Wednesday, April 18, 2012

C2E2: Friday Report!

Yup. It’s that time again. C2E2 has come and gone. Last year, C2E2 became my first comic convention that I actually participated in. It was a great show, and Star Crossed Galaxy and Twilight Pop Productions had a huge turnout. As for me, I was a rookie looking to drink all the knowledge and experience everyone else had to offer. This year, I was a little more seasoned. I had a better booth, more freebies and more products to sell.

It all started on Friday morning. I didn’t sleep a wink the night before. I was nervous about oversleeping and missing the train. I also couldn’t stop thinking about if I had packed enough supplies for the show. After convincing myself that I was just fine, I ate a half a bowl of raisin bran, showered up and headed off to the train. Last year I went with my pal Andy, which made the trip go by rather quickly. This year I was going solo, and without my i-pod. I was pretty screwed. Fortunately, I was sitting next to a pretty cool guy and we chatted most of the way up.

Eventually I made it into Chicago, and though I was not quite as idealistically enamored by the large cityscape as I was last year, I was equally overwhelmed. I was looking for Graham Cracker Comics which had a shuttle pick up just outside the building. I was told that Graham Cracker Comics was right across the street of Millennium Station. Of course, being in the big ass city all by your lonesome gets a tad intimidating. I ended up walking the totally wrong way, but by the time I realized I was going the opposite direction, I noticed the Sheraton Hotel was in sight. I stayed there last year, so I knew they had a shuttle pick up right outside the hotel. I figured heading that way was a better alternative to doubling back and searching for a comic shop that I have never been to. On my way to the Sheraton, some guy attempted to con me twice. Fortunately, I’m no sucker. I know a bullshit story when I hear one. It was actually kind of funny the second time he tried to con me, because it was only a minute or two after the first attempt. Either way, I was headed to the shuttle and nothing could stop me from getting there.

After arriving at the station, I went to my hotel room, which was attached to the convention center. A little advice, never stay at the hotel that is attached to the convention center. This trip became so expensive there was no way I was making a profit. My fault for procrastinating on a hotel. Anyways, I ended up getting lost trying to find my hotel, because McCormick is frigging huge! Seriously, it was like walking around the Citadel in Mass Effect. Actually, it kind of looked that at times too. Anyways, I finally checked in, got to my hotel room and unpacked. My initial plan was to check in and eat some lunch before heading down to the show floor. Sadly, getting lost in Chicago set me back a whole hour, and it was time to get to the show. I had to forego lunch for today.

At long last I made it to the show floor. I set my booth up and got know my neighbors. Antonio, Elvin, Bryan, you guys were awesome. All three were fantastic artists and awesome neighbors. I have been very fortunate that both of my C2E2 experiences have been with great neighbors. I hate the inevitability of one day having crappy ones. Either way, Friday was kind of a slow day. Not many sales or a whole lot of interest. Though there was this funny rumor that Shia Labeouf of Transformers and Indiana Jones 4 was there selling his comic in artist alley. Yeah, right. We got that dude who played Boomer in the old school Battlestar Galactica signing autographs, but a rising Hollywood pet managed to sneak into artist alley unnoticed? Give me a break. It was nothing but a goofy rumor that would soon become an urban legend. Most everyone discredited it because most people said they heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy.

I was starting to get bogged down in the weakness of Friday. I decided to take a trip around artist alley and introduce myself to the other artists. I ran into my old neighbors Stephen Bryant, Jeremy Dale, and Dave Crosland. It was great seeing all of them once again. I also ran into Enrica Jang, a fellow writer and editor working on an anthology dedicated to William Shakespeare (submission is incoming, I swear!). I also ran into a few newbies, Sean Bishop and Gabriela Sepulveda. Sean was selling his first comic, The Freeloader which is a very charming and fun little comic. Gabriela was selling her paintings and taking commissions. It was their first shows so I was interested in checking in and looking out for them. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that I was in the same position. Big congratulations to both of you. I met so many great people over the weekend I have actually lost track of who and when I met them. In fact, I could dedicate a whole post to the great people I met up at C2E2 (which I may actually do).

Anyway, the show winded down. Friday turned out to be a horrifically bad day for me in terms of sales, but in terms of networking, it was excellent. Now that the first day was done, my number 1 priority was to get some gorram food. I had been awake for more than 36 straight hours with only a half bowl of cereal to sustain through the day. Fortunately, the hotel was just a brisk walk away from the show floor. I met with my dad and my little brother as they were just entering the hotel. My little brother loves comic cons, so I invited them up to the show for the weekend. We headed up to our hotel room. I was so dizzy that I fell getting off the elevator. Turns out that not eating anything for a whole day while running around near constantly has a bad effect on the body. Who knew? Anyways, we ordered some pizza a buffalo wings, watched the Red Wings game (in Chicago no less), and then I passed out near instantly. All in all, it was a good first day. But this was just the beginning...

PS: The picture above is a shot of my booth on Friday. It really sucked but it got as the weekend progressed.

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