I wrote a series of posts on my other website, www.AlbertTheAlien.com, about my convention experience at Wizard World Chicago. Check out the various sections below.
PART 1: Preview Night, which included a very hearty dinner with my good pal, Russell Lissau.
PART 2: The first official day, in which I moderated a panel with Dean Haspiel, Ali Cantarella, and Steve Horton.
PART 3: The biggest day of the show, where Channel Awesome paid me a visit and I met Jon Baily (Honest Trailers)
PART 4: The final day, where I had to say my goodbyes (by taking silly pictures with people).
This past weekend was Wizard World Chicago, another local show for me and one of my favorite shows of the year – usually because, in year’s past, sales have been so high for me. I’m not a guest at the show, but it’s another fun opportunity to sell comics and interact with friends and fans. So without further delay, here’s the wrap up for WWC 2014!
Preview night has never been a strong sales day for me (plus, I work a day job during the week), so I left work a little early to head over to the convention center and set up (and hopefully sell something). Thankfully, I received a delivery the night before of a critical piece of product that was premiering this weekend at the show.
Reading with Pictures volume 2 arrives just in time!
I got off the train and started walking towards the convention center, and along the way realized I was following a man with a lot of luggage. He had white hair, a black t-shirt, jeans, and looked like he had more luggage than the average con-goer. I’m usually pretty good with identifying people by their posture, and I recognized his.
“Brent?” I asked. The man turned, and sure enough – it was Brent Spiner (Data, from Star Trek The Next Generation).
Apparently no one had picked him up from the airport, and he walked all the way from O’Hare to the convention center. I chatted him up a bit, trying not to fanboy out over meeting someone I had watched on TV (and then in movies!) for 1/3 of my life or more. Brent was pretty easy-going, a little germ-a-phobic (but I can’t blame him for that, since con-plague is awful), and generally pleasant to talk to. We parted ways at the entrance and I got my wristband and headed over to the table to set up.
My good friend and fellow partner in comics Russell Lissau was already set up and had sold a few books (I sold some to co-workers earlier in the day). I did a temp table set up, and sold a few books before it was time to break down.
I was staying with Russell for the weekend, and so we popped into his car and headed to a Chinese restaurant over by his house for dinner. My wife was swinging by later in the evening to drop off the rest of my stuff (it’s difficult to carry everything on public transit), so we took our time and enjoyed a tasty meal. Back at his place, we arrived at the same time as my wife and unloaded the stuff from the car. She had a chance to come in and chat for a little bit, but she had work the next day so she couldn’t stay long.
Russell and I stayed up until about midnight catching up and hanging out, and then went to bed in anticipation of selling boat-loads of comics the next day.
Friday morning we had a quick bite of breakfast, and then headed to the convention center. However, traffic kept us at bay. We didn’t realize the backlog of cars that would be trying to get to this thing, and so we had to detour around the area to find an exit and a way to get to the parking lot. Suffice it to say, we arrived late.
The new table set up – all ready to sell some comics!
The day was filled with a lot of pitching; a lot of trying to get the books in front of people. However, I received an objection I’ve never encountered before, specifically surrounding the new book: “Can I buy this on Amazon?”
Well, sure you can buy Reading with Pictures on Amazon (none of my other books are available on there, though). It’s published by AMP and they sell it on there. But, you’ll have to wait for it to arrive, pay for shipping, and it won’t be signed or personalized by myself or any other creators. Where as if you buy it from me directly, you’ll get all of these things and more!
Suffice it to say, it was an interesting day for selling. But sell we did.
After the con closed, we headed over to The Ram and had some burgers and drinks. It was nice to unwind a bit (and talk about some of the cosplays we had seen, or any celebrity sightings). After dinner, we went back home and chatted until late in the night before going to bed.
We left earlier this time, to try to beat a lot of the traffic. And it’s a good thing we did, because we still had to park way back in the lot. Which was fine, because at least we got in and set up in time for the start of the show.
A day of sales and commissions followed. I was approached by a few people for commissions – including a guy who was trying to get a bunch of puppy characters on a sheet from his favorite show. It was an amazing jam piece (and I would totally post the picture, if I could find it).
A super-awesome Chung Li cosplay (and she bought some books to boot, so bonus!)
