, though, but what can you do.
The good news is, sales-wise I did pretty good. Better than SPACE, even. The bad news is that table prices for Artist Alley went up, and that killed me. Financially, I'm not sure how much longer I can do the show, unless I start selling illustrations of Marvel and DC Superheroes like so many others. Honestly, the interest in Independent Creators still isn't there. There are some, of course, but let's face it... it's hard for a smaller company to compete with licensed characters that have been around forever and appear on the big screens.
I know there were many who would like my work if they saw it, but I noticed again that the people there who were 'along for the ride' just kind of zoned after a while of seeing superhero after superhero. I don't think some people were even aware that a place like Artist Alley has a lot of diversity to offer, and stories to match many interests. Since they didn't know there was alternative material to look at, they weren't looking FOR it, if you know what I mean. Which was really tough, since I had to work hard at getting people's attention, who looked like my kind of audience.
Honestly, if you are paying to get into one of these shows, you really, really owe it to yourself to actually look at the tables you are walking by. So many people zoomed through the show as if they were on roller skates, and I saw many people in the aisles that never came down my row. And I really think those people missed out on the opportunity to see the many talented creators the show had to offer.
Looking beyond finances, though, there is that intangible element that going to these shows has to offer, and that I really enjoy, and that is meeting people. It was fantastic to see people for the second or third time, and even better to see families that actually sought me out. Developing relationships with readers is an enjoyable part of this whole creation business. And meeting new people is another thrill, and being able to answer questions in person, and have people browse through my books and art and seeing them laugh, and knowing they are enjoying it; good stuff!
It's hard to say if the show was bigger or not this year. There was definitely more space to walk around in. and between the rows, which was a major bonus. Last year there were plenty of spots which were impossible to walk through. Attendance is hard to judge, of course, since the crowd ebbed like the tide, and there were people who were only there Friday, or Sunday, and some with weekend passes. The number of exhibitors is also hard to judge... it's possible there were less people showing this year, but with table prices going up, it's easy to understand. Losing money just isn't as fun as it sounds...
One thing I am sure of now is this: you simply cannot predict how a show is going to be, or how one day will compare with another. You just have to face each day with a smile and hope for the best, and take away as much as you can from the experience.
Since I will have the new comic book coming out next spring, and possibly some other new projects, I will most likely do the show again. If prices go up again, though, I may not be able to. I plan on doing as many shows as possible next year to promote the new book(s), so budgeting will be an issue as to which shows I will be able to do.
All in all another enjoyable experience for me. Thanks to those fans who sought me out again, and to those new fans who stopped by to buy something or just to talk. I do hope to see you all again next year!
For a lot more photos and commentary, please check out our facebook page. :0)