I figure I should stop just gushing about how good Supanova was and actually, you know, write something coherent down.
This was a really important show. I decided a while back that I would give ‘doing’ conventions three goes before deciding if I would do another one. The first one (Brisbane April 2011) would be to learn how to to actually set up a table, the second one (Gold Coast April 2012) would be to learn how to sell things, and the third (November 2012) would be to see if people were actually interested in anything I was doing. Hey, no pressure.
So here’s my table in the Artist’s Alley pavilion! I shared a table with my longtime partner in comic-crime Brad Daniels, proprietor of the fantastic Groovy Gravy anthology that has long been an integral part of the Brisbane comic scene. The RNA Showgrounds were undergoing drastic reconstruction surgery during the show, so the event was split over several separate sheds. The bulk of Artist’s Alley vendors were in the pavilion and there was a fair bit of uncertainty on how this would affect crowds. Would they just stick to the main area and ignore the cool kids club known as Artist’s Alley?
Another cause for concern was the weather. In typical Brisbane tradition it started bucketing down on the Saturday, which is usually the busiest day. Those poor cosplayers stuck in line! As you had to go out side to move between sheds we figured many people would not venture outside or even come to the show at all.
I shouldn’t have worried about any of these things. It was a fantastic show! I was busy most of the time (even the traditionally quiet Friday!) talking, selling and drawing, and I have each and every one of you who came by to thank for it.
It was just a really good vibe, made all the better by meeting new friends and warmly shaking hands with old ones. I want to give special shout outs to my pal, my hombre Ant for dragging his hapless friends to my booth and shoving my silly books in their face. To Colin for being just the swellest guy ever and taking responsibility for being the guy who encouraged me to make comics in the first place. To Clint for swinging by and looking all wrestly and buff. To the Wellbound productions guys who it was a real joy to be table neighbours with, you guys have totally the right attitude to making comics and having fun with your friends along the way. To Scott and Alisha for the kvetching and planning.
To Dan and Kylie for making a really good looking comic about depression that I can’t wait to finally read tonight! To Zac at Ashcan for tolerating my mindless enthusiasm. To Luke for letting me gush about how great his 100 Tips For Being Awesome book is. To Greg and Mini Tom Taylor for their stellar help, I am forever in your debt. There’s a bajillion more people I should be thanking, please forgive my forgetfulness. Oh! To the Supanova staff and volunteers who came by the table to say hi, it’s always a pleasure to see you.
And more than anything else, thanks to my long-suffering wife Sabb for a) putting up with this nonsense and b) gracing me with the guidance and focus I needed to take the table from ‘good’ to ‘great’. None of this would be possible without her, and for that I am truly grateful.
Stuff that went great: I made a new ‘deluxe’ version of my Henry The Sexually Perverted Chocolate Bar mini comic and it was a huge hit,. Seeing people just come up, see the cover, laugh and slap their $5 down on the table without even looking inside was pretty weird, but I ain’t complaining. My second full colour printed Blow The Cartridge collection did very well too, since there were a lot of older people who loved the retrogaming theme. I also sold a lot of sketches and even had the crazy sensation of people recognising me from previous cons and asking what was new this show. Great crowd.
I still learned a lot too. I feel like I really left a LOT of money on the table by not having something ‘family friendly’ available. Sunday morning was pretty much exclusively bored parents being dragged around by their 8-12 year old kids looking for something to buy. Even though I had been looking forward to the convention for weeks I was still woefully unprepared for the show, so much that I was still cutting flyers and stapling minis together at the show while people were walking around. D’oh.
I’m definitely not at the stage yet where I can start doing conventions that are more than a half hour’s drive from me – but man, I really feel like this was a success on many levels and a valuable education on others.
See you at the Gold Coast show in April 2013, yeah?