Monday, March 31, 2008

Zombie Con 2008 Report

Wow! It's a bit dusty in here as it's been a while since I've posted. Hopefully, this is a start of more regular updates.

This past weekend, I was invited by Mark Bowers to attend the inaugural (one day) Zombie Con at the Clarion Hotel in Greensboro, NC. This con was the first convention of the season for me and was a particularly odd fit because I don't do a zombie comic or even a horror comic. Warmageddon is pretty much strictly a sword and sorcery (without the sorcery)/ fantasy comic. What about Zombie City? Well yes, there is a Zombie City in Warmageddon, but to date we haven't really explored it much. In preparation for Zombie Con, I pulled out a zombie print that I colored a while back that was drawn by Josh Ross and I had a new display banner made (see left). With that and my usual cache of comics and merchandise, I was ready to go.

Greensboro is only about an hour away from my palatial estate in Durham and the con began at 9:30, so I was up and on the road by 7:30 am. I hit the local Wally World for some con snacks and drinks (I never ever ever eat the overly expensive con food). After the stop at Wally World, I hit the road. I was in Greensboro and all set up by 9:30.

After meeting Mark Bowers, the first person to my table was Mark Carter. Mark is a surrealist fantasy painter who is seeing increasingly more interest in his work in the world of tattoo art. We had a nice discussion about art, commerce, and finding your niche for about an hour between his table and mine. It's always good to make new connections in and about the world of comics and fantasy art.

Speaking of making connections, shortly after finishing up my discussion with Mark, I headed back to my table. At my table I ran into Brett of Brett's Comic Pile. Brett is one of the co-owner's of the Virginia Comicon in Richmond, VA. He's been nice enough to invite me up twice which is always nice. If you are in the area, then check out the Virginia Comicon.

Business at these small one day cons isn't huge, but I received a consistent flow of traffic and sold a decent amount of comics and prints. Actually, I sold a lot more comics than I expected. As a result of this con, I'm going to have to need to do a short second printings on all Warmageddon Quarterly issues*.

The family (with our new addition,Eli**) showed up around 12:30. They stayed until near 3:00. This was just enough time for all the kids (and Deanne [my SO]) to wipe out all profit made and for the littlest one (Nesta) to attempt to get himself lost.

I made my rounds of the convention after the first dealer began tearing down his set-up (around 3:30) and spent some more of my profits on the Young Avengers hardcovers (I'm a sucker for hardcovers). By 4:15, I was back at the table and began to call it a day. I was packed up and out the door by 4:30 and home no later than 5:45.

All in all, it was a good time. Where else do you get to see people pay to beat a zombie, girls from a burlesque show, buy stuff for the entire family, and walk away for $7.00 more than you started with? I have very low expectations for local hotel conventions, so being able to walk away with a profit (of any type) is a boon. These cons (for me) are more about building my brand and local goodwill. Despite, not having much zombie material, I'm very happy with Zombie Con 2008 and hope it returns next year.

* My plan is to launch the new Warmageddon title (WARMAGEDDON) to replace Warmageddon Quarterly, but as of this con, I don't have enough stock left to get me from point A to point B, so I will be working on a short run of each issue in order to last through this convention season.

** Eli is my 12-year old nephew. He spent his Spring Break with us and will be returning to live with us permanently this summer. We have to increase the size of our palatial estate before Eli can join us.