Thursday, March 29, 2012

WonderCon 2012: Day 3

The last day of the show! YAY! BOO! A long (but great) weekend came to a close on Sunday. Fortunately the show hours were shorter and the doors opened later than the previous day, because by this time we were all running out of steam. After we checked out of the hotel, we decided to forego a sit down (a.k.a. expensive) breakfast and just grab something at the Marriott Starbucks. Though it probably didn't save us any time because the Starbucks line was super long!

As for the show, there's one word to best describe our experiences on Sunday, SLOW. It was by far our slowest business day and very little foot traffic came through our aisle. From the attendees I talked to, I got the sense that a lot of people had spent most of their money on Saturday and were only looking for last minute deals on back issues and trades in the closing hours of the show.

But the slow business actually made it perfect for us to each take turns walking the floor. As I walked around, it was the first time I actually realized how big the show really was! Sitting at our little table in the small press area and from being so focused on our own stuff, I hadn't fully realized the enormity of the con (though it's still small compared to San Diego, but then again everything is small compared to San Diego). There were tons of cool things to see or buy, and I couldn't help myself from jumping on some great last minute deals.

We met a few more comic creators, but mostly spent the day chatting with people we've befriended over the course of the weekend. Though before we knew it the show was over and it was time to pack up.

By the time we were leaving, the convention construction crews were already dismantling the floor. All the large corporate booths were being torn down, to be shipped to another show somewhere in the country or to sit in a storage unit.

The entire weekend was a great experience! We met so many awesome people that it's hard to remember everyone during the whirlwind weekend, but I highly recommend checking out the work of:

Chris Ryder: Dames in the Atomic Age
Daniel Logan & Dave Dwonch: Action Lab Comics
Fon Davis: Morav
Brian Apodaca: Zombie Outlaw
Chris Dickens & Phil Morgenthaler: Vigilante Project
Geoffrey Golden: Devastator
Jason Brubaker: reMIND

Every one of these awesome people helped me fill my backpack and head home with a nice stack of comics!

All in all, I feel like this was a really important show for us. It was our first multi-day show and our first full on, large scale comic convention. There are only a handful of cons in the country that are bigger than this one, so it feels like we've gotten over a hurdle and are now ready to take on anything!

'Til next year WonderCon!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WonderCon 2012: Day 2

Saturday morning, we wake up at 7 am to start the very long day. We grabbed our power breakfast at the hotel and walked over to convention center. The weather was less than stellar: wet, cold and crappy. We wondered if that was going to affect the attendance. Thankfully it was not the case. We heard about the traffic and the parking lots getting full, but Disney opened their space for the con crowd. Whatever Mickey ;)

At one point while we were setting up, Joe Hill walked by our booth. I had a rare spike of confidence and called him over to express my love for Lock and Key. Rob handed over Clown Fight and By The Slice and Joe graciously accepted them. I mean, he's getting free swag! He's seemed like a really cool, down to earth guy. .

Later, some friends came by our booth to show their support. They could've easily stayed indoors and played X-box all day but nay. That was really cool of them! Meanwhile the aisles got pretty congested during the afternoon rush. Lots of cosplayers and attendees picked up our free rubber chickens, so we decided to save a small batch for Sunday.

In the middle of it all, I had to leave to go the Comic Creator Connection. It was great interacting with young artists but I didn't have a particular story to pitch to them. Honestly I just wanted to see what they had to offer and made notes for future projects I have in mind.

And while we were packing up to go get drunk (hey, it's St. Patty's day) Rob saw that Pendleton Ward was doing an impromptu signing in the next aisle. He grabbed Pen Ward's hand drawn sign when we were leaving, as a memento. Adventure Time rocks!

Jared, Rob and I were low on both energy and funds so we decided to stay put and eat dinner at the hotel with our friends TJ & Dale. While I headed to bed the boys hung out at the bar. There they bumped into Daniel J. Logan, where he talked about working on Action Lab Comics. Lucky dogs, I always miss out!

All in all it was fun day. We were all pretty wiped out but there's still one more day to go.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WonderCon 2012: Day 1

WonderCon 2012, our first major comic convention! We're still in the process of unpacking and recouping from all the excitement of this year's show, but we wanted to share with everyone an account of our weekend. We met a ton of great people, both comic readers and creators, and can't wait for our next show (which will be the Long Beach Comic Expo on May 12th)!

The weekend started off early on Friday morning. The show wouldn't start until 10:30am and wasn't too far away, but living in Los Angeles we know that you can never overestimate the amount of traffic. So we decided to get up at 6:30am to give us plenty of time to get there and set up. The drive was smooth, we arrived a little after 9:00am and were able to get a great parking space in the garage directly across the street from the convention center.

There was a little confusion trying to get our badges as the convention workers misdirected us twice. When we finally made it into the exhibit hall, it was a pretty cool feeling. I've been to plenty of conventions over the last 5-6 years but this was my first time seeing a show being put together. All the big company booths had workers scrambling around, laying out cables, organizing displays, and unpacking merchandise.

