Well, here we are in Kokomo, Indiana, home of the Kokomo Con. Yeah, it's a long way away from my place, but it's an all-ages con, and my Sound Waves stuff would fit in just fine there. So I signed up and started counting down the days.
For anyone interested in going, you need to keep something in mind – the time difference. See, Indiana does not recognize Daylight Savings Time. This means that, for most of the year, they are an hour ahead of its Central Time Zone neighbors. I had looked up the directions on Google to get a rough time frame for how long it would take me to get there. Three hours. Long way, but doable. I got on the road, figuring I'd have at least an hour to set up and walk the floor, seeing who else was there.
I gassed up my car and started my GPS. It promptly told me my ETA was about a quarter to 1000AM, about fifteen minutes before the con started. Now, I can set up and take down in ten minutes, but it's still kind of shocking. I know Google isn't always the most accurate (chuckle snort), but getting the estimated time wrong by over an hour? But I'd signed up, paid my money, and told them I'd be there, so I marched on.
What tipped me off? I was partway into Indiana when I switched on my cell phone – I had lost contact with the Chicago radio stations I listened to, and all I was finding was country music. I felt like some William Orbit, and I have lots of his tracks on my phone. The phone gets its time and date information from the cell tower it connects to. So I look and see the time and immediately compare it to the clock on my dashboard. Then I realized what was happening and went, “Duuuuuuuuh....” I briefly mused that, had I lived closer to the border and the con was closer to the border, I could conceivably make it home a half hour before I left.
The con was pretty much underway by the time I got there. One of the organizers recognized me and found me a table almost in the dead center of the floor. I was right next to a replica of the original Batmobile (yeah, it's nice, but the General Lee was the car I wanted to drive) on the corner. I set up my stuff and sat.
I had brought with my art supplies for the express purpose of working on my comics during slow parts. I decided I would officially do pony sketches at the con and quickly made up a sign saying so. Here's a little free advice – if you are doing sketches, put a sign on your table saying you are, or people will assume you aren't and, in the interest of being polite and not bothering you, won't ask. Some might not ask anyway for fear of finding out your price is outside their range and they don't want to hurt your feelings by rejecting you. It's a very simple ice breaker, and you'll also get more people noticing if you are actually drawing at your table instead of sitting there like a lump. There's just something about seeing someone doing something creative.
So, how did I do? I did okay. Made table and about half my gas, which is nothing to get pissed about. Only sold a few comics and one Hannah Singer book, but the pony sketches carried the day. My results kind of figured. The crowd seemed to be mostly sci-fi and fantasy enthusiasts rather than comic book fans. Saw a TON of Doctor Who cosplayers, a bunch of Star Wars, and a good selection of steampunk, but not as much comic related. Also, there appeared to be a lot of sightseers rather than buyers. This isn't surprising, the economy is tough. I heard parents trying to talk their kids out of spending $20 on something, and the impression I got was that it wasn't that they thought what the kid wanted was a waste, but because there were other things they were interested in and they could only pick one thing.
So, my chief claim to fame is my Sound Waves comic, about a girl who becomes friends with a mermaid. My second claim to fame is the pony comics. I started to realize that my focus on the all-ages female demographic is pretty unique. One family came by with two daughters. They noticed my table and the dad told the girls, “See? There's comics for you girls after all.” It's not so much the statement as the fact that the dad felt compelled to point this out to his daughters, both of whom were still in single digits and apparently already noticed that a lot of the comic industry is a treehouse with a “No Girls Allowed” sign on the door. I find that sad.
As a result, I didn't get much of a chance to roam the floor until people started breaking down. Among the things I saw was Tears Of The Night, a group trying to create a gothic RP system that you can take to other chapters around the country instead of just your own group. You can find more information on them at https://www.facebook.com/groups/tearsofthenight
So it was definitely a decent day. I gauge how busy I was by how many pages of artwork I get done. One and a half pages. Lots of great conversation with people, as well. Although, if I do this again, I really need to think about just getting an el cheapo hotel room to cut the trip down. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a cup of tea and some vallerian root calling me.