Amy and Decapitated Dan stopped by the table to say hello!
After a full day of sales on the floor, the group went out to dinner after with several of our friends who weren’t even attending (or at least exhibiting) at the show.
Dinner out with friends. On the left: Chris, Tom, Alan; On the right: Jason, Wendy, Sean, Sara; At the head of the table: me; Taking the photo: Russell.
After dinner, we went back to bed for preparation of our final day of sales.
The final day of the show still had strong attendance numbers, and the family books sold well like they usually do on Sunday. We were all pretty exhausted, though, and starting to run low on books (although not necessarily the books we thought we would be running low on).
Rachael came back (in a stunning Star Trek cosplay) for more comics! Not only is she awesome at cosplaying, but she’s also been a great supporter of the work!
Having made back my table, I eventually decided to break down early. I was pretty tired, and wanted to have a chance to relax before going back to work. So in the afternoon I packed up, said my goodbyes, and headed for home.
This Wizard World was still successful, but less so than it should have been. I’ve been in several discussions as to why we think that is: higher attendance prices, more focus on celebrities, larger artist alley, etc. But with several new books on the table, there’s little reason as to why they weren’t moving the way I thought they should have.
While Wizard continues to be a fun show and a strong seller, the increased costs associated with it did hurt profitability a bit, but not the fun factor. I’m debating with my friends about doing the show again next year, but there’s a high probability that I’ll be back.
Getting around to this one a little late, but unfortunately comic deadlines come first. As you know, Chicago Comic Con (or Wizard World Chicago, it’s sometimes called), is the only show I do in the year where I’m not a guest – but it’s somehow one of my highest sales shows of the year. So let’s jump right into it.
I left the office and headed over to the convention center to see my buddies (already set up), and check out the new hall. The show moved to the other side of the building this year, and the space was quite different than the previous year. For one thing, dealers and panel rooms were upstairs – which was a first. However, the hall was plenty packed with people (we later found out there was a Thursday night Groupon, making for a lot of first-timers coming in to check out their first comic show).
At 6pm I had a panel about creativity moderated by Tony Kim, along with David Chelsea, Dan Parent, and Rob Prior. I was the resident indie / webcomic guy, and everyone on the panel got along very well – and told some good, funny, and hopefully inspiring stories about the creative process. In fact, one con-goer called it “the panel they enjoyed the most” out of the show. We talked about the hurdles to being creative, and what motivates / inspires us to tell the stories or do the art that we do. I tried to throw in some typical humor, but also the motivational lines I’ve become known for at the shows. With a few new ones thrown in for good measure.
After the panel ended, I headed back out to the floor to hang out with Russell Lissau (The Batman Strikes, Strawberry Shortcake) and Jim McClain (Solution Squad). The two were selling in high spirits, and we all went out to The Ram after for a quick bite of dinner.
Russell took me back to his place, where he was putting up myself and our friend Steve Horton (Amala’s Blade) for the weekend. We had a few drinks, had a few laughs, and then headed to bed to rest for the next day.
The group got up early in the morning and headed over to grab some quick bagels before heading over to the show floor. We set up and started selling, and man oh man was there a lot of traffic. And a lot of families, which was great for Albert sales!
Spider-Man commission headshot for a young father, by Trevor Mueller
A few people signed up for some commissions, and the day went very quickly with the volume of people and sales. The only issue faced (and this appeared to be universal throughout the floor) was that credit card sales were unable to go through. Everyone lost bandwidth. They kept telling me it was because of the volume of people at the show, but ACEN had been held in the same hall several months earlier and had over 28,000 people in attendance. No one could come up with a definitive answer, but it did force us to direct some shoppers to the ATM machine. A few of them returned, but overall it may have hurt sales for anyone in artist alley who was less engaging with attendees.
Friday on the floor ended, and we packed up and headed out to a Chinese restaurant over by Russell’s house. The food was good, we had some hot sake, and then headed back to his place to catch the last hour or so of Wreck It Ralph – which I had brought for Russell’s family to enjoy. I knocked out some sketch cards, which have been selling like hot cakes at the last several shows I’ve been doing, and then we all went to sleep.
We got up a little later on this day, and hit a lot of traffic on our way to the show – clearly under-estimating the popularity of this event, and the amount of attendees who would be there right at the opening.
