I know some people have been checking back here waiting for some information to go up about Emerald City Con. I have been putting off making my entry until I had the pictures ready to support it. Here it is, blow by blow:
Friday: We set up at the Center around 3:00. Most of the other vendors were already in place, and a lot of them seemed very surprised to see a woman there. Not that there weren’t quite a few around at the actual convention, but I was the only one there at the time. The graphic novel sellers across from us let out a loud belch before they remembered there was a reason to be nice. It was clear that we would be crowding John, and John looked progressively more crowded throughout the con. We set up our banner and our cards on their stand. Our banner did well for us, I recommend getting a banner.
Saturday: Our demographic, we learn, is mainly: young guys interested in animation, young women who like cute things, older men who like unusual art styles, and parents with children. Children under 14 discovered us fast; there weren’t a lot of them in attendance, but I think every child that did show up that day stopped at our booth. Scooter and Ferret isn’t really targeted at children, but it has a style they really love, and I’m relieved to be able to tell parents that aside from some minor racy innuendo there’s nothing to object to. Kids asked for cards more often than anyone else. I enjoyed watching a preteen girl browse our booth with her father… He looked us over, quickly lost interest and moved over to look at the much-more-adult Last Kiss magnets. The daughter looked through our strips and discovered the Macadamian Squirrels. It was love at first sight, and her eyes fell on the Macadamian Squirrel card for sale. She had to have one, so she flagged down her father and interrupted his conversation with John to get a couple of bucks out of him. Macadamian Squirrel cards by far outsold every other type. Cute sells.
Scott Alan of Cartoonists Northwest stopped by multiple times and looked like he was having a great time. Their booth gave out some flyers and showed off a white board that we’ve all been drawing characters on. I stopped for awhile to talk to Roberta Gregory of Bitchy Bitch, who I hadn’t seen since Bumbershoot. Bumbershoot seemed to have been more of her fanbase than the superhero readers at this convention. Elizabeth, another long-time member of CNW, was next to her showing off her charicatures and her seagulls. Liriel was also nearby displaying a very nice print-on-demand copy of Bad Blood. Michel Gagne had a booth right across from us and it was a gorgeous setup. Michel never seems to remember us, which always amuses me, as I’ve chatted with him on and off for several years on Animation Nation. This year he was able to stop by our booth, and we gave him a card. He seemed to have a steady stream of visitors. So did our booth partner John Lustig, although John seemed to know everybody at the con personally!
The big thing we wanted to do on Saturday was show our sample comic to Scott Kurtz. Scott was signing PVP books next to his wife at the Image booth. He was terrifically complimentary and was glad to take a flyer and a card and recommend us to an appropriate publisher. As soon as we get some more of our book made, probably over the next three weeks, he gets a free one. We talked about the benefits and disadvantages of syndication, and Scott agreed that for him at least, syndication would be a step backward. For us it would be a step up, but we haven’t put together a package yet. Having a good experience with Kurtz gave us the confidence to do the same with Penny Arcade. Scott did that by himself. Although it was awkward at first, he wasn’t sure what to say, when they looked over the sample book they got excited and wanted to buy it! Of course, we only had one. So Scott promised to be back with it at the end of the con. Penny Arcade has had the kind of success you have to admire. Our talk with them gave John the idea to get them as speakers for a future CNW meeting, and it looks like that may work out.
Sunday: It was rainy AND Superbowl Sunday, so the crowds were light all day. We continued to pick up new subscribers, though I noted that many more people preferred to just add the website to their favorites and look at it that way. Scott’s big coup was his meeting with Oni Press, who loved everything he had to show. Work is always appreciated. Both of the Foglios wandered by, and one of their wee ones (in costume) got a free card. We had an entertaining talk with Dave Johnson of Dog Complex, another online strip we’d actually discovered on our own. He was so enamored with our Halloween card he may end up being the first person to own one of Scott’s originals. He’s been a fun person to correspond with. We traded our sample book for a Penny Arcade T-shirt and its nice knowing the biggest strip on the net has the only copy of Scooter and Ferret.
This was a great convention for us, and I’d like to say thank you to everyone who became a subscriber this weekend. We love having you aboard! Now, take a look at our pictures from the Con.