This year’s 3 Rivers Comicon was a mixed bag. But to explain why, I need to split this into 3 parts.
PART 1: THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES DRAMA
Full disclosure: right now, when I’m not making comics, I work part-time at my local comic shop. It so happens that my local comic shop is a branch of New Dimension Comics, the same company that runs 3 Rivers Comicon. Because of that, I could talk for like an hour about some behind-the-scenes stuff regarding how gaming tables were pilfered at the last minute for use at the convention, but I’m not going to get into that.
I could also tell a funny anecdote about a behind-the-scenes debate concerning what food to provide convention guests (pb & j sandwiches or pizza??), but I’m not going to get into that either.
Instead, I’m going to call out the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fandom because it is a massive piece of shit.
See, my table buddy Kampie said she managed to get us a place to stay for the weekend with someone she knew in the TMNT fandom. I am not part of this fandom, but I KNEW that something was going to happen because up to this point, every single story Kampie shared with me about this fandom had never been positive. Anyway, I had my buddies Dave and Jon on standby in the event that something fell through.
Well, something fell through. Because literally two days before I was going to drive down to pick Kampie up, she sends me texts on Messenger saying the person she knew through the fandom (who said it was ok to stay with her) was starting some “There’s a special event with the fandom and you’re not invited” drama.
To which I said, “Fuck it. Dave? Can you do us a solid?”
Dave pulled through for the both of us. Which is good, because I didn’t feel like putting up with middle-school-level bullshit the entire weekend.
Anyone who is in the TMNT fandom reading this: grow some ovaries and leave the fucking fandom. Life will be more fun without it.
PART 2: THE WEBCOMICS PANEL
Yep. I was part of a panel discussing webcomics on Sunday.
Patrons on Patreon know the full story about how the webcomics panel went, but in summation: it was very, very mixed. One guy didn’t even show, another guy was in webcomics as a hobby, and the remaining dude and I had VERY different opinions on how to make a living doing webcomics. His stance was essentially, “print is dead,” and my stance was, “dude, all of my comics are more popular in print than they ever were as webcomics.”
Since then, I’ve wasted more time thinking about that panel than necessary, so I’m just going to end that there.
PART 3: THE CONVENTION ITSELF
Believe it or not, it went REALLY well!
Yes, there were people complaining about the heat (which makes sense: the con took place in an abandoned storefront at the Century III mall, so any AC in the room came from massive machines scattered throughout the floor). But, as I told people, it wasn’t as bad as last year. Last year was WAY hotter.
Anyway, I was happy to be there. All of my table neighbors were very cool people, and several of them were people I already knew, like Ben Wright-Heuman (who was not only at SPACE and RathaCon, but will also be at my next convention, Put-N-Play. It’s like he’s following me). Arcanineryu, who was my table buddy at RathaCon, was right next to Kampie and me! Dave Columbus, who was the very nice host for Kampie and me this weekend, was just down from us, right next to Chase (aka VividStarships). Colin Richards was also there, and this year I got to meet Ann, aka nymaulith, and Emily (who pitched one of their books as Gay Cinderella and I said, “SOLD!”), Jesse Jackson, and Brendan Hykes.
We had a very good coalition of table neighbors, which was AWESOME.
Regarding sales, I actually made more than I thought I did by the end of the show. At the very least, it was enough to make back behind-the-scenes costs, and cover table fees for Parkersburg Pop Con and West Virginia Pop Culture Con, both of which I will be attending later this year.
I felt validated at the end of the show for one thing: in a previous blog post, I talked about the importance of staying open THE WHOLE SHOW, and not packing up early. At 3 Rivers, I stayed open for a few minutes past the closing time for the floor and sold more prints and mini-comics to vendors as they were leaving. Which was AWESOME.
Pro-tip: if you’re running a table at a convention, stay open until the end. You can make surprising amount of sales to your fellow vendors.
One very nice thing about this convention that I haven’t seen since Phoenix Comicon of 2014: 3 Rivers Comicon provided food for their guests! If you were exhibiting at the show, they had a Guest Lounge set up where you could sneak back and get pizza, pop, chips, or whatever snacks you wanted. It. Was. Tremendous.
All-in-all, despite what was happening behind the scenes leading up to the show, it was definitely worth going. I plan on going again next year.
In the meantime, my next appearance will be at YWCA Mini-Con this Saturday, May 26, at the YWCA in Wheeling, WV. Attendance fee is a donation of any kind to the YWCA (I’ll tell you right now that they will need food, socks, toiletries, and feminine products, because they also operate as a shelter for women and children). The show is only open from 12 noon until 5 pm.
If you can’t make it to the show, I still have stuff on Storenvy if you would like to show support with a one-time purchase. Everything on the Storenvy shop is stuff I sell at conventions, so it’s like a con experience, only digital. This week’s new listing is The Faerie Queen – she was once a KickStarter-exclusive print, but now she’s available for a short time. She’s limited to a print run of 5 copies, which is why she’s $10. Check it out.
That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!
You. Are. Awesome.
P.S. Here’s one of the new finds I got at the show…
And yes, I’m wearing a button that says “Ask me about Dragonball Z.” That button was made by arcanineryu.