Monday, March 17, 2014

Post-Con Debrief 2014

No cats were harmed at the show as far as I know.
Planet Comicon 2014 is in the books. I'd like to say I conquered the con, that I ruled over all but I didn't. I had a great time, sold some stuff for the first time in years and talked to a bunch of really incredible people.

All in all it was a damn good time.

So let's break it down, shall we?

THE EXPERIENCE

Overall, I was in a great place in the hall and surrounded by terrific people. The food options were much better because there were more of them. Lots and lots of space in the aisles so that even when traffic peaked there was room to move. Hundreds of excellent cosplayers (who I elected not to photograph this year) that I won't comment on except to say I appreciate the amount of work they all put into it.

One weird moment was when I was stopped by a congoer who asked me if I worked for the con. No, I said, I'm in Artists Alley. Oh, you just looked like you were someone in charge.

One great moment was meeting James Robinson and getting him to sign my copy of the first Starman Omnibus and the collected Four Devils, One Hell. Another great moment was telling Greg Rucka just how much a conversation we had the first time he was in KC meant to me. He seemed genuinely touched by that. The best part of the entire con was that I was paid to be a writer.

Here's what happened day by day:



FRIDAY

Justice came to Artists Alley.
Got to the show early with my son and nabbed good parking. We were escorted to the hall, checked in and were at my table with an hour to spare. 


My neighbors were super nice people, especially the guys from Stache Publishing. Anthony and David and everyone is so enthusiastic about what they’re doing it’s infectious. In the same pod of tables were Kevin Dillmore and Dayton Ward along with Elizabeth Bunce. So, yeah, great company of writers there. 


Everyone was buzzing, ready for the action. However since this was the first Friday ever for Planet Comicon, I didn’t know what to expect. Traffic was light and interested but nothing really popped. I had time to walk around a little, touch base with my friends and new acquaintances and do a bit of shopping. I was pleased to score a near mint copy of the Treasury Edition of Jack Kirby’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Been looking for that one for years and passed up many lesser quality/more expensive copies in that time. 


Friday ended up with very slow sales but a lot of contact. Selling words only at a comic book convention was a little harder than I thought. 


SATURDAY

I woke up and found some increased traffic on the blog here overnight. I hoped that meant that people were at least checking things out. Maybe that would mean some sales. Off I went back to nerd prom.


I got to the show only minutes before it opened. I decided that I wouldn’t take very many (if any) pictures of cosplayers because I didn’t want to slow things up around my table. I ended up taking two, though: ALF and The Lone Ranger. I did compliment several of the cosplayers as they stopped and talked to me. The Lego people and the Sesame Street Martians were among my favorites. 



L to R: Ande Parks, Elizabeth Bunce, Alex Grecian, Holly
Messinger and me. Missing: Paul Kupperberg
I talked to even more people, sold several copies of both Prospects and The Masking Job and then sold my first ever commissioned flash fiction. Several friends stopped by and hung out (hello Jack, Richard, Alecia, Amanda, Gabe, Ron, Jessica, and Mike!) and I met the wonderful Ellie Ann who one can’t help but like. I’m buying her book The Silver Sickle today. Check it out. My editor, Sara, stopped by and came to the panel I was on about genre prose. Lots of good questions and information changed hands. You should have come.


At the end of the show, Rob and Katy Schamberger took me out for the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten. When I finally got home after driving through some heavy rain I was wiped out and collapsed into bed.



SUNDAY

My wife let me sleep in late and I arrived an hour after the show opened on Sunday. I settled in at the table after having a nice chat with Holly Messinger (who’s got a great idea for next year, stay tuned!) and was prepared to do some reading, a bit of writing and a lot of visiting. 


Sunday was my best day. I sold everything but the best part was having the interest in my Velocity Readouts. The first one I got was the biggest challenge but all of them were tons of fun. Traffic picked up around 1 and was steady, steady, steady until almost 4, even after the Trektacular thing started. 


It was the most fun I’ve ever had at a con. Everyone was in a great mood and really open to wanting some good words. I watched faces light up as they read what I’d written for them and that made me realize I really want to be a writer for a livng. I’m coming back next year for sure.


CONCLUSIONS

Better than last year. Maybe the best show ever in KC, I can't say for sure. Still some hiccups in some small details that I'll share privately with my contacts but I hope the organizers institute a sexual harassment policy sooner than later. Not that anything bad happened but I overheard a couple of women talking about creepers who were asking how old they were. Even though the ladies were competent to handle the creepers themselves, there should be a con policy so that there's a process everyone knows about. Planet Comicon is a terrific show and deserves to have the best reputation.

There's not a lot to criticize here. The show ran very smoothly, was great to be at and overall is wonderful. Thanks to the staff who I interacted with, especially Kirk Chritton, and I hope you all get a week to rest up. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and checked out my writing. Thanks to Christina, Chris, Lyle, Matt & Megan and everyone who commissioned a Velocity Readout. I love you all.

What a long ramble. But it was a big show. Come next year and see how cool it is for yourself.

1 comment:

Melissa Stephenson said...

Sounds like you had an awesome weekend and...you sold EVERYTHING?! Good for you :)