Saturday is the busiest day of Comic Con. You'd think that means business would go up, but we've found we sell less stuff than on Friday. I think that's because the exhibit hall is so full that it's hard for people to move around and see what's there. There also seems to be an air of desperation and panic in the room, with people rushing to "must see" booths and not taking the time to investigate more niche properties like ours. But we still did well. Our t-shirts get a good laugh, which presents us an opportunity to tell them about the strip. I'm impressed how often people will take a look at the single sample strip on our flyer and, based on that, buy all four of our books.
The last Webcomics School panel was substantially more sedate than Friday's. Robert Khoo and Scott Kurtz represented webcomics with more than a million readers. Oh I'm sorry, they are the webcomics with more than a million readers. Howard Tayler and I held the middle ground with our tens of thousands of readers, and Jennie Breeden bravely described life as the starving artist daughter of starving artists. Phillip Karlsson was the odd man out (not a personal description) as he is building a hosting service for webcomics. We talked about money and stuff. Read Fleen for the class notes.
I was moderately pleased with the Webcomics School this year, but after talking with the panelists and the many folks who came to our booth afterwards to give feedback I'm ready to change the format next year. But I have some time to think about that.
After the show Gene and I had dinner with my sister Robin and some friends, then finished at the aptly-named "Extraordinary Desserts". I then met up with a bunch of webcomics people (and a few bemused locals) at a bar and closed the place down. I haven't done the drink-all-night thing at Comic Con for a while, and I'm clearly too old for it, but it was fun and I don't have any regrets. Except for the thing with the donkey. I should have known better about that.
I love Comic Con but I wasn't too sad to see Sunday come. My feet hurt, my back hurts, and we were out of most of our merchandise. But we stuck it out and got respectable sales. Taken as a whole, and by almost any metric, this is our most successful Comic Con ever. We sold close to everything we brought. We made a modest, but solid, profit even given the expensive booth and hotel. We acquired several hundred new readers. I moderated a standing-room-only series of panels. Most importantly, I think, was the increasing sense Gene and I got that our strip is accessible and entertaining to a broad spectrum of readers, not just librarians. We get this a little more each Comic Con, but much more so this year. We're never sure when Comic Con starts if we'll come back the next year, but we always do, and indeed we did sign up for what will hopefully be the same booth in 2007. We look forward to seeing you all then!