Making our way through the Small Press Area we realized how early we really were. Some tables had been prepped the night before, but only a handful of people were actually there working on their setups. I didn't mind being early though, it's nice having plenty of time to settle in and not have to rush to unpack. We tried different things with our table layout but eventually decided to keep it similar to how we had it for LA Zine Fest.

The doors opened shortly after 10:30am but it was slow at first and didn't really pick up until after lunch. We spent most of the day at the table, but got to meet some creators at the surrounding tables: Fon Davis (writer of Morav), Chris & Phil of the Vigilante Project, and Brian of Zombie Outlaw. There were a few no shows at the tables in our aisle and unfortunately I think that really hurt the foot traffic. People walking past the ends of the aisle would see little activity therefore have less interest in checking out the tables. It's almost human instinct to do what the cool kids are doing, and if no one is doing it, well, then it's not cool.

Later in the day, Jared and I attended the comic creator connection while Giulie watched the table. The creator connection is essentially speed dating for aspiring writers and artists. You meet in 5 minute sessions then move onto the next person, working your way down the line for 2 hours. This is my third time participating (after San Diego and A.P.E. last year), but first time without having a specific project I was trying to match with an artist. I'm already working with artists in my next two short stories, so I went in with the intention of just meeting possible artists for projects I'm still planning out. There were a lot of good artists in the room, but it was pretty tiring doing it for two hours. Exhausted, we headed back to the table for the rest of the day.

The show floor closed its doors at 7:00pm. This being our first time tabling at a multi-day show, we were a little unsure how much of our table we needed to pack up. We decided to take everything off the table and put it into our suitcases, in part because the convention organizers had come around warning us of possible roof leaks from the oncoming rain. They made plastic tarps available to exhibitors and we took them up on the offer, storing our materials underneath and then covering the entire table. In the end, the tarp wasn't necessary as the rain was never really a problem that night. But better to be safe than sorry.... I know, I'm an old man.

With day one complete, we swung by the car to grab our clothes bags before heading over to our hotel, the Hilton (also conveniently nearby). It took some effort to keep from passing out, but we eventually gathered enough energy to hail a cab to make our way over to Downtown Disney. If being tired and hungry hadn't already put me into a bad mood, the fact that the cab driver went the wrong way and charged us twice as much as it should have cost, definitely pushed me over the edge. Then add on the Disney crowds, the long waiting lines, and over priced bad food, the night was pretty much a bust. My lone saving grace was a red velvet cupcake I bought... which ended up being a little dry.

Back at the hotel, exhaustion hit like a ton of bricks. It was an awesome first day, but we still had a long weekend ahead of us. Out like a light, day one was in the (comic)books!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saga Midnight Release Signing

SAGA!!! After months of anticipation, the new Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples series from Image Comics has arrived. We were at the San Diego Comic Con panel last summer where Vaughan & Staples first announced the series (we even got a nifty little poster signed by the creators) but it's been a tough, long wait ever since.

So last Tuesday the wonderful comic store in Hollywood, Meltdown Comics, hosted a Brian K. Vaughan Q&A moderated by Damon Lindelof (co-creator of the TV show Lost), followed by a midnight Saga release signing. It was a fun night, Vaughan talked about his inspiration for the series and how he missed making comics, but kept the conversation far from any spoilers. He seemed like a really nice guy and took the time to talk to everyone in line. He also signed the copies of Pride of Baghdad and Runaways vol.1 that we brought along.

After reading the first issue of Saga, I got to say, BKV IS BACK! The issue does a great job of setting up its universe, portrays well rounded main characters and clearly lays out multiple hurdles for them down the line, all with gorgeous art to boot. I'm glad Vaughan is back making comics and hope he continues doing it for a long time to come!

Saga #1

Brian Vaughan talking to fans

Signed copies of Saga, Pride of Baghdad & Runaways vol. 1

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Business Cards

We got our new (and less expensive) business cards the other day from Vistaprint. We went with a basic design and only included pertinent information, mostly because that's all our limited design skills would allow. I like how they came out, the quality is nice for a relatively quick turn around bulk order, and best of all, they were a good price. Next stop WonderCon!

Ginger Rabbit business cards!

Front & back of the card

Monday, March 5, 2012

WonderCon Info

We'll be tabling at WonderCon this year! It's our second time attending the show but first as exhibitors. The convention is usually held in San Francisco, but because of renovations to the Moscone Center where the show is normally held, it's being moved to Anaheim this year. Which is great for us as it'll only be about an hour drive away! We'll be set up in the small press area for all three days at table number SP-079. So if you plan on attending or are still thinking about it (you should, it's like a mini San Diego Comic Con), stop by our table.

Anaheim Convention Center
(across from Disneyland)
800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92802
March 16th - 18th
Table Number: SP-079

Cosplay not mandatory
(but it's appreciated)