Last year I took an afternoon flight and almost got to the convention center too late to set up for Comic Con. So this year Gene and I flew down on the 7:30am flight. On the plane were John Lustig, Phil Foglio, and a bunch of other Seattle cartooning folk. We taxied to the convention center and dropped off our bags (filled with shirts) at our booth. Folks, we got a great booth this year. Walk through the entrance at Hall C and you are looking right at our booth. It's by far our best location at Comic Con or anywhere else.
We checked in to our hotel and picked up flyers and our poster from Kinko's. Our poster is a 3' x 4' blowup of Library Mascot Cage Match and it looks great. It's colorful and fun and the title inspires people to ask what it is. And if they ask, they are half way towards becoming our next fan. We met up with Dave Kellett, who was nice enough to bring our books down from Carlsbad, where we had mailed them to a friend. Then Gene went and amused himself while I set up the booth. I get very fussy about how the booth looks, and we've learned everybody's happiest when I do it. Then it was show time.
Wednesday night is preview night at Comic Con. The exhibit hall is open for three hours to anyone with a four-day pass. But they enter from the rear of the hall, so our great position was almost useless. Almost a full hour passed before we saw any real traffic. But then things picked up and we enjoyed a very successful (for Comic Con) few hours of sales and contact with our fans. Afterwards, even though we were exhausted, we went out with Jenna from DC and Kelly from Dark Horse, who we know from exhibiting near one another at many a library show.
We set the alarm late to maximize sleep for our first full day.
Today Comic Con started for real. We got breakfast, water, and protein bars at Ralphs then headed to the convention center to walk the exhibit floor before the show opened. This is one of the great privileges of being an exhibitor. I managed to find some great toys for my kids, and Gene stood in line for some stormtrooper action figures that he was very excited about. Gene loves action figures. He's mostly over this particular addiction, but he can't stare them down, and Comic Con is full of temptation.
We brought down a moderate amount of merchandise, about half what we took to ALA, though more than we sold last year. As the day wore on we realized it wasn't going to be enough. We brought more "Will work for comics" shirts than "Will work for books" but the demand is the other way around. Packing merchandise is always a crap shoot. We also ran out of Book Club half way through the day, though we got more in the evening from my friend Dean in Carlsbad.
My sister Robin flew in from New Orleans. She saw that one episode of Entourage featuring Comic Con, and she came to check it out. She's going to be our part-time booth babe.
All in all this year's Comic Con feels different for us. More people have heard of us, and we're having more luck with sales. The great location may have something to do with it. We also have particularly good merchandise this year, and it inspires a lot of interest. And we just plain have more readers than last year, almost 50% more.
At 6pm we had the first Webcomics School panel. Dave Kellett, Jon Rosenberg, Phil Foglio, and Brian Fies were all very interesting and had lots to contribute to the "Getting Started" theme. Gary Tyrell from Fleen was there and I'm going to let him report on the goings-on. I'm slightly apprehensive about tommorrow's - it threatens to be the Scott Kurtz and Tycho and Gabe show - but it should be very interesting (and entertaining) indeed.
Dinner with Robin and friends, and now to bed.
Jan. 19, 2018 Downer's Grove, IL
Downer's Grove Public Library Staff Day (private event) (Gene)
Feb. 9 - 12, 2018 Denver, CO
ALA Midwinter (Library COMIC booth 714) (Gene)
Apr 2 - 6, 2018 Dallas, TX
TXLA 2018 (Library COMIC booth 2632) (Gene)
June 22 - 25, 2018 New Orleans, LA
ALA Annual (Library COMIC booth) (Gene)
Check out our Full Schedule