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.

Coming Up Next: Marietta Comic and Creator Convention

marietta comic and creator con announcement graphic

The Marietta Comic and Creator Convention sprang up (at least partially) as a result of River City Comic Con getting canceled this year – the organizer of River City fell ill. This is, in fact, the first year that the Marietta Comic and Creator Convention even exists!

The show will be at the Lafayette Hotel on August 12. The show will run from 10 am to 5 pm. And I’ll be there showcasing my work! (Here’s the link to the Facebook event page for more info.)

There’s some new things to keep an eye out for:

  • There’s a new Mr. Dino & Friends print! (It’s also available on Storenvy)
  • Sketch cards are marked down to $1 – I’m trying to clear these babies out!
  • The Box of Clearance Original Art debuted at the Pop Culture Buy Sell Trade Show in Vienna, WV, and will make another appearance at this Marietta Show. Everything in the box is marked to $5.
  • There will be crafts on the table – wrist cuffs, a tablet case, and paper bead bracelets are included. The tablet case is $10, the other crafts are $7.
  • I will draw caricatures (if you ask) – they’re $5 for each person and take less than 5 minutes to do. (Due to space, I cannot offer group caricatures.)

Usually this is where I offer free sketch cards to those who attend the show, but I’m not going to this time. The reason I have sketch cards marked down to $1 is because there were folks who didn’t show up to claim their card at previous shows. These cards need new homes.

Oh! The Case of the Wendigo is back in stock. Huzzah!

However, for the next few days, Charlie & Clow is out of stock.

Why? Well, I made a consignment deal with New Dimension Comics and they cleared out my current stock of Charlie & Clow. I placed the rush-order in to get more copies, so hopefully they’ll arrive before Marietta Comic and Creator Con happens.

And before I forget, I updated the Shop list – there’s new stores carrying my comics and zines!

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

You. Are. Awesome.

Comics & Coasters at Kennywood Comicon

kennywood comicon artist alley table 2018

This past Sunday, June 17, was not just Father’s Day, but also Kennywood Comicon. Yep, a comicon was held in an amusement park.

It was pretty cool, not gonna lie.

kennywood comicon skyline 2018

The way the show was set up this year, though, had the artists situated in a picnic pavilion tucked behind the elephant ear booth. It was great to get shade and the occasional breeze. However, we were just tucked away enough that cosplayers by the lagoon had to direct traffic back to us.

Which, holy banana pants, kudos to those cosplayers. It was sunny, humid, and over 90 degrees, and the cosplayers were in full Star Wars and Spiderman/Deadpool get-up. How they did NOT die is a testament to how well con staff treats folks.

I also need to give a big shout-out to my comics buddy and patron on Patreon, Dave. He helped cover for food and helped me carry my con gear back to my car at the end of the day. Thank you so much, Dave!

(I’ll go ahead and take this time to let you know that Dave now has a Patreon page of his own. If you like data graphs showing the methods of dying in the Star Trek original show, or illuminated manuscripts of the Holy Hand Grenade speech from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, get thee to his Patreon page!)

On the upside, sales from Kennywood Comicon DID help make up for the loss I took from Put-N-Play the weekend before. The downside is, not by a whole lot.

That’s partially why I have commission pre-orders open. For folks who are attending my next show on June 24, Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburgh, I’ll draw a black-and-white, full-body commission of a character of your choice for $25. You just need to email me (kelci@kelcidcrawford.com) to get started. If you’re on my email list, you already know all about this, because I just sent an email out yesterday announcing this pre-order sale.

There’s also a couple of appearances I’m set to do on June 23, the day before the zine fest!

Appearance #1 is Punk, Comics, and Feminism: A Discussion Group at The Big Idea Bookstore at 5 pm. It’s free for everybody to attend.

Appearance #2, at 7 pm that same day, I’m doing a live reading of my comic Johnson & Sir at the Feminist Zine Fest Pittsburgh Zine Reading. That will be at the Irma Freeman Center, also free to attend.

I hope to see you in at least one of these appearances!

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

You. Are. Awesome.