It’s Tuesday afternoon. And I’m freaking out just a little. Because in four days, I’m flying up to Seattle for Emerald City Comicon. The reason I’m freaking out (just a little) is not because of the travel (which I love) or the city (which I love) or the convention (which should be awesome), but because even though I’ve attended many comic book shows before, this is the first major one at which I’m actually holding down a table. Pretty much by myself. For two days.
Actually, I’m excited. I know a lot of people who will be up there, though most of them I’ve only dealt with over the internet, including Denis Caron, Stephen Downer, Sven Straatveit and Jason Copland, who will be joining me at our little Pop! Goes the Icon table in Artist Alley on Saturday to hang out, sign stuff and help give away two pages of his original art from the first issue of Omega Comics Presents.
But the only show I’ve tabled thus far was the Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival, which is relatively small (1200 attendees), and was only five hours. I decided to forego bigger shows such as San Diego Comic-Con this year in lieu of more intimate (or at least, not four-day blowouts) venues such as ECCC and Long Beach Comic-Con. But still, ECCC is pretty huge, and I’ll have to be all cheery and approachable behind a table for two full days, something I haven’t done since I worked in retail — and that was a long time ago.
And as I’ll be in Artist Alley, people might expect, I dunno, sketches or something. And I’ve already had requests from folks attending for sketches. I gives me performance anxiety. And I would just pull the “I’m a writer” card, but everyone knows I also draw the comics I write, so I can’t really fairly do that. And sitting next to Jason, who’s a for-real artist, well, it has me a bit antsy.
But the main reason for my mini-freak-out, aside from still not having all my materials prepared and dreading how many supplies I’ll have to load into the luggage I don’t own yet, is whether or not I’ll sell enough comics to justify the huge expense of flying both Sara and I to Seattle, staying in a downtown hotel for three nights, and paying hundreds of dollars for space and power at the convention. Due to distribution fuck-ups with the first issue of OCP, I HAVE to count on convention sales to turn a profit on this thing and get my creators paid. So I’m being optimistic and bringing a bunch more copies than I think I’ll sell. But what if over the course of two days I don’t sell diddly? Is it because I’m a bad salesperson? Or because the product quality isn’t there? See why my nerves are a little wracked?
Of course, I’m sure things will go smoothly. And I’ll have a good time meeting new people, seeing old friends and generally hanging out in one of my favorite U.S. cities. But still: nervous.
If you live in Seattle or plan to attend the show, PLEASE come visit me at Artist Alley booth M-12. In addition to the first issue of the well-reviewed OCP #1, I’ll also have bargains on The Utopian #s 1 and 2, as well as free swag. And I’ll draw you a sketch if you ask nicely. So long as it’s not a car.