May has proven to be a busy month that bleeds into June. I’ve been pushing hard through a trio of conventions, Motor City Comic Con, Walker Stalker Chicago, and Quad City Comic Con. The work load lately has keep me from making my con report, so here is a combined report for the last few conventions.
Motor City Comic Con
Coming off Indiana Comic Con I was feeling amazing. I had done the best I had ever done on the road, and was chalking it up to constant improvement. So I was stoked to head to Motor City Comic Con, an event I’ve had in my head as a very large event that could rival the biggest cons I attend in Chicago. Unfortunately, I didn’t come out with that experience.
Admittedly I did not get off to a great start, just getting into the car that morning. Plagued with a sudden illness, I spent most of the travel time doing a tour of the bathrooms of the northern IL and IN area. Sorry for the over-sharing. So by the time I got to my table outside of Detroit, in Novi, MI, I was feeling better, but the doors were just starting to open.
Personally, I hate being late. Every con, I’m in the door at least an hour early, so showing up just as people are coming in and setting up as they walk around is unacceptable for my own personal standards. But at this point, there wasn’t anything to do about besides set up as fast as I could. Everyone was nice and was great to meet my neighbors, but maybe it kind of launched my weekend in a sour taste.
I just felt that I couldn’t seem to get things going this weekend. I was social, and talked with everyone that came by that would listen. Lost of awesome comic fans came by, but they seemed to be lured away. I personally feel at a con, you are really only competing with yourself. No one is stealing away your sales. It’s up to you to make someone stop, keep their attention, and see if they are interested in what you have to show/sell. However, I did constantly run into a situation where I’d get someone to stop, look at my stuff, only for them to look over at either neighbor and go, “Oh, Grumpy Cat Darth Vader!” and walk off.
There was no foul play. No one was over the line. No one stole them away. The presentation and the product wasn’t as interesting as those next to me, and they left. Something I’ll have to figure out and work on in the future.
I know I don’t have a big display behind me when at a con. I don’t have the jokey pop culture things, or cutting edge with what’s in pop culture. Those are choices I made for various reasons, because I have to do what’s right for my goals. I don’t want a giant banner of other people’s characters. I’ll likely be making a banner late this year when I’m working on my new comic. My artwork, my characters. With the prints, I’m working on introducing things that are closer to my heart, digging out of my brain.
Starting with a pair of prints I made for Walker Stalker Con, I’ll be adding new entirely original prints to my offerings. I’ve very excited and happy about them. Likewise, as I mentioned previously, there is a new comic coming. Telling stories about my and my friend’s time working for costume shops. You’ll get the real scoop. We’re writing the first issue now, and I’ll start drawing pages in July.
Back on the topic of Motor City Comic Con, I got to sketch some interesting commissions.
A stamp collector, who had a series of canceled stamps of Einstein was having artists create superheroic versions of Einstein on the envelope itself. I kinda loved the idea, and a bit of nervous about messing it up since I’m sketching on a collector’s item. Instead of making him Green Lantern or someone already existing, I went for a science based hero.
Another project that someone was doing was a 52 playing card set based with each card featuring a hero from a different country in their story. The hero selection was largely obscure. I would expect choosing certain countries would result in some obscure characters, but I did notice some countries went with lesser known characters, even if I knew of a more popular one. I chose the 7 of clubs and the Guardians of the Globe’s Thunderlord from Taiwan.
Rounding out the rest of the commissions from the weekend, were sketches of Batman, Red Hood, and Starscream from the Transformers cartoon. I’ve sketched Batman countless times at this point, so it’s a quick and fun process. But robots are a newer challenge for me with the straight lines, so Starscream was fun to take on.
Walker Stalker Con – Chicago
The horror…. Ok it’s was just my first time at a horror based convention. I had heard mixed opinions in the past, but with a horror con so close to home, I thought I’d take a chance.
The biggest difference between this and most of the shows I attend was the focus on autographs. Large areas of the con floor was devoted solely to the autographs, and the lines of people that there would generate. Near the door in a smaller area was where the vendors and artists resided. There were almost as many celebrities as there were vendors and artists. Maybe more celebs.
With the layout I had a corner with a little extra space than I normally expect. So I invited my makeup artist friend to shack up with me in my space and provide some make up effects for people. Turning people into zombies or survivors.
As for my contributions to the space, I introduced two new original prints. Happy Clowns doing Horrible Things, and Modern Zombies. They were a blast to make. Although the printer was a little less thrilled to make them, compared to what I normally send their way. They were a little disturbed with the clowns. So at least I know I’m on the right track when it comes to making stuff for a horror con.
Horror themed commissions where also the request for the weekend with a zombie chicken and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Our neighbors at the con were making a documentary on billiards, and requested a commission of someone playing pool. I think Batgirl could figure out the angles the best.
Quad City Comic Con
90% of the conventions I do are East of my home base. So it was a nice change of pace to head West into Iowa into Davenport for Quad City Comic Con. The first year con was at the local fairgrounds, and was a great time. Fans were definitely excited to have something in their area and came out in force. While a much smaller convention with a smaller city and no guests, it ranked right up with the large conventions with people who just wanted to come in and get stuff that they love and embrace their fandoms. I couldn’t be more excited for how well the weekend went.
I forgot to photograph most of the commissions I did during the event, but two of them did manage to be captured by my lens. Flash and Lobo where the key requests for the weekend.
I’ll wrap up the longer report on a pleasant surprise. I hope to see you all at Indy PopCon!