Friday, September 23, 2011

Montreal Comicon: post weekend report

Last weekend was quite a roller-coaster of emotion. Saturday began with confusion, as I went to the wrong metro station and arrived late to set up my table. The floor layout was pretty huge, and it took me time to find my small corner of Artist Alley.

Once set up, I immediately had a sinking feeling. On one side of me was Jeff Simpson, selling beautiful Photoshop prints; on the other was a woman producing custom watercolor caricatures. Although my ashcans and printed comps were proudly displayed, there was absolutely no interest; the crowds (and turnout was huge, with the event basically selling out and folk turned away) weren't there to purchase small press comics.

I slinked home in a funk, but Sunday morning decided to change my strategy. I displayed my portfolio and original artwork, and made some money with sketches and inked drawings. Sunday ended up a very positive experience, and I'm inspired to do future cons. The reality is that I was badly placed to sell my comic; for that, I would've had to be situated with other retailors, and I have a feeling I still would've been lost in the shuffle.

I think Sunday was extra special because I brought my daughter along (she even drew at the table) and I met Gail Simone (although what I babbled to her was almost gibberish).

In the end, I failed spectacularly in my goal to promote my ashcan and generate interest. Ultimately, the experience was rewarding and thought-provoking, and has helped me clarify some artistic goals. Despite the outcome, I'm not giving up on Sore Thumb Press; I simply have to find better ways to market myself and my product, and must accept that the process will take many small steps.

I've set a new goal for next year's convention: a completed first issue of one (or more) of my concepts. Onwards!

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