Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

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Chicago Entertainment Collectors Expo 2: Electric Boogaloo

Well, here we are at the Carol Stream Holida Inn, home of CECE, to raise money to buy toys for sick kids in hospitals.  Barring unforseen events, this will be my last convention appearance of the year.

Let's start by getting to totals out of the way -- did I make table?  This wasn't like DanCon where I got cut a deal because I was a same day addition.  The table was $35.  I moved two copies of Hannah Singer, Celestial Advocate, one copy of Sound Waves #1, a complete run of Sound Waves, and a copy of Lightning Strike.  Long story short?  If I recall correctly, this is the first time I paid full price for a table and cleared the cost.

I had Friday off, and the show didn't start until 830PM, so I had time to kill.  Loaded everything in the Angry Red Dragon and was on my way when I realized I'd forgotten one little thing:  silver metallic Sharpies for signing dark covers on my comics.  Again.  No problem, I stopped by Office Max and bought a two pack.  When I started taking stuff out of my car to bring in, in the trunk, I found a set of Sharpies in black and silver that I left in there in case I did another signing and forgot to pack Sharpies.  I now have eight goddamn silver metallic Sharpies that I use only rarely.  Jesus.

I made it to the hotel at about 700PM.  I started setting up, considering my space limitations.  The Kankakee Fantasy Con taught me about space being a premium, so anything I could do to conserve was a good idea.  The first thing was the easel that I put my framed Sound Waves poster on.  Against the wall behind me was a runner that stuck out about an inch and had a groove in the top.  I put the poster on the ledge, and it sat there perfectly.  The easel went back in the car.  My comic stockpile fit inside one Priority Mail box, so that stayed.  The biggest box was for the Hannah Singer books.  I took out nine and put the rest back in the car.  I took several of my computer games out and left the tub in the car.  By the time I was done, I plenty of space around me.

They were letting people in almost as soon as they got there Friday night, no waiting until 1030.  At about 730PM, I made my first sale, Sound Waves #1.

I settled in, watching the crowd shift around, and started working on my drawings while waiting for any customers who showed an interest in what I had.  A woman came up to say she was with the press.  She represented Movie Collector's World, one of the sponsors of the show, and took a couple of pictures for the report.  We talked a little bit, and she noticed the Hannah Singer book.  Turns out, she's also reviews books for the mag.  She offered to review the book, saying that one review of a self-published author she did, the guy sold about forty copies.  That would more than double how many copies I've currently sold, so I said sure and gave her a copy.  While talking, I told her about the set-up for Hannah Singer.  Her face lit up at the idea and she said she would start reading it that weekend.  As it is, I'm coordinating to get an ad in when her review runs.  I could get forty more people reading it and talking about it.  I would call that a win.

There weren't a lot of comic book people this year.  One of the attendees said I was one of four this year.  The others were small pressers self-publishers like me.  Listening to them made me a little sad.  One of them was goofing on a person from Wizard World who did the standard small presser print job -- a comic run off on a Xerox machine and stapled with a long handle stapler themselves.  Keep in mind, I've been following the underground since I started in comics.  I've met Matt Feazell, read Hamster Man, Creature Of The Night,  and No Pest Strips, and was even consdering doing those kinds of comics myself (hell, I may do it for Doctor Whooves if the printer won't do the full size books).  I just thought that taking cheap shots at people doing that was...uncalled for.  There was just an air of smugness, that they are so much better than this guy with over 200 different comics he's printed up that way, that didn't sit well with me.

Part of my time was spent working on Doctor Whooves.  Here's some free advice -- if you want an easy way to break the ice with people looking at your table, drawing ponies is very very effective.  Lots of women squeeing over watching me draw Derpy and Twilight, and enabled me to pitch my comics.  It was how I got the whole run of Sound Waves sold.  Also, Red Riding Hood had people laughing their heads off.  I gotta get this done and pitched, I think I might actually be on a winner here.

The convention organizer, Paul?  This was his last show, he was stepping down.  He's a swell guy, I'm glad I got to work with him for a while.

A guy was there with a page of original Archie art.  I have a few Archie pages, and he offered to sell it to me for $20.  I said sure.  After I put the page in a top loader, he said he was happy because he paid ten for it, so he doubled his money.  As I looked at the page, he asked me if I could tell who drew it?  I used the information at the top and dug it up on Google -- Dan DeCarlo, the legendary Archie artist whose pages usually go for ten times that amount.  He wasn't so happy after that.

Connie Persampieri was there.  She came around and we talked, and she told me about some nightmare commissions she got, where the guy was just too vague with his request and didn't like what she was coming up with.  I pulled out Fermata and showed her part of the episode of My Little Pony -- Friendship Is Magic where Rarity is desiging outfits for the others, and the only instruction she gets from Rainbow Dash is to make it cooler -- "It needs to be about 20% cooler."  She laughed.  I asked, "Brings back some memories, does it?"  She said, the next time she gets a commission and things are vague, all she'll be able to think about is, "It needs to be about 20% cooler."

Definitely a good show, even if it didn't have Caroline Munro there.  Right now, I'm just super tired and wanted to get this up while relatively fresh in my mind.  I'll write more tomorrow.  G'night, everybody.
Tags: art, comic books, comics, computers, doctor whooves, hannah singer, i'll drink to that, just desserts, my little pony friendship is magic, on the road again, red riding hood, self reflection, sound waves, welcome to the next level
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