Panel Pandemonium at Imaginarium

For a show I was invited to at the last minute, Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, KY was worth going to!

There were a few things that helped:

  1. I shared a table with two very cool authors: Neal Sayatovich, writer of dystopian psychological affair, and Joshua Hampton, writer of epic and high fantasy. Neal covered my table fee in exchange for some art (thanks Neal!).
  2. The folks at Imaginarium gave me a free pass in exchange for doing panels. 4 panels, to be precise.

Holy banana pants did I meet a LOT of cool folks at this show! From mermaid/pirate lesbian fiction writer DB Francais to Justin and Cory at Purvis Games, from Glenn Porzig to Mackenzie Flohr, holy jeez were these people super approachable and fun to chat with!

Most importantly, I learned a lot.

If there is one thing I can commend Imaginarium on, it’s their panels. While it’s kind of silly just how many there were (often having four or more happening in the same time slot), the breadth and depth of topics was hugely commendable. Plus, the panelists themselves knew what they were talking about. One author described the panels as “iron sharpening iron,” and he wasn’t lying.

Here’s a blog post listing the ones I presented in. I think the best moderated ones that I did were LGBTQ Characters in Fiction, Healthier Habits for Creatives, and Composing Newsletters for MailChimp and Beyond. The first two were moderated by Janie Franz, who is a marvelous lady. (Check out her stuff.)

Those were the ones I presented in though. I also attended a panel about Military in Fiction (Neal was in that one), Audiobooks, and Freelance Writing. The Freelance Writing one covered basically what I already knew – but the Audiobooks panel was immensely helpful.

Why? Because I want to get into voice-over and voice-acting. (Yes I’m aware the two are very different.) The Audiobook panel covered a lot, from authors finding and hiring talent and what they look for (always a plus) to knowing how to set up your own DIY recording space.

I’m REALLY jazzed about what I learned in these panels. The best thing is: these panels are giving me some new blog post ideas.

And with that, I’ll make my temporary leave. Hopefully next time I’ll have a tutorial for you.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

Destination: Imaginarium

The organizers at Imaginarium Convention this year have me scheduled to be at 4 panels – holy banana pants!

Imaginarium Convention is all about writers and other creative types, but it’s a show all about the craft. The panels they have me scheduled for are these:

SATURDAY

11:30 am in room Appalacian: LGBTQ Characters in Fiction. Moderated by Janie Franz with panelists Eliot Parker, Amanda Burkhead, Jimmy Misfit, Michele Lee, and me.

SUNDAY

9 am in room Appalacian: Healthier Habits for Creatives. Panelist include: Janie Franz (moderator), Angelyn Sherrod, Donna Dull, and me.

11:30 am in room Burley: Comics and Graphic Novels. Panelist include: Dan Jolley (moderator), S.C. Houff, Michele Lee, John Risner, Sean Dulaney, Glenn Porzig, and me.

2 pm in room Heartland: Composing Newsletters with Mail Chimp and Beyond. This will be a 2hr panel. Panelist include:  Sandy Lender(moderator), Addie King, Eric Shawn Moser, Megan McIntosh, and me.

For more details about the panels themselves, or to check the full (absolutely bonkers and lengthy) listing, check this link.

I’ll ask the event organizers if I can stream any of these panels for you to see. If I’m allowed, the panels may be streamed onto Facebook. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for further announcements on this.

If you’re unable to attend Imaginarium, then please check out these two new things my awesome friends released!

First, My friend Suzy Anderson has launched a KickStarter campaign! See, she runs this independent art and literature magazine called The Magnolia Review, and it’s on KickStarter right now to get funding for Volume 4, Issues 1 AND 2. Rewards include copies of the magazine, postcards, bookmarks, and other goodies!

Second, my friend Deci Belfry just launched their Facebook page to share (and sell) lithography prints, watercolors, and other art they make! Seriously, check out their printmaking portfolio. It’s gorgeous stuff! They also have a catalog of their work, and they do something called sliding-scale pricing. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for more.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

P.S. I’ll be making an update on Inktober after Imaginarium this weekend. <3

Special Storenvy Offer, Yo

Ok, here’s the deal: I’ll be taking the Storenvy shop down very soon. As in, closing its doors.

Why? Because I want to build my own online store for my website, instead of having it under the Storenvy name.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved working with Storenvy! They were certainly more agreeable than most online stores (ahemEtsyandRedBubbleahem).

