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Cons!

 
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:13 pm    Post subject: Cons! Reply with quote

I will be attending my first comic con tomorrow, a rather obscure one, Derby City Comic Con. It's hard for me to miss since it's so close to where I live. I was curious, how many of you make it a point to try and go to cons? When you go, what is your purpose? Do you try and self promote even without having a booth? How successful are you at meeting new people and making friends?

I've been to Gen Con several times for gaming, and this past year when I walked through the artists section, I wanted to try and check out some of the artists, and this one guy had a fantasy comic he'd written, and it drove me nuts how pressuring he was to try and get me to buy it. He was trying to be cute, but had like this 3-5 minute "poem" sales pitch when really all I wanted to do was talk to him.
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Kristy



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tend to go to a lot of anime cons, personally. It's my main demographic. So, I get art tables and make charms and whatnot to sell. it helps get people to my booth. While they're looking at the charms, I slip them a mini-comic and a bookmark for free.

I'm not at a point where I want to sell my comic yet, but I've gotten a lot of good feedback on the minicomics. I feel like it's something that's still cheap to make but they're more likely to actually look at than a flyer.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:10 am    Post subject: Re: Cons! Reply with quote

The last time I was at a convention was in the last century, when I went to a Star trek convention.
I've been wanting to go to one of the conventions near where I live for a few years now, but I either don't hear about the convention until it passes, or I don't have the money for it anyway.
I've particularly been wanting to go to GEEX, and this year, they are turning GEEX into the Salt Lake Comic Con, and it's popularity seems to have exploded.
I intend to attend, mostly so I can decide if I want to buy booth space next year.

topjimcomics wrote:
Do you try and self promote even without having a booth?


I really have been wondering this too. I mean, sure it would be great to go as a fan and have fun, but since I'm running my own comic now, I want to promote it somehow. I was thinking I could print some business cards or something, but I haven't got any ideas as to how I could pass them out without it being awkward or forceful.
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ttallan
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1128
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been attending comic (and Star Trek) cons since I was 12. And now that I've put that in writing, I can only pause to consider just how much of a geek that makes me. Anyways, it just seemed natural that when I made my very first comic book (which was a photocopied and stapled thing, as was common at the time since this was before the web took off) I took it to a comic convention to celebrate.

I have a lovely collection of con badges hanging on the door to my "art room". I know many webcomickers don't see the point of going to cons anymore, since you can reach lots of people online, but they're still the best way for me to sell books.

topjimcomics, I know how you feel about pushy sellers. There's nothing worse than walking away from a table with a comic in your hand and immediately regretting the purchase because you got pressured or guilted into it. The goal here is to get repeat business, and there's no way a disappointed customer will ever spend money on your merchandise again!
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Cons! Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
I really have been wondering this too. I mean, sure it would be great to go as a fan and have fun, but since I'm running my own comic now, I want to promote it somehow. I was thinking I could print some business cards or something, but I haven't got any ideas as to how I could pass them out without it being awkward or forceful.


I got business cards printed, and yeah, I'm figure out how to hand them out. I also bought one of my own T-Shirts from cafepress to wear. I'm hoping that people looking at it might ask me, which would give that opportunity. btw, my first con was a Star Trek convention ... yeah, around 20 years ago =). I have a trend now of going to Gen Con, but that's not really a good place imho to promote a robot comic.

ttallan wrote:
topjimcomics, I know how you feel about pushy sellers. There's nothing worse than walking away from a table with a comic in your hand and immediately regretting the purchase because you got pressured or guilted into it. The goal here is to get repeat business, and there's no way a disappointed customer will ever spend money on your merchandise again!


Luckily it was only one guy there, the rest of the people seemed very nice and normal. The main problem is that I was too shy to do anything other than walk up and say, "hi, love your work".
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Cons! Reply with quote

topjimcomics wrote:
I also bought one of my own T-Shirts from cafepress to wear. I'm hoping that people looking at it might ask me, which would give that opportunity.


Hmm, a good idea.

