As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a Denny’s, waiting for my dinner. But this show went so well I had to write about it while waiting for food.
This was a last-minute decision to go – one of the guys at New Dimension Comics asked if I wanted to go to signal boost the shop as well as sell my stuff. I said yes.
Y-City happened in Zanesville, at a place called Weasel Brewery. Believe it or not, I have roots in Zanesville – it’s where I went to high school. While I had my table set up, I came across my old high school buddy and current fan, Morgan. After chatting a bit, we exchanged contact information so we could work together for First Fridays and the arts festival that happens annually in town.
It must be said that Y-City Con is still new – this was its second year of operation. So it was wee. I still wish I had something like this growing up though. In my formative years, the most nerdy things in Zanesville were the Waldenbooks before they went out of business, and the exchange store that carried video games and movies. Once there was a Hot Topic in that mall but it moved out when I was a junior or senior in high school. Point being: growing up I had no comic shop or comic con in the town. So I’m glad to see Y-City and the comic shop that hosts it, Mass Media Comics LLC, actually exist.
I’ll close it here – this is a shorter blog post than usual, but I wanted to get these thoughts on paper before I stuffed my face with congratulatory food.
It’s been two days since I came back from Classic Plastics Toy & Comic Expo down in Parkersburg, WV, so I’m going to talk about it now.
I’ve been to Parkersburg before, for the Parkersburg Pop Con back in September of last year. Classic Plastics was different in a few ways, the number one point being that it took place in the downtown Art Center. The other difference was that Classic Plastics was a two-day affair, so I crashed with my art buddy Kampie (whom I met at Parkersburg last year). We also shared a table at the event.
The goal this year is to have a table buddy at as many shows as possible this year – because last year I was often on my own (the worst was Comicon Erie, where I was at my table by myself for 3 days. NEVER AGAIN). Table buddies are a must: they help watch your stuff when you have to run to the bathroom, one of you can grab food if you’re hungry, and there’s somebody watching the table if you or the other have to get up and walk around to stretch a bit.
Kampie was a great table buddy for both days of the event. I want to work with her more often this year. (Also she’s got her own art on Facebook and RedBubble. Be sure to check out both pages.)
Classic Plastics was pretty cool this year! One of the Muppet designers was there (Tim Clarke, if you were curious). As was Daniel Pesina. Pesina passed around signed prints to folks who had tables at the show. He’s a cool dude.
There were a few great things about the show, including having Kampie as a table buddy and “fighting” with New Dimension Comics dude Jon over who’s the biggest fan of Master Pesina. Another was the trio of burly dudes sitting at the table across from us. They had wrestling POP figures, toys, and (brace yourself) T-shirts that said “Nobody cares about your fragile masculinity.”
Ya’ dang right I bought one of those shirts from a bearded, tattooed dude named Cash who looked like he could bench me.
There was also a tank top of a cat skull with the words “Dead Men Can’t Cat Call.” I traded a Forest Spirit print for it and wore that beast the second day of the show. Plus, on the second day, I met the lady who designed both shirts.
THAT’s the kind of thing I’m here for – cool dudes showing up with cool ladies making cool shit.
(In case you’re curious, yes, they have an online store at Bearded Death Apparel. Go check them out. They’re awesome people.)
The only downside with the show was Sunday, the second day of the show – it fucking DIED. All of my earnings were on Saturday, because on Sunday, I was lucky to make $20. Parkersburg, what the hell?
Then again, probably everybody in the town was at church. Parkersburg is a VERY conservative town, one that rejected an LGBTQ anti-discrimination ordinance on “religious grounds” and yet has at least two strip clubs within spitting distance of each other on the main drag. I know this, because Kampie and I stayed near one that weekend.
Classic Plastics, I love you, but your hometown is dumb.
So, a lesson for those of you who want to support local comic shows like Classic Plastics – GO ON SUNDAY. You’d be surprised at the new things that happen on Sundays at shows. Plus, it’s less crowded.
That’s all for today. I have to get back to KickStarter fulfillment and making commissions.
Thanks for reading!
You. Are. Awesome.
P.S. Enjoy this sign that was definitely on display near the Art Center elevator.
West Virginia Pop Culture Con happened August 26th and 27th, 2017.
Holy dang I took a while to finally write this out, didn’t I? It’s the start of the second week of October already.
Anyway! I was a bit nervous because I had never exhibited at this particular con before, and there was a lot of communications from the staff that appeared at the last minute. Like, I wasn’t 100% sure when set-up was until an email was sent the day before the event was set to start. Then, when I got there, I was moved to a new spot on the con floor because another artist decided to expand their set-up from one table to two, and overtook the one I was supposed to have.
However, the move worked out – I got situated next to super-cool-guy Travis, who helped watch my booth the few times I had to run to the restroom. (Comics buddy Dave Columbus also helped with that once or twice.) Plus, the booth right across from me had a Pride flag, so the folks who stopped by their booth for Pride gear saw my booth and the rainbow watercolor paintings I brought with me (those paintings are ones I talked about in the post about Parkersburg Pop Con). That helped boost sales a bit.
I also learned a thing or two about displaying my large prints that weekend – like having to reinforce the back with tape lacing through the gaps in the milk crates. Because yes, I use milk crates to display my prints… And pack my gear up to take to the show, as well as pack up at the end of the show.
Milk crates are GLORIOUS.
But back to the con – even though there was a bit of a mix-up figuring out where I was supposed to set up, the con staff was friendly and willing to help. They also helped me figure out a discount for staying at a local hotel, so that’s nice.
What surprised me was how popular my zines and mini-comics were. I was surprised because I forgot my spinner rack I use to display them, so I had to lay them flat on the table. In my experience, doing that meant fewer zine and minicomic sales. But not at this con! No, my zines and minicomics were my most popular items!
Even more surprising – Lazy Diana was popular!Lazy Diana is, as I pitch it at shows, “Paganism for Lazy People.” It’s a zine that talks about different aspects of Paganism and how they can be applied simply and lazily for everyday use. Because not everyone who wants to get into Paganism has the time to do an hour-and-a-half-long ritual two days after the first quarter moon, ok?
I was unsure how well this zine would be received, considering that the show was in West Virginia. But to my pleasant surprise, I had a family of practitioners buy Lazy Diana issues 1, 2, AND 3. Plus there were others who got some issues just out of an interest in the subject.
All told, by the end of two days, I made $398 in sales. Pretty. Darn. Awesome.
With that said, I am now fully caught up on blog posts talking about the conventions I’ve been to this year thus far! My next show (unless Champion City Comic Con pulls something off) will be at Genghis Con in Cleveland November 26th. The show runs from 2 pm to 7 pm. Mark your calendar, yo.