March 16th, 2013

Worms Ready For Battle

The Spring 2013 DanCon Report

Today was definitely starting off different.
   I've complained before about how inclement weather always seems to hit when I'm doing a show, from a freak snowstorm in April to just last year.  With the recent screwy weather in the Chicago area, I was expecting more of the same.  But while overcast, no rain.  Also, I believe ducks are a good omen.  I had stopped for breakfast, and on my way into the building, a pair of ducks came wandering out of the bushes.  Oh, please, let this be a good day.
   So, were the ducks right?
   For the first time, I broke triple digits in sales at a con.  I got the moves like Jagger, I got the moves like Jagger…
   The Hannah Singer books carried the day.  I moved a lot of them.  Also helping was what was, for me, an unusual occurance.
My Table    I brought with my art supplies as usual.  During the slow parts, I can get some work done (the last show I did, I actually got five pages of Sound Waves done.  That should tell you how many people stopped by my table).  Unsure how the day would go, I took with stuff to work on my next Doctor Whooves fan comic.  So I'm working on the cover when the crowd drifts away, when a dad and his son who had spun by my table earlier came up again.  The father urged his son, “Ask him.”
   The kid asked if I could do a My Little Pony sketch for him.
   I thought it over.  I had never been commissioned to do a sketch before.  I've done two, both freebies, but this was something new.  I said, well, it'd be black and white.  Is that okay?
   The kid nodded his head.
   I placed the cover in a shield and asked, what would you like?
   “Can you draw Rainbow Dash dancing with the guy from the Wonderbolts?”
   The one she has a crush on?
   So you want Soarin, right?
   His dad asks, “How much do you want?”
   I thought it over.  I said, $20.
   “Deal,” his dad said, paying up front.
   So I got started.  I wanted this to be something special, so I pulled out an 11X17 and got to work.  The kid watched fascinated as I drew my guide circles and used the Internet to make sure I got the details right.  He was asking questions about drawing and just being an attentive audience.  I was about to blacken in Soarin's goggles when the kid asked me not to.  He wanted to color the sketch when he got home.  I said sure and left them alone.
   The resulting sketch:

My Little Commission
   His dad looked at it and told his son, “Your sisters are going to be so jealous of you.”
   I told this to an online friend.  He said, “You should have charged more.”
   Maybe next time.  This was my first commission, and I made the kid's day.
   “Say it.”
   “Say it say it say it say it.”
   Fine.  I made his day 20% cooler.  You happy now?
CIMG0349    The con was definitely jumping.  I can't say if the crowd was bigger than last year, but people were definitely bringing out their wallets.  No one really had a chance to get away from their tables.  For example, the totally awesome Hillary Barta.  I've been a fan of his for years, and he actually remembered me from Wizard World Chicago last year (I tend to fade from people's memories, so being remembered is always a surprise to me).  I'm usually very terrible with names and faces – if I ever meet any of you Little Bleeders, don't be surprised if it takes a few visits before I remember your names and faces, it's just how I'm wired up.  Barta being there was a shock to me because I didn't know he was local.  When I saw him, I thought he looked familiar, but when I thought it might have been Barta, I dismissed it, thinking he lived in New York or something.  Nope, it was him, and he was there.  I geeked out like I did last time, and he said he'd swing by during the show to say hi.  The awesome Dirk Manning also said he'd stop by.
   Then the doors opened, and we didn't see each other until we started breaking down.
   My table was right next to the guys from Unshaven Comics, working to promote their newest project, Samurauts, about a group of astronauts who are also samurai led by an immortal kung fu monkey fighting zombie cyborg pirates.  Across the way from me was Fantum Breed Entertainment, apparently continuing the success they had last year.  Tom Kelly and Tom Stillwell, a couple of brothers in arms from the trenches that I've done shows with, were also there.
   Towards the end of the day, Paul Maiellaro stopped by my table.  Paul is one of the guys behind the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation, which collects funds to buy toys for kids in the hospital with cancer.  He's been getting sketch cards from various artists to auction off and raise funds.  As we talked and caught up, he asked me if I would mind doing a couple of cards for him.  I said sure, and did one of Twilight Sparkle and one of Doctor Whooves for him.  Hey, they'll get a lot more attention than my fairly unknown characters.

My Little Sketch Cards
   For the curious, Twilight's card says, "...and magic makes it all complete," and the Doctor's says, "Never say, 'Oops.'  Always say, 'Ah, interesting!'"
     I had brought with plenty of Doctor Whooves comics, both the original Cloud Strife and the recent Night Of The Living Doll, and quite a few of them got snapped up.  I trade them because I don't feel right selling them.  I know lots of people make unauthorized MLP stuff to sell at cons and get away with it, but I just don't think I should with this (others were telling all sorts of dodges I could use that would keep me legal while still getting something back.  I've filed them away, but I don't think I'll use them).  Sold a few Sound Waves comics, and some Red Riding Hood comics as well.
   Eventually, the show was over.  Everyone started tearing down and everyone seemed happy with the results.  I'm hoping the fall show will be as good for everyone there.  Mr. DJ?  Take this disc of "Play That Funky Music" and spin that shit!

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