A2CAF – An AWESOME Time!

my table set up at the ann arbor comic arts festival on June 15, 2024. It's half of a table, sharing a space with Angie Coe

I just came back from the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, or A2CAF for short. And I had an AWESOME time!

Now, for clarity, two A2CAF events happen in a year: first is the A2CAF in June, which is for all ages and kids comics. The next is A2CAF: Small + Indie Press, which takes place in October.

It’s funny. I posted in last week’s update (about the Be Excellent Festival) that I thought of taking a break from cons. But I loved my time at A2CAF SO MUCH that I’m going to apply for their October show!

What made A2CAF so special? It’s hard to say in a broad or general sense. But here’s what made it magical for me.

First, there were only indie comics makers.

It felt like a compact, Midwest version of Small Press Expo or even a smaller Genghis Con Cleveland. The focus was only on comics creators. No toy dealers, anime shops, or comic collectors here. Everyone focused on the craft of making great stories with comics. And the panels focused on the creators and the craft of making great comics.

Second, the artists’ showcasing was curated – because the floor space was small.

Considering the size of the event floor, there could be no more than 50 tables. So the organizers had to be choosy about who could showcase and who needed to wait. (For context, the average artist alley of a comic con is a minimum of 100 tables. Often they go as high as 500. Awesome Con had about 500 to 700 tables in their artist alley.)

The size of the space did not hurt the show. I feel like it curated a more cozy atmosphere because patrons could take their time and wonder. It helps that it took place in the Ann Arbor District Library, which added to the cozy vibes.

Third, I got to meet FANTASTIC indie comics creators!

Many of them I knew through Discord servers, like Neil Brideau, Britt Monday, and Brandon Hawkins. Some I knew through their online work, like Lucy Bellwood. (I low-key geeked she mentioned telling folks my comic also had boats. Because it does!)

I even got autographs from two of my favorite comics creators: Vera Brosgol, who signed my copy of Anya’s Ghost. And Jen Wang, who signed my copy of The Prince and the Dressmaker! In truth, I’ve loved her work since Koko Be Good, but this book is now out of print. Which is sad because it’s SO DAMN GOOD.

Also, I got to see Jessi Zabarsky, an old classmate of mine from my college alum! I got her graphic novel, Coming Back, while I was there. If you haven’t read her work before, read Witchlight and her Instagram bunny comics.

During the show, I even got to meet artists with cool work whom I never read before! Folks like Narciso Espiritu, Sean Peacock (aka All Sorrows), Angie Coe, and Kaylee Rowena. There were also a lot of folks I didn’t get the chance to see, but I could tell the work had quality to it. It’s unlike walking down an artist alley at a pop culture con, I can tell you that much.

So if I liked A2CAF so much, does this mean I’m not quitting the convention circuit?

No.

I’m quitting pop culture and comic cons – except for RathaCon, because the staff are fantastic there and they support indie voices. But I’m done going to comic cons. They overcharge their table fees, focus too much on celebrities, are too expensive to lodge at and treat comics as a collectible novelty, not an art form or storytelling medium.

So instead of beating my head against the comicon wall, I’m sticking to zine fests, art fests, and expos for the time being. Also, these sorts of venues are a lot more friendly to queer people like me.

My next in-person appearance is at Dragon’s Roost Coffee and Games for Free RPG Day! It’s in Holland, OH on June 22. I’m hoping to debut a new one-page RPG at this event, so I hope to see you there.

Can’t make it? Sign up for the newsletter so you can get that free RPG as a download!

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

You. Are. Awesome.

How Did the Be Excellent Festival of Games Go?

my artist alley table at the be excellent festival of games in sylvania, OH 2024

So the Be Excellent Festival of Games happened on Saturday. How did it go?

Well…it was quiet for the first half of the day. It didn’t pick up until the second half. In talking with the other vendors, it made me wonder what the staff’s strategy was to get the word out about this event. This wasn’t the first show I visited that lacked attendees but charged $80 per vendor table.

For context, Genghis Con in Cleveland opened for applications and happens in December this year. They’re charging $70 for a full table and regularly turn out 4 to 5 times the attendance that Be Excellent Does.

Now, I know this is Be Excellent’s second year as a convention. And this is “post-pandemic.” But it does make me wonder about the longevity of some shows, especially local ones.

So there’s the issue of smaller attendance numbers. But there’s also my body.

The day after Be Excellent, I lost my voice for half of the day and was too worn out to do much of anything. This is very different from before. I used to be able to do three or four conventions in a month and, while rough, I still was ok.

Now? I’m pooped after one event that had no customers until 3 hours into the show.

I think it’s time I start to phase out of doing conventions.

Whether that means taking up a “day job,” or putting more eggs in online sales, commissions, gallery shows, etc – I need to stop doing conventions. It’s funny because pre-pandemic, I had serious thoughts of retiring from cons. Now, I think it’s time to start acting on that plan.

I’m going to be sad about this for a bit. Because conventions were a big part of how I made an income pre-pandemic. But the world has changed, so I need to do the same.