Note to self: definitely don’t under-estimate the ability of nerds to get up in the morning when there are sci-fi celebrities and comics involved!
Trevor, doing his sales thing
After finally getting inside, we immediately and quickly set up and started selling our hearts out. The floor was flooded with masses of comic fans, families, young shoppers, and people completely new to the world of comics. All of them ready and willing to buy, and eager to drink in the amazing things around them.
The credit card issue persisted today, but several people came back from the day before with cash – and we rewarded their return with discounts or free art. Thankfully everyone was very understanding of the whole situation, and clearly they wanted the books enough to come back the next day – and we like to reward that kind of loyalty.
Trevor gives Gabe the “bunny ears”
Traffic eventually started to slow towards the end of the day, and it was a good opportunity to walk the floor a bit and stretch my legs, and chat with some comic friends of mine. I talk to Andrew Kwan, a comic student in Toronto and my partner on one of the Top Cow Talent Hunt pitches I put in. The guy loves sci-fi, so we’re thinking of pitching a few sci-fi shorts this coming winter – to come out in 2014. Additionally I chatted up Chris Mitten, David Mack, and Talent Caldwell.
Talent and I have been friends for a few years now, and I’ve always loved that man’s art. They don’t call him “Talent” for nothing, and he spent the time working on commissions and making art so beautiful it makes me cry. Talent and I had a few conversations about Albert the Alien – which he totally loves – and some other projects we have in the works.
After the floor closed, the group headed over to McCormick & Schmick’s so Russell could have his blue-cheese stuffed olives in a martini, and the rest of us could enjoy some tasty sea food. It was nice to sit down, relax, and just hang out with my friends and fellow creators. All good guys, all righteously funny, and all great company.
After dinner we headed back to Russell’s so I could work on more sketch cards, and we all watched some Evening with Kevin Smith – a hilarious laugh. Although, not so safe for the kids….
The final day of the show we did our usual breakfast stop, and set up nice and early for family day. Surprisingly, I think there were less families in Artist Alley this day than the rest of the weekend – which isn’t a knock on this particular Sunday, but a credit to the volume of families that had been attending all weekend.
Sales were pretty steady throughout the day, with a few dips in traffic to allow of us to walk the floor and chat up our friends a bit. I continued to sell out of copies of my books (and sketch cards, which have been flying off the table at record pace these last few shows).
Eventually I shut down the table a little early so I could wonder and say goodbye to some friends, and catch up / talk business with a few others. About an hour before the show was to end, Beth came to get me – which was perfect timing, because the traffic for the show had slowed quite a bit by that time.
After a fun but exhausting weekend of hanging out with great people, seeing amazing comics and art, and yes – selling a boat load of books – we had another highly successful convention on our hands. Love doing this show, and can’t wait to do it again next year!
Writers Steve Horton (Amala’s Blade) and Russell Lissau (The Batman Strikes, Strawberry Shortcake) stand in front of their booths
Wizard World Chicago 2012 was this past weekend, and it was an event to behold. Last year, WWC was my biggest sales show of the year. By a lot. And this year it was just shy of repeating that title once again. Definitely a strong show for sales – and a fun time for all.
The show floor opened early on Thursday afternoon this year. Several of my friends got there and set up for the full day, but I was working until later in the evening. I set up for a short while towards the end of the day, and sold a couple of books.
I was tabling at 3180 next to my good friend Russell Lissau (Strawberry Shortcake, The Batman Strikes). We often table together, and share several of the same books (Reading with Pictures, Hope: The Hero Initiative). He even wrote the forward for my @$$hole! volume 1 book. And he was kind enough to let me crash with him during the weekend, to save on hotel costs. But I digress….
Thursday ended with us heading to the casino for dinner, and after a delicious burger we went onto the floor. Russ played some craps – a game I’m not very familiar with – and won some cash before we headed home and called it a night.
In the morning Russ and I got up and went out to breakfast with his family at a local diner. A tasty place, I ordered a country omelet – something to fill me up for the day. Then we headed over to the show, arriving just as the floor was opening.