Please do tell us how well that works.
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wendyw
The Bomb-diggity


Joined: 10 Jul 2008
Posts: 4138
Location: North-East England

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:21 am    Post subject: Re: Cons! Reply with quote

I went to the (sadly no defunct)Thing down in London a couple of times and I went to the first Screen-Con (mostly sci-fi) in North Shields this year. They have a second con later in the year called Scream-Con (bet you can't guess when that one is) which I'll probably be going to as well.

topjimcomics wrote:
When you go, what is your purpose?


A combination of shopping and finally getting to meet people I chat to online.

topjimcomics wrote:
Do you try and self promote even without having a booth?


Nope. If someone asked me if I did a comic then yeah sure I'd have a go at convincing them that they really want to go read my comics, but that's never actually happened.

topjimcomics wrote:
How successful are you at meeting new people and making friends?


So far, not at all. I'm usually incredibly awkward with people in person even people I've been chatting with for ages online, so making friends with people in the space of a couple of hours maximum? Not gonna happen.
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Spencey



Joined: 16 May 2008
Posts: 640
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to a con in Dundee as a punter. I had no intention of promoting Girls in Space but I found myself speaking to a publisher of comic anthologies. I mentioned that I had an online comic with a modest but fairly steady readership. So, naturally, he asked if I had a portfolio with me.

Regrettably, I didn't. In fact, I didn't even have a picture of the comic on my phone *and* I couldn't get any reception to load the site up! Long story short: it was a completely missed opportunity.

In a couple of weeks I'm going to Glasgow Comic Con, again as a punter. This time I'll be taking some samples of my work!
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Cons! Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
topjimcomics wrote:
I also bought one of my own T-Shirts from cafepress to wear. I'm hoping that people looking at it might ask me, which would give that opportunity.


Hmm, a good idea.

Please do tell us how well that works.


The bad news, it didn't work at all. Not a soul asked me about my T-Shirt. The good news is that I went to a couple panels on making your own comic and self publishing. After those panels, I went around to each of the booths of those people, and got to meet them and talk a bit with them. First, about their comic and their challenges, and then second to mention mine and to hand them a business card. I showed my support as well and bought their comics, and am looking forward to reading them. Whether or not it was successful for self promoting, I have no clue, but I do know that I had a great time and met a lot of great people. I'm looking forward to attending several more cons now!
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, thanks everyone for responding! My "comic history" is a bit weird. In high school/college (25 years ago now, eek!), I was super big into reading comics (X-Men, TMNT mainly), and was drawing superheroes all the time. Life happened, got a job as a programmer, later got married, and now have kids. Nate the Robot kinda percolated in me until eventually I motivated myself to do something. Back when I was first in comics, I really just don't remember there being comic conventions. I remember attending one, and there being maybe 100 folks that came. It was quite a pleasure to come to one and see thousands, and this just for a very small LOCAL con!
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spencey wrote:
I mentioned that I had an online comic with a modest but fairly steady readership. So, naturally, he asked if I had a portfolio with me.

Regrettably, I didn't. In fact, I didn't even have a picture of the comic on my phone *and* I couldn't get any reception to load the site up!


I will learn from your mistake.

What's a punter?
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Casual Notice
Spambot Extraordinaire


Joined: 18 Mar 2005
Posts: 2966
Location: Oh my God, It's full of stars!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
What's a punter?

"Punter" is a British term similar in meaning to "rube" or "yokel" but with a less harsh connotation. It derives from attendees to Tudor and Stuart period plays who would travel up the Thames in small square-bottomed boats (called "punts") to watch the production.

This is not to be confused with the gambling/investment homonym, which probably derives from a game called Ponto Banco.
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TopJim I'm glad to hear your story and see you diving into the con scene. I think we're in the same generational boat (I may be lower in the water than you) and facing similar life-concerns. I was also big into comics when younger but in my case there were a few big sci-fi/comic cons I got to attend. Then like you the whole "life intruded" thing happened. I'm inspired to see what cons are about in my neck of the woods and give them a go, but like you I would be nervous about what the heck to actually do there as far as "meeting people and making friends." I would of course want people to check out my webcomic but I would be terrified that they thought all I cared about was that they check out my webcomic. I hate people trying to push stuff on me, no matter how gently.

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