Home from Awesome Con. Thanks to my senior erstwhile assistant, Kashi Tan, I managed to survive all three days.
Friday morning set-up went fairly smoothly, once we *finally* found out where they were giving out the exhibitor badges. I think we were sent to four or five different locations before I was able to pick up the badge package. Between lugging around all the gear and the humidity, we were certainly off to a warm start.
However, once we found the table. it didn’t take too long to get set up and there was a bit of time to wander around before the convention started letting in the people with VIP passes.
The convention was in a much bigger room and that meant we had larger tables this year and (even better) more room behind the table. Last year had felt a bit claustrophobic and we were climbing over each others stuff if you had to get out from behind the table. This year, it was a piece of cake, and when April Macdicken joined us on Friday, we had more than enough room. Even on Saturday, when Joni Kouvelis White and Mark Macdicken joined us at the table, we still had sufficient room to visit and still talk with our customers.
I have to say, Awesome Con had a much different vibe than it had last year. Perhaps it’s because they invited so many more media guests this year. I’m certain it’s great for the convention, but now Awesome Con feels like half a dozen other conventions I’ve seen around the country. It’s much less about comics/books and much more about the autographs and pictures. I know the media and cosplay fans will think this is fantastic, but it was painful for many of the people in artists alley and the smaller retailers. Sales were off significantly against last year according to a number of people I talked to, yet there were certainly more people at the show.
However, that doesn’t mean it was a bad show. I had a great time visiting with the people who stopped by the table. Chronicles of the Sea Dragon was probably the best seller for this show – apparently pirate comics are in vogue and several people wanted to see more about Kalana, the captain of the Black Talon, getting her own stories in the Chronicles. My Star Trek Next Gen anthology did well too. A number of people expressed interest in my fantasy noir story, Full Moon Affair, but over all, as I said, sales were down compared to last year.
I did get to speak to a number of new authors for Writer Beware and may be doing a few podcast on behalf of the committee here in the next few months. Can’t wait to help spread the word to help authors avoid some of the pitfalls I’ve seen others fall into.
I did enjoy visiting with a number of web comic writers and artists that I follow on a regular basis who were at the show. It was nice to catch up with Bill Holbrook, the creator of the original web comic, Kevin and Kell. I also had the opportunity to meet Shouri, the creator of the web comic Fragile, Eric Menge with Snow by Night, and Savannah Houston-McIntyre and Andrew Hewitt from Amya.
I also caught up with Robert Greenberg, Nick Minecci, Carla “Speed” McNeil, Stuart Jaffe, and D.C. TheBassist, and several others. it’s always fantastic to catch up with friends at shows like this.
I’ll need a little while to determine whether or not I’ll be going back to Awesome Con. But, before I worry about that, I’ve got to get busy. I leave on Tuesday for Origins Game Fair, so I have to unpack, repack and get ready tomorrow night.
Hopefully my feet will recover by then. *grin*