I set up the table with a strong presentation, and even placed the sketch cards out. In previous years, this show has done well with sketch card sales. Gabriel Bautista, my artist on Albert the Alien showed up to table with me for the weekend, selling water color commissions and sketch cards.
Before the show floor opened, James O’Barr (The Crow) walked by the table and chatted us up for a bit. I’m a huge fan of his, and even interviewed him in high school when I was producing cable TV. The guy was in good spirits and we were cracking hysterical at each other for a good 20 minutes while we waited for the doors to open.
The day was good, and our location was ideal. We were in a main isle, so there was plenty of traffic. However, I remember sales being a lot easier last year – with people approaching the table and the books practically selling themselves. This year people seemed more hesitant to buy books – more interested in the celebrities, which was a total departure from the previous years of the show.
However, this didn’t stop me from having record sales throughout the weekend – as well as completely selling out of Hope: The Hero Initiative. I mean completely – it’s now out of print. A bitter sweet moment, especially since it’s book supporting a great cause.
We all sold our hearts out throughout the long hours of the day, with Friday having hours from noon until 8pm. After the show, Russ and I ran to grab a bite at O – the restaurant in the Hyatt.
There was a tasty buffet available, but better yet – there were tons of celebrities in the place. Comic legend Stan Lee was having dinner over in the corner, Peter Mayhew (Chewie from Star Wars) and his wife was eating next to us, and Neil Adams was sitting behind us. It was a veritable “who’s who” at the show right there as we ate dinner.
After food we headed up to Veranda to scope out the drink and draw. The place was packed with artists participating (or waiting for direction) to compete for prizes and to make some great art. We didn’t recognize anyone we could root for, so we headed down to the Hyatt Red Bar.
Talent Caldwell was holding court in a booth, sketching away on commissions and telling jokes. Also, actor Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) remembered me from Mid-Ohio Con, and came over to say hi. I was tempted to ask him to introduce me to James Hong (Big Trouble in Little China), who had been sitting next to him, but decided to let the actors network together while Russ and I relaxed. After the drink we headed home to rest before our big sales day.
We got up early and headed to the show to set up, grabbing a breakfast sandwich at the local cafeteria.
Sales were strong, but not as strong as the previous year. However, our table position was great for celebrity people-watching. Above our booth was a window into the celebrity VIP area, and we saw William Shatner walking around, Scott Bakula sporting a 70s mustache, and several other actors walking about. Their kids were waving and making funny faces at people throughout the day, which was a riot.
Albert sold like hot cakes, as well as Reading with Pictures. The book’s been out for 3 years, but it still sells like crazy. Gabe continued to do water color commissions, and even started making some water color sketch cards which were super cute (and a steal at the price he was charging).
Throughout the day I kept playing games with the table neighbors, cracking jokes and pointing out celebrity sightings. Around 2pm or so, Alan Evans (Rival Angels) showed up to hang out and walk around the show. Around the time the floor was closing, Beth showed up as well.
We grabbed a few friends and headed to McCormick and Schmidts for some delicious sea food and drinks. Ben Templesmith was having dinner right behind us while we cracked jokes and drank our profits away.
After dinner, we headed to the bar for more drinks, and chatted up the Chicago comic creators crowd. Art Balthazar was there with the guys from Challengers, and Don Kramer was running around with his daughter. A great way to end a stunning day.
We headed to the show to set up, grab breakfast, and who should happen by the table but Neil Adams – telling us about the excellent sit down cafeteria (where we had already gotten our sandwiches). He talked to us for a bit, and then headed off to his own table while people piled into the place in droves.
Sunday is usually kids day, so lots of all ages books were being sold – and tons of sketch cards!
People were in costume, but again the sales didn’t come easy. We had to work for it.
The highlight of the day was Beth selling the very first copy of her first published work – a charity book benefiting a kid in the UK. She had a look of elation at the feeling of selling something you worked so hard on. Then her face hardened, and she realized she needed to do it again.
We spent the day selling our books, looking for celebrities (I ran into Luke Perry and one of the actors from True Blood), and having a great time.
When the show was over, we packed up and headed home. It was a fun (and long) weekend for sure. Wizard put on another great show with some of my highest sales of the year. I’ll definitely be back again next year!
We interrupt your regularly scheduled comic for this special announcement: this weekend I’m attending Wizard World Chicago!