I’m still going to the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Fest and the Free RPG Day event. And if I get into Genghis Con, I will honor that. But I need to respect my body more.

Speaking of Ann Arbor, you can find me this upcoming weekend – June 15 and 16 – at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival! I still have Caticorn prints and lots of stickers and books available, so be sure to stop by my table.

I still had fun at the Be Excellent Festival! It helped that my roommate and buddy Alex was with me. And also I saw a lot of friends and hung out with some very cool neighboring vendors. Would I do it again next year? Probably not. I need to be kinder to my energy.

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

You. Are. Awesome.

A Caticorn Girl Poster From Start to Finish

Today I’m drawing a Caticorn Girl poster! Let’s see the process from start to finish.

Why a Caticorn? Because it’s Junicorn! (It’s an art challenge to draw unicorns. I don’t have the bandwidth to draw daily, but I can draw a caticorn!)

⭐ Join my email newsletter.

💜 Leave a tip on Ko-fi

🖌️ For commissions, head over to my Commissions Trello board.

🎨 Tools Used:

Music by Kevin MacLeod

Video Editing – Olive Video Editor

Drawing Program – Clip Studio Paint

👏 THANK YOU TO MY CLUB SUBSCRIBERS! 👏

To get your name added to this list, join one of my clubs.

  • magicalgirlkyra
  • All Unka
  • Raiden
  • Ella Q
  • Andrew Balch
  • Adam Vazquez
  • Maya Smith
  • Pat Jade
  • JessicaMcIntosh
  • RPZ
  • Bryce Bargar
  • Heidi Allison
  • Saphronia Maple
  • GustyBV
  • Cakes
  • Isaiah Broussard Art
  • C McClain
  • Rainer Kannenstine

And thank YOU for watching!

You. Are. Awesome.

DRAG…onball – Dragonball Z Characters in Drag!

I’m drawing Dragonball characters in drag for the funzies. JOIN ME!

Look, anybody who knows me, knows I love Dragonball and Dragonball Z. And I also love drawing people in over-the-top costumes, including drag. So in this stream, I’m combining both of my loves and drawing Dragonball/Z characters in drag.

The LIVE STREAM BINGO CARDS are available for free download on Ko-fi.

⭐ Join my email newsletter.
💜 Leave a tip!
😎 Find me online.

💬 ALL OF MY WEBCOMICS are listed here.

🎨 Tools Used:
Streaming: Streamyard
Drawing Program: Clip Studio Paint

👏 THANK YOU TO MY CLUB SUBSCRIBERS! 👏
To get your name added to this list, join one of my clubs on Ko-fi or the Fan Club page!

  • magicalgirlkyra
  • All Unka
  • Raiden
  • Ella Q
  • Andrew Balch
  • Adam Vazquez
  • Maya Smith
  • Pat Jade
  • JessicaMcIntosh
  • RPZ
  • Bryce Bargar
  • Heidi Allison
  • Saphronia Maple
  • GustyBV
  • Cakes
  • Isaiah Broussard Art
  • C McClain
  • Rainer Kannenstine

And thank YOU for watching!
You. Are. Awesome.

Godzilla and King Kong in Booty Shorts? It’s on Crowdfundr!

Godzilla and King Kong smile while in booty shorts that sparkle.

AHHH! IT’S GODZILLA! AND KING KONG! And they’re…in BOOTY SHORTS?!

WHY??

Oh boy, buckle up.

So Godzilla’s booty happened because, at last year’s Small Press Expo, there was a cartoonist party at Fantom Comics in DC. During that party, folks set up a jam comic – basically a sheet of craft paper the size of a table, so artists could draw a comic one panel at a time.

At that party, our group made Godzilla and the Toe. It involved Godzilla, well-drawn feet, booty shorts, and beaches.

And King Kong?

Well, I had to draw Godzilla with a buddy! Especially during one of my YouTube Livestreams, where I drew these two for your viewing pleasure.

I had also been low-key inspired by nerdile art, who appeared at Animarathon this year with Magical Girl Godzilla stickers. I got one, fell in love, and needed to make something just as silly.

What better silly thing to make than a joke that came out during a cartoonist party?

So there! We now have Godzilla and King Kong having a great, booty-ful time. And now…I want to make holographic stickers of them! Because these booties need to sparkle.

So why run a campaign at all? To see how many folks want these fat-bottomed Kaiju sticking on every available surface so they can share their joy!

You tell me how many stickers you want. I’ll tally up the total orders by the end of the campaign, send what’s needed to Stickerapp, and then they’ll send me the stickers. From there, I’ll mail out everyone’s orders with a custom card and my thanks (I’ll keep the glitter to a minimum).

WHEN

This campaign will take orders until May 24 at 11:59 pm!

You only have a few days! So grab these Kaiju cheeks now while you can!

Broke? Share this campaign far and wide! Sharing is caring and helps a lot. (I also cannot be held responsible if you disappoint Godzilla AND King Kong, you mad lads.)

That’s all for now. Thank you for your time and support!

You. Are. Awesome.