Dancon is just a local comic book journalist who decided to bring together a bunch of indie comic folks and dealers he knew and put on a show. He started planning this back in October. I, however, was completely unaware of it until last Thursday. I wanted in on this show. The ads mentioned 20 different comic creators and 15 dealers. In other words, unlike DuPage and Greyslake last year, most of the people there will be looking for new indie comics. I emailed him, asking if he had any tables available. He emailed me the next day, saying they were all sold out but he hoped I would still stop by. I said, absolutely.
So Sunday rolls around. I decide to grab the usual pack for these comic shows -- it's much bigger than the usual Kylie pack, with room for a comic mailer, Kylie, and my digital camera with floppy discs. In the mailer, I put copies of all my self-published titles so far. I figure, if I can find Dan, I can get a little face time with him and establish my identity with him. I want to get in on the show next year.
I get there and check out the show floor a little bit (more on this later). I eventually find Dan. I introduce myself. He remembers me from my email. I show him Sound Waves.
He looks at me and asks, "Did you bring your stuff with you?"
Turns out there was a last minute cancellation and he had a table available. "How far away do you live?"
I'll take it, I'll be right back.
I race from the center, my pack trailing behind me. My car, The Angry Red Dragon, clearly knows something is up. His engine is revving faster than usual after the start, enough that my tires gave a short ERT as I was pulling from my parking space. I streak for home.
Just as the rain blows up.
I start swearing up a storm of my own. Just like fuckin' Greyslake, when unexpected rain completely fucked my day (not like DuPage. That was snow). There was even a tree-sized tumbleweed blowing across the highway into the lane I had moved out of about ten seconds earlier. Semis were drifting over the dividing line and kicking up as much water as was falling from the sky. I manage to get home and grab the boxes from CECE last September that I never got around to putting away. Heading back, the rain is falling harder. At one point, the Dragon's steering wheel does two sharp 1/8 turns to the right before returning to position in less than a second. That's the Dragon's way of saying, "It's getting harder to maintain traction. SLOW THE FUCK DOWN." I then realize I left my signing pens at home. There's a Michael's a block away from the Civic Center. I stop there, grab a set of silver Sharpies, and get to the hall about 12:30. Since I didn't have time to do things pretty, there's no poster or anything, just copies of my books sitting out. (P.S. The Civic Center has free wifi.)
So, first question on everyone's minds -- how did I do? I actually made table. Three copies of Hannah Singer, Celestial Advocate sold, one run of Sound Waves, and a copy of Sound Waves #3. Awe! Some!
Now, for the rest of the stuff. Among the people there was Silver Phoenix Studios. Very nice guy. He also prints comics, he can undercut KaBlam by about 40%. I'll definitely think about him for some of my stuff, but I just don't feel right pulling what I already have with KaBlam away from them. He loved Sound Waves and picked up on the shoujo manga vibe right away. "Have you thought about doing ACen?"
I gave him a quick rundown of my complaints about ACen. Turns out, he works with the organizers. In the years I've been gone, they seemed to have fixed the complaints and might have made it a decent con. He felt Sound Waves would do really well there. ACen is in May. I'm thinking it over.
My old friend Sofiya was there, always fun to talk to. As usual, she squeeed over Sound Waves and asked me about my programming. I told her that I was getting more results with the comics right now, so the programming is on the back burner for the moment. I gave her a copy of Hannah Singer.
Made a few more connections with other indie comic creators in the area, including a few who thought Stress Puppy was dynamite, especially the character of Holly (no surprise there). The publisher of Beta 3 (Sniper And Rook) was there. He remembered Sound Waves and his kid bought a copy of #3. Paul Maiellaro, the organizer of CECE, was there. He said hi to me and we caught up. He's doing more shows and would like me to be there. Legion Studios was there. One of the publishers remembered me from hanging around his booth at C2E2 last year and WizardWorld the year before (talking with everyone about how cool John Michael Berryman is may have helped imprint my identity in his mind). He noticed I was a writer and asked me to send him some samples of my stuff. He mentioned that they mostly sell at shows, so low if any pay. I told him I was perfectly happy working for comp copies right now. I'm going to keep in touch with him, especially at C2E2 this year. A few other indie creators came around to look at my stuff. One of them said I should be a little louder, I was sitting too quietly. Sorry, I believe in low pressure sales. Otherwise, people won't make eye contact and you won't get anything sold. He seemed to get my point.
So, for only being there about three and a half hours, not a bad showing, definitely something I can build on. There was actually a decent crowd. Everyone was happy, so it looks like there will be another next year. And I'll be there from the opening bell.
For now? I've already had a hoagie. Now I'm just enjoying some black cherry tea before bed. Today felt really really good.