September has been pretty amazing as far as comic shows go. First, I went with Alexis Ziritt to the Cincy ComiCon. It was the con's inaugural show, but you never would have known it. The organizers were well...uh, organized (duh) and the volunteers were super attentive to the exhibitors and attendees. You could really tell that they had put a lot of thought into the show based on past experiences (good and bad) they had either as guests, exhibitors, or attendees themselves. It was a 3-day convention, which is a big undertaking for your first time putting on a show. Friday was only open to "VIP" guests who supported the kickstarter campaign and it was only open for about 4 hours. It was a soft opening with a small crowd. This might not have been to good for some of the exhibitors, but this is the type of thing that comics enthusiasts and collectors love. A first crack at getting the best stuff. I expect word will get out and this will be a more utilized option in the following years. Saturday and Sunday were more typical of what you'd expect attendance-wise with Saturday actually getting pretty crowded. On the social/activity side, the con offered a drink and draw event at The Hall of Justice's museum Friday night and an art auction on Saturday night. Both were a good time. The D&D at the museum was a nice environment to hold the event. Lots of interesting stuff to look at in between conversations and lots of little areas to hang out and chat. It was also spread out so you didn't have to yell to be heard or strain to hear over crowd noise. The auction was a small, but active group. The auctioneer and host (Kara Moore) kept things moving at a good pace so you weren't "stuck" there all night. This is important if you want to bid on one of the items that comes at the end of the night. There were quality pieces available in the auction from some big name artists, too. The prices were good with a real steal or two, as well. Again, once word gets out about the auction in the collector community, this event will only get better.
I had a good time and got to meet a bunch of new people. I look forward to going back again next year's show (for which they have already booked a larger space).
So after hosting Alexis at my house for a few days, we trekked up to Bethesda, MD to meet Toby Cypress, Andrew MacLean and his wife Erin for SPX. None of us had ever exhibited at SPX before, and I was the only one who had ever even been to the show (once last year). I was a little worried on how OOSA would be received since we do more of what might be considered "mainstream" type comics. I felt we might be kind of atypical for the show and thusly looked over. In actuality, that couldn't have been further from the fact. Everyone was fantastic! Lots of people were aware of Andrew, Alexis and Toby's work already and even those who weren't gave their stuff a good look. Our location in the corner was great, too. I was a little concerned about being out of the main thoroughfare and how that might affect our traffic (and sales), but we had lots of space for us behind the tables and it turned out the space provided a nice relaxing area for the attendees to get out of the crowded pathways and have an unhurried look and a nice chat with the artists. We all had a great show and sold lots of books, prints and shirts. Liz Suburbia was sitting with Kevin Czap at the show, but came over to visit a few times. She got to meet the other OOSA artists and take a break from the crowds. It made me happy to have the group together, but it made me wish the rest of the OOSA artists could be there too. Maybe next year.
It was a great time outside of the expo's business hours as well. It's always great to catch up with folks that I only get to see a couple of times a year, meet new and interesting people, and rub elbows with comics all-stars. I could do some major name-dropping... but I won't. I'll just say I was in amazing company all weekend long. But that's SPX in a nutshell i guess, isn't it?
So, thanks to everyone that came to see us at CIncy ComiCon and SPX. And if you took the time to check out our stuff or talk with us about whatever, it is certainly appreciated. I know I enjoyed every minute of it.
See you next time!