I’ll be in artist alley booth #3180, right next to Russell Lissau. Both of us will be across from comic legend Stan Lee!
It’s likely Gabriel Bautista will be on-site throughout the weekend to sign copies of RWP and Albert the Alien, and also selling some commissions and awesome art. You should buy stuff from him, for sure!
I’ll have the following books available for sale:
- Reading with Pictures vol. 1
- Hope: The Hero Initiative
- Junkyard Chase
- Albert the Alien: Hall Monitor
- @$$hole!: Laura’s 21st Birthday
- @$$hole! vol 1: No Pants Tuesday
Additionally, there will be sketch cards and original art for sale, commissions, and a whole bunch more!
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Got a slew of conventions remaining this year, and a lot of books / merch to sell during them. So if you’ve missed me at the plethora of cons and signings / events I’ve been doing this year, there are still some more opportunities to swing by and buy some great books!
My remaining conventions are below:
CONVENTION: Wizard World Chicago
LOCATION: Rosemont, IL
DATES: August 9-12
DESCRIPTION: Probably my highest sales show of the year, and a ton of fun. There are TV actors, sure, but you should stop by artist alley (where I’ll be) and check out the awesome art work and books available for sale.
I’ll be in artist alley with fellow creator Russell Lissau, who may have his daughter coming in to sign some copies of their new Strawberry Shortcake books!
CONVENTION: Mid-Ohio Con
LOCATION: Columbus, OH
DATES: September 29-30
DESCRIPTION: A seriously fun all-ages show in Ohio (but we won’t hold that against the show). I usually stay with Lora Innes and travel with Alan Evans, plus there will be some other awesome creators in our party including Paul D. Storrie and Thom Zahler. Also, even more TV actors and comic celebrities.
It’s a fun show for the whole family, so be sure to stop by!
LOCATION: New York, NY
DATES: October 11-14
DESCRIPTION: The second largest comic convention in the country, and a fun (but crazy) time in the Big Apple. I’ll be running the Reading with Pictures booth, along with doing a few educational and read-along panels for the kids.
I may even be premiering a new book at the show – you never know. So be sure to swing by and say hi, see what’s new, buy some stuff, and attend the panels! Going to be a great time.
CONVENTION: Kollision Con
LOCATION: St Charles, IL
DATES: November 23-25
DESCRIPTION: Thanksgiving weekend (but after all the Turkey is done being eaten) is my final show of the year, and a fun one to boot. I’ll be attending along with my Albert the Alien artist, Gabriel Bautista, and fellow creator Russell Lissau.
Gabe and I will be putting on our first ever joint panel about Albert the Alien, as well as some comedic evening panels for the older attendees.
Additionally, there will be some awesome anime and internet guests including Chris Patton, Doug Walker, and many more!
You want to finish this year off right (and burn off some calories from Turkey Day by attending a con), then you need to be at this show!
Wow, so I’m finally starting to catch up on my blogging (only two weeks later, right?). Specifically as it relates to Wizard World Chicago this year.
Let me just put some historical context here before breaking it down by the day’s events. Years ago, Wizard World Chicago was the first large convention I ever attended (and by large, I mean over 10,000 attendees). And it was the first convention where I shifted by focus from being an attendee to being an exhibitor. And I did this slowly – by meeting creators and chatting them up and learning about the industry from the business perspective. What I really liked about the show was the networking – and the fact that, after the show ends, just about everyone hangs out at the Hyatt bar. So the networking never really stops. This is really the show that launched by professional comics career – and I met most of my comic friends at this show, so it holds a special place for me.
That said, let’s get into the events of the show….
I left work as soon as I could to make it in time for preview night, and made it there only an hour after it started. Unfortunately it sounds like the bulk of the business happened within that first hour. But I got set up and got to see some familiar faces all the same. WWC put most of the Reading with Pictures in a single row, so I got to hang out with many of my friends over the weekend. With us in the group were Russell Lissau (Shrek, Strawberry Shortcake), Steve Horton (DC Holiday Annual, Superman Annual), John Bivens (Comic Book Tattoo, Popgun), Steve Wallace (Binary Love, Omega Comics Presents), and Gabrielle Bautisa (The Spirit, Elephant Man). With us as well was my good friend Alan Evans (Rival Angels).
