15 October 2007
This expo was huge. Massive. Fun.... though I've never experienced being punched in the face by B.O, until this show. Some people really needed some Lynx Deodorant.
Some of the comicbook stalls. To the left was Minotaur, while to the right was Phosphorescent & LAC.
I shared a table with Darren Close (Publisher of Killeroo), who helped me with my sanity by having someone to chat to about comicbooks - because to our right was a StarTrek stand. Enough said. I also dragged Colin Wilson in for a chat behind our table.
The times I wasn't selling my books, I was inking my 'asteroid' double-page spread that i began a few weeks ago (2 posts down this page).
David & Philip's table with some traffic.
Jason Franks & Gary Lau were there selling their respective range of books. These guys are two of the friendliest comicbook authors you'll meet.
Henry Pop (Artist of The List). A guy who loves the starkness of black ink on white paper as much as I do.
The friendliest & hardest working Melbourne publisher David Cunning (with wife Lauren), were at the very impressive Local Act Comics booth. It was full (I mean FULL) of comicbooks & related material of local (and current) comicbook authors. LAC's only been around for a short time, but David's published more authors than the Australian comics scene has seen in a long while.
Ok, so onto what I thought of the show in relation to 'comicbooks'...
The problem (that I found as an independent comibook seller) was that the focus (or lack-thereof) of the Expo, was far too broad to work for a little fish like me. The theme was basically 'Pop-culture & Entertainment' which produced a hodge-podge of wrestling, video games, comics, tv shows, board games, yadda, yadda, yadda. If it could be entertaining - it was there. It was certainly a lot of fun (don't get me wrong) - but from a self-publisher's standpoint, it required more effort to get people's attention, & consequently make the event profitable. (ie. I earnt roughly the same amount at this 2-day Armageddon expo that I did at mid-year's Doujicon 1-day expo.) - which comes down to an event's narrower focus.
For publishers (like LAC, Phosphorescent, etc), I'd guess that the event suited them a little better. They're bigger, and have the variety, stock and merchandise to catch the average consumer's eye, as well as the consumer that is already into comicbooks.
Also, the Saturday was much better than Sunday.
Saturday had guest speakers that fell more into comics & movies, etc - and had a crowd mix of younger & more discerning people looking to see & buy specific things. The Sunday crowd, by comparison, had more Sci-Fi celebrities in it's guest speakers. It seemed like the crowd was a more 'generic' breed that came there to unwind and entertain the kids. Sunday seemed to be the 'Family' crowd. Mom & Dad taking their kids to enjoy things that 'buzzed' & 'popped'. Sunday definitely seemed like you had to hit people over the head with a mallet to get them to notice anything. It may have something to do with the general attitude people (including myself) have with Sundays - that you unwind on that day.
Anyway - I came away at least experiencing the event for the first time as a seller. I will probably do it again next year, though I might give Sunday a miss, or at least leave earlier (Like Darren Close did the smart arse.).
To qualify my take on the weekend - I made about $140 on Saturday, and only about $35 on Sunday. And by Sunday's end I was totally wrecked!
Oh, and here's the finished double-page i inked at the Expo.