I came back Sunday night from 2 days of 3 Rivers Comic Con in Pittsburgh, and I had a BLAST! Obviously I’ve been to conventions before, but this was my first time at 3 Rivers CC. However, there were some things I did not expect from the show, but all of them were pleasant surprises.
1. It took place in an abandoned store of the Century III Mall. I think the store it was in was an Old Navy or some other clothing store, because there were a lot of nooks for shoe racks, spaces for shirts to hang, and changing rooms on one end of the floor.
Honestly, having a convention in an empty store of a mall is one of the smartest things you can do for an empty store. More places need to do this.
It WAS, however, super eerie to try to find the space when I first arrived to set up. I was walking through a near-empty, enormous mall space by myself with only the occasional mall walker there (mall walkers being old people who walk mall spaces instead of indoor tracks or bike trails to get their mile-a-day). I wish I took pictures, but this Ted-X talk does a serviceable job illustrating it.
To add to the creep factor, there was a two-story carousel in the mall that no one was riding. And it would spin. Unoccupied.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find carousels a little creepy.
2. The staff at 3 Rivers was A++. They would make rounds periodically with carts full of drinks and snacks, and on Sunday they were giving everybody a slice or two of pizza. JEFF YEAH!
I know that sounds like a given at a comic con, but there are a lot of conventions that don’t do that for their artists and dealers. Or in the case of small shows like RathaCon, the volunteers can watch the table for you and get you water, but they don’t have snacks or pizza.
I’m not knocking RathaCon or shows like them. I just was NOT expecting 3 Rivers to be so hospitable.
(As far as I know, though, the folks at 3 Rivers did not watch tables for you while you ran to the bathroom. I only had to bolt once, but bolt I did).
AND BEFORE I FORGET, they also hosted a party on-site (using another one of the aforementioned abandoned storefronts) for artists, vendors, and folks with VIP passes. They provided the food AND the beer. I tried the stout even though I’m not much of a drinker. One sip reminded me why I don’t like alcohol (my straight-edge punk is showing. Woops).
3. 3 Rivers was where I made the most sales of any convention thus far – Yes, even more than Phoenix Comicon back in 2014! I don’t want to get into exact numbers, but I made back the costs for hotel, the table, and gas to get there, as well as snacks I got for the show.
I DEFINITELY want to go back to 3 Rivers next year!
I’m going to send thank-you notes in a few minutes, but just a few quick shout-outs to folks from the show:
Thank you Adam, for helping me carry stuff out to the car even though it was raining. Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table, including Claire-Odette (you are a fabulous lady), Alex, Colin, Anne, and the cosplayers, including the person dressed like Zappados. Thank you to Joe and Saramiel, who sat at the table next to mine and are all-around super cool. Thank you to the Girl Scouts who stopped by – I hope your adventures in making comics goes great! Thank you, Jon, for helping to run such an awesome show!
If I missed your name, don’t worry – you’ll be getting my email newsletter or a thank-you message VERY soon.
Thank you for reading!
You. Are. Awesome.