And visiting from Ann Arbor was my good buddy Scott, who was helping us all out throughout the weekend. Without Scott, I don’t know how we would’ve made it through this weekend.
After the floor closed, we all went back to the hotel room for some much needed pizza (and whiskey). It was a great start to what would be an amazing weekend.
The group awoke pretty early in the morning and went to the Hyatt restaurant for breakfast. Upon walking in we passed Nicholas Brenden (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and we all took our turns at the buffet. While eating, Felicia Day walked in and sat in a booth by us. Celebrities started filtering in throughout as we took off to get ready for the show. I set up the booth a little differently from how I’ve done it in the past, and I think it worked out for the best.
The feature of the show was Reading with Pictures, which has been nominated for two Harvey Awards – one for best anthology, and another for best kid’s book. I had two editions: the softcover trade, and the limited edition hard cover. Next to it I always placed Junkyard Chase, which I consider a companion since it includes a script and kind of works as a template for young creators. After that was Hope: The Hero Initiative – another strong book that supports a great cause. In the middle were my sketch cards and free bookmarks. And bringing up the end were the few copies of @$$hole! I brought to the show.
Around 1pm I had to step away from the table for an hour to present some research I had done for work, so I retired to the hotel room (which was quiet). About an hour later, I came back out to the floor to keep selling and sell hard. Beth was at the table with me by this time, having a half-day at the office, and together we had an extremely strong Friday.
Scott only tried to steal my table once.
After the floor closed we all headed to The Ram for burgers. It’s one of our favorite places to unwind after the show – especially since they can take a party as large as ours. After dinner we all went back to the hotel for some pre-party in the hotel room, followed by heading down to the Hyatt bar to mingle. Upon getting down there we were met by fellow webcomic creators Tom Brazelton (Theater Hopper) and Gordon McAplin (Multiplex).
The treat of the evening for me was getting to hang out with Talent Caldwell (Fathom: Killian’s Tide, Superman: Godfall). Talent and I have hung out a bit at past shows, but tonight there were less people to distract us from good conversation. He caught me up on some projects he’s working on, and I did the same.
All in all the night ended later than I intended, but it was an amazing evening.
To save a little money we decided to have breakfast at the restaurant attached to the convention center. Since this was the big day of the weekend, we all decided to sport our RWP t-shirts. This may have helped to bolster sales, because Saturday was the highest sales day I’ve ever had before. In fact, I sold better on Saturday alone than I’ve sold at my last two shows combined – and I did extremely well at those two shows. Beth was helping at the table the entire day, and despite a small fit of allergy attack (in the middle of the pitch to a customer, no less), the day went incredibly smoothly. I even sold out of @$$hole! about half way through the day, despite bringing triple the amount of books that I sold through last year.
There weren’t a lot of cosplayers at this show, but the costumes that were in the audience were pretty awesome.
Saturday was a very long but extremely profitable and fun day. And as a reward, the group went to McCormick and Schmicks to celebrate. After dinner, the group went to pre-party in the hotel room, and then back down to the Hyatt bar for some fun and networking. I ran into familiar faces, met some of the actors from the Boondock Saints, and hung out with Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, Beasts of Burden). After a few drinks, the group retired for the night for the final day of the show.
The final day of the show and the entire group was feeling pretty good about the weekend. But as always, you want to finish strong, so we didn’t slow down the sales. And sales did not slow down. In fact, I finished stronger on Sunday than I’ve done during an entire weekend at some shows.
As the floor closed we all said our goodbyes and packed up. We were too exhausted to get together for a final meal of the weekend, but I think it was an accomplished tired. Beth and I went home, ordered some food, watched a flick and passed out. Overall, Wizard World Chicago set a new benchmark for sales at conventions – one that will be hard to meet or beat. Until next year, at least.
I’ll be totally honest with you. One of the reasons I love going to Ren Faire is the giant turkey legs. You get this with a goblet of mead, and you feel like one of the kids (or queens) of old.
Of course, on this particular day, it was 93 degrees and humid as hell. So in retrospect, a giant turkey leg was probably not the smartest choice for lunch.
But still – look at it! It’s so impressive!
