I just got home from Portland, Maine… home of the Maine Comic Arts Festival (MeCAF). The day long art/comic show is run by Rick Lowell over at Casablanca Comics and I have to tell you, it is an awesome show. I missed the opening night reception for my godson’s Christening… but seeing as how I really liked Portland I’m sure it was a great time.
It was held at the Portland Company Complex, which is right on the water and had the feel of an old shipyard building. It was the perfect size (or so it seemed) for the event. I’m a little leery about local shows because they are generally geared towards kids, and this was no exception. If you are familiar with my books, at least until Bulderlyns comes out, then you know why I’m leery. However, within the first ten minutes I had a great talk with an aspiring artist and he just opened the floodgates. It didn’t stop until about a half hour or so before the show closed. Everyone of the guests was really nice, obviously loved comics or art and was great to talk to.
It’s hard for me to leave my table, especially when I’m by myself, so pictures of the event itself are at a minimum. And I don’t get to speak to as many creators as I’d like – usually just my neighbors. I did have a few good talks with other creators who didn’t have tables at the show, but were there supporting.
I went down the street to what I guess is downtown Portland for dinner with a mission – lobster. I chose a place on the water that wasn’t too fancy, because in my experience these places always have better food. It was my first lobster roll and it was awesome. Can’t wait to head back…
After an epic road trip, Zsombor and I finally made it to Chicago for C2E2. We stayed right on the lake, at Michigan and Harrison, so we had the pleasure of seeing a bit of Chicago at night. And, other than the let down of deep dish pizza, I have to say that I was very impressed with the entire show and the city. Because of the space of the hall, I think I would have to give it the nod over NYCC as my favorite con. The people are great at both, interested and knowledgeable about comics (not just pop culture – which is what a lot of these cons have become). NYCC will always take a hit because the main hall is divided in two and artist alley is in a completely separate corridor. C2E2 doesn’t have this problem, at all. The layout is almost perfect. And Zsombor and I got a great table in Artist Alley… across from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmioti (great and talented people), the SpeciMen guys (awesome guys) and the folks at Yeti Press (another good group of dudes) – all of whom actually do comics, not nonsensical pop culture art.
We even got to meet a bunch of Kickstarter backers for R.E.M. as well as more than a handful of new faces. It was a fun show and I can’t wait to go back.
Zsombor with BumbleBee
Ryan with Jigsaw
with Decapitated Dan, the most prolific comics journalist out there.
After a few months on the road, to Los Angeles to produce a film, then to AwesomeCon in D.C., C2E2 in Chicago and a bachelor party in Vegas – I am finally back on my home turf of New York. Since I was actually working most of the time, I don’t have a tremendous amount of photos from the conventions… but I do have some.
Below are a few from AwesomeCon, which was held in Washington, D.C. It was fun, but ultimately this convention was more of a pop culture thing than a comics convention. And we didn’t have the best table – stuck right next to a guy selling grumpy cat artwork. If you weren’t familiar with the type of books I create, they couldn’t be further from pop culture humor and anyone that would walk past a grumpy cat booth and cackle.
If you’re in the Washington, DC area this weekend, swing by Awesome Con and say hello to myself and Zsombor Huszka. We’ll be in Artist Alley at Table M8 all weekend. We’ll have copies of R.E.M., Harbor Moon, promo issues of Chasing Rabbits, art prints and t-shirts. Treat yourself to some good times!
Awesome Con takes place April 18 – 20, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
I actually told them that I didn’t have just one tip, there was a lot that went into it. But the thing I try to bring to everything I do is a personal touch. Going the extra mile and making sure everyone knows that I appreciate their support, no matter how big or small, is important.
Two years ago, I was contacted by Goodreads because Harbor Moon had made it to some sort of finalist round for Graphic Novel of the Year. I realize that book came out in April and had most of the year to pick up steam (and actually have people read it)… but I’m asking for you to get out and rock the vote on R.E.M.!
If you don’t have a Goodreads account, no sweat (but it’s a cool site that lets you chart your reading). For those of you who do, and who have backed the Kickstarter and received (and hopefully enjoyed) the book… please show some love.
What you have to do is follow this link and ‘write-in’ for ‘R.E.M.’ (you’ll see it as one of the choices once you type in R.E.M. ), then click vote. It’s that easy.
I have gotten the advice not to exhibit until you have multiple books. That having one comic is too soon, and in most cases you won’t cover your costs.
I can say that this advice is fairly accurate after three years of doing conventions. At first I was going with just Harbor Moon. Although I wasn’t making my money back, I convinced myself that it was necessary to get the word out about the book. And I always kept telling myself, wait until you have more and more books…
And this past weekend was my first convention with multiple books – and it was a whole different experience. The traction at the table was great. If someone didn’t think Harbor Moon was their cup of tea, they responded well to R.E.M. – and vice versa. Since I’m not the most outgoing person around, what always seemed like a mountain too high to climb (pitching people)… became fun.
As you can see though – I ignored this advice for the first two years. Why? Because I only had one book. And there was no other way for me to get the word out then go with one book. Also, it helped me refine my pitch on the book, figure out what is best to present at cons and what isn’t… and also get to meet the people I am trying to connect with – comic fans.
Taking a break from some ‘R.E.M.’ artwork to bring you… more ‘R.E.M.’ artwork. That’s not totally true – it includes a few projects. It is the sketch of the banner we are putting together for NY Comic-con.
This will be 80″ tall and 24″ or 31″ wide. And it is going to be pretty awesome.
The idea was a group effort. Dmitry ‘Lemon5ky’ Dubrovin had done a pretty awesome piece of promo artwork for Orange Lif3 (which is looking good and I can’t wait to share with all of you – just translating all the chapters). I pitched Zsombor on doing something similar. He had two ideas in return – but I pushed him to do this version and he even told me today that he made the right choice. I cannot wait to see this thing inked/colored.
It’s been about a month since my last post. Besides Christmas and New Years, I had some personal things happen to me since then. On New Year’s Eve I got t-boned by some jerk in a hurry. I somehow walked away with nothing but a headache for a few days, but my car wasn’t so lucky. Being just outside the city on Long Island, you absolutely need a car to get around… and what followed and continues is a constant, full-time job of dealing with insurance companies, sleezy used car salesmen, mechanics and a lot of hours at the computer researching used cars in my price range (which was very low). I’m back behind the wheel finally and things are getting back to normal. Kind of. I’m going to have to go to small claims court to get any out of pocket expenses from this guy. Unfortunately I can’t sue for the time lost at life.
I hope to be back to posting regularly next week. There are plenty of updates on R.E.M., Bulderlyns, Chasing Rabbits, White Space (although I can’t really talk about them yet – but it is going well) and my next film, Lunatic. I need to post my top 10 films of 2012 (taking into account this accident and how it screwed up my ability to see some end of the year movies), as well as my company year end recap.