However, I’ve kind of outgrown Storenvy – they’re starting to ask for subscriptions out of me in order to do things like email abandoned carts, offer discounts, and have my own domain. Just looking at the math, it would be easier and cheaper for me to host my own dang store.

(To be honest, there would probably be more eyeballs on my store if I hosted it myself.)

With all of this in mind, I want to give the Storenvy store one last hurrah:

From today until SEPT 30, buy anything from the store, and get a free piece of original art from my bin included in your package!

This is a $10 to $30 value – free with your purchase.

But ONLY UNTIL SEPT 30.

Click here to jump on it.

(If you’re broke, share the link with your friends)

(Also these make good gifts. Wink wink.)

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support!

You. Are. Awesome.

Comicon Erie – ROUND 2!

I returned once again to Comicon Erie, and was surprised by a couple of things this year.

First, I brought a table buddy this year. This is Mack.

While not an artist, he helped a lot with carrying my gear in, setting up the table, and tracking sales.

I brought him with me because last year’s Comicon Erie was ABSOLUTELY PACKED on Saturday. People had a hard time moving up and down the aisle, even with the ample amount of space given.

This year, though… Saturday had a lower turnout than I expected. And the cosplay contest wrapped up at 5 pm but the show floor stayed open until 7. Not a lot happened once the cosplay contest was over. (I mean, there’s a reason a lot of shows have the cosplay contest be the last thing that happens in a day. Did it change because they got overwhelmed last year?)

Sunday had more attendees this year than last year. Plus there were some vendors and artists who said they did better sales on Sunday than on the previous two days. That makes sense, since there are some con goers who wait until the end, after scoping everything out, to go back to the artists and vendors they liked.

But this year, I’ll be honest, I was expecting more out of Comicon Erie than what was there.

I don’t know if there was another event happening at the same time, but attendance was not what I expected it to be. And that affected my sales. I earned less this year compared to last year.

On top of that… well, I need to preface this: at large shows like this one or Phoenix Comicon, etc, on Day 3 there will be a form on your table asking, “Hey! Would you like to reserve this same spot next year? Just fill out this form and include a deposit, and we’ll reserve this for you next year!”

This year the convention was asking for a larger deposit than what they asked for last year.

I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt and say, “Well, the convention center is likely raising the rates on everything.” (Convention centers do that. A LOT.)

But look – I did so well last year I decided to reserve the spot and come back this year. But this year actually earned me less in sales. And now the center wants a LARGER deposit out of me?

What if sales just keep going down every year and the deposit gets increasingly larger and larger? I’m not interested.

Plus, it’s not cheap for me to go to this con- I’m not local. So I would have to pay for hotel (or at least an AirBnB), food, the convention floor spot, and gas to get there.

Also, chairs were not provided with the table this year. Somehow I missed that detail on the application, but I thought that (like MOST OTHER comic conventions), chairs would be provided with your table space. But not here!

I asked one of the con organizers to bring me a chair – which I would need to pay to rent out. But they never got back to me. So I was on my feet ALL THREE DAYS of the show. Thankfully I didn’t give my money before they took my request and ditched me – and I had a table neighbor who lent me his chair once in a while. (And now’s a good time to give a shout-out to Keith Cunningham – on Instagram @cartoonkeith. Check out his comics! He lent me his chair.)

So, Comicon Erie, I love you, but I won’t be going back next year.

That said, I saw some posts from folks I follow on Instagram – turns out, there WAS a convention happening the same weekend, but in Maryland. Small Press Expo (or SPX).

I’ve always wanted to go to this show, so I plan on going to SPX in lieu of Comicon Erie next year.

I hear that SPX is harder to get into, though. So I’ll have to do my best!

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

The Online Store is Getting a Makeover

It’s that time of year – time to look at old designs of things and think, “Hot dang this needs a makeover.”

And that was what crossed my mind when I looked at my Storenvy shop. I mean, look at this screencap:

It’s SO OLD.

The photos need redone. So do the product listings, the link sidebar, the colors of the shop, and…well, the entire thing needs redone in my eyes.

So here’s the deal:

You have until September 30 to get anything from my online shop.

The shop will be taken down from Sept 30 until October 6 – one whole week.

That week is when I overhaul the whole thing.

So you have until then to take advantage of any deals, or get any of these comics, prints, or miniprints or minicomics (outside of conventions).

As an extra, if you buy something from the online shop, I’ll throw in an extra piece of art from my art-bin that will fit in the package. The art piece can be anything from a sketch from my sketchbook, to the original art for a print.

So yeah! Buy something from the online shop before Sept 30, and get a piece of art included for free.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.