Tag Archives: local comic conventions

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My First Year of Classic Plastics Toy And Comic Expo

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classic plastics toy and comic expo 2018

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.

classic plastics toy and comic expo artist alley table

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.)

kampie and kelci
A semi-rare look at my own face. Photo courtesy of Kampie.

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.

classic plastics funny elevator sign

2

To T-Shirt or Not to T-Shirt

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Back then I had this shirt available. Not anymore.

At RathaCon this year there was a guy who worked as a T-shirt printer who came up to my table. I took a second to get some feedback from him about potential T-shirt designs.

The thing is, the most popular request I get for a T-shirt is, “Do you have the T-Rex Sissy Fight as a shirt?”

I did, once upon a time, when I still had a RedBubble account. I deleted my account for a few reasons, but mostly because I wasn’t making money on that site, and I like being in charge of my own printing and taking the products with me to conventions.

However, T-shirts are something I don’t want to print from home because the equipment is 1) huge, and 2) expensive. But if I DID get T-Shirts made, I wanted them on hand, again, to sell at conventions. So I’ve been on the lookout for T-shirt printers, but only in passing.

Anyway, I asked this guy if he could print T-Rex Sissy Fight T-shirts with the colors in the image.

Because here’s the thing – mass-produced T-shirts typically use screen-printing or a method of printing that only uses one or two colors. It’s easier to replicate onto fabric that way. BUT the image I have of the T-Rex Sissy Fight is not that at all. It would require a more sophisticated version of heat transferring, to transfer the image onto the fabric, which tends to get pricey.

What this dude said surprised me.

He said, “The T-Rex Sissy Fight may get more interest, because it IS nerdy, but it won’t sell. But THIS,” to which he pointed at my Dia de la Gata card, “this would be more worthwhile to pursue. You would sell the hell out of that design.”

(This card is available to purchase on Storenvy if you’re interested)

I can see where he’s coming from. When he pointed out my la Gata card as being the better T-shirt design, he was thinking of what would be easier to sell at places like Rue 21 or Wal-Mart, or other places where T-shirt designs are ubiquitous.

And yeah, la Gata would probably sell well in those kinds of markets.

But making art for t-shirts…is that what I want to do?

It’s kind of the same dilemma that hit my buddy Thom Hotka, creator of Nextuus, in this video:

There was also a piece of advice I got from my Intro to Entrepreneurship instructor when I was still in college. We were given the assignment of thinking of a business, and one of his rules was “Do NOT pitch a T-shirt company. Everyone wants to start one and the market is oversaturated with people making T-shirts in their dorm rooms. Think of something else.”

There is truth to that statement. At every convention I go to there is, at minimum, three T-shirt vendors, or people who have a main line of products who also have T-shirts. Even at small shows like Intervention Con.

Do I really want to include T-shirts in my line, given how ubiquitous they are, and how expensive they are to make and store?

I don’t know. I’m still thinking this through. Let me know what you think down in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.