I’m attending Wizard World Chicago this weekend in Artist Alley. I’ll be joined by fellow Reading with Pictures contributors Russell Lissau, John Bivens, Steve Wallace, Steve Horton, and Gabriel Bautista (my artist on Albert the Alien). We’re all going to be in row 3700, so look for us.
The book has been nominated for two Harvey Awards this year, so stop by and see what everyone in the industry is talking about. And meet some of the contributors to this amazing all-ages book!
“It’s hard to find quality kid-friendly titles that are as delightful to read as this one is.”
- Jeff Marsick, Newsarama
“an excellent classroom accessory.”
- Greg Baldino, BleedingCool
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Happy Friday to you, my friend. I hope you’re having a wonderful week.
Unfortunately there’s no comic update this week, but I had announced the month of March would be dedicated to the updating of the “Making of Junkyard Chase” blog series…which gives me time to recover from C2E2 and try to work on that buffer.
Plus the other bajillion projects I have in the works.
If you haven’t noticed, the site’s been changing a bit. For instance, in the upper right corner (below the calendar) is a 2011 signing and appearance schedule. This has been getting updated constantly as announcements are made about my guest appearances and signing schedules for the year.
Previously I’ve rocked out at Anime Milwaukee and C2E2, and also had a very successful signing at Comix Revolution in Mt Prospect promoting my latest book, Hope: The Hero Initiative.
Well, here are some more appearances so far this year:
Free Comic Book Day (May 7): Comix Revolution signing in Mt Prospect
ACEN (May 20-22): Anime Central in Rosemont, Il
QC Anime-Zing (June 17-19): Davenport, IA
Wizard World Chicago (Aug 11-14): Rosemont, Il
Mid-Ohio Comic Con (Oct 22-23): Columbus, OH
Hope to see you at some of these fun conventions and events.
Wizard World Chicago was my first “big” comic convention. I met many of my friends there. Most of my comic friends, in fact. It’s a show that holds a special place in my heart.
Last year, many of the publishers in the comic industry pulled out of the show and many of us were wondering if the show would continue on without them. Many of us wondered if we would ever again make the trek from the Hyatt Bar back to our hotels, exhausted and satisfied (and maybe a little tipsy). There were only two ways that the next year’s show could go: the show would thrive without the publishers, or the show would disappear.
When I agreed to get a table at WCC this year, I figured even if the show sucked at least I’d have fun with my comic friends. The fear from the previous year still prevailed, however, and I wasn’t sure what would happen. The unknown invigorated me, and the adrenaline was high on Thursday when I left the office and headed out to the show once more. Suffice it to say, our fears were unjustified. The show was AMAZING.
Alan Evans – creator of Rival Angels
Thursday night and everyone there had already made a ton of sales – and the show didn’t even start until the next day, officially. We celebrated the weekend by going to the Ram (one of Russ’s favorite places) and downing a few stiff adult beverages. The next day would start our weekend of selling comics. Including our new book, Reading with Pictures!
Trevor (hey, that’s me) models the Reading with Pictures anthology
Of course, other books were on sale as well. Russell was selling copies of The Batman Strikes, Hope: New Orleans, and his self-published work The 29.
John Bivens was selling copies of Comic Book Tattoo, PopGun, and his other anthologies. Steve Wallace was selling copies of Sequential Suicide, Binary Love, and his Sandman prints. And of course, I was on hand with RWP, as well as a little book we all know and love called “@$$hole!”
I love this book a little too much, sometimes
The table display…yeah, it’s important
Sales were high all weekend, and I even got to meet a few of the celebrity guests including Paul McGillion (Stargate: Atlantis), Walter Koenig (Star Trek, Babylon 5), and John Schneider (Dukes of Hazard, Smallville). Paul and I chatted at the bar after hours about the show (since he admitted to being a little new to the comic scene). But most of the time was spent with my good comic friends…and losing my voice selling.
Many fans and friends came to visit me at the table, and it was awesome to see them all. And many new friends were made. And a personal victory for me was that I completely sold out of the first box of Reading with Pictures. The book was a huge success, and people loved it.
The show was tons of fun yet again, and while I’m going to be really busy at shows coming up, I totally plan to attend the show again next year. And that last sentence totally doesn’t make any sense….
Expect to see this image in a coming @$$hole! comic