This weekend saw Armageddon hit Melbourne. The city's biggest pop-culture convention of the latter half of the year. I missed the boat to have a table this year as the window to book the few tables available was small and unknown to many of us. Oh well... So this year I went along on the Sunday as foot-traffic instead of a seller to help crowd the tables of my comics-producing buddies.
Tom Bonin came down from the country for the event. Always good to see this talented man selling his work.
Tom did a whole-lotta sketches for people during the day. Something I might start doing (time permitting).
A water coloured illustration that Tom inked for Brendan Hallyday. Nice!
Trevor Wood was sitting next to Tom, and had a sure-fire way of getting people's attention.
The rock solid team of The List. Always at conventions, and always selling well... and why shouldn't they? The List is awesome.
Me and a terminator.
The talented Mr Brendan Hallyday... pretending his mouth isn't full of sandwich. He was selling his books, prints, and doing sketches.
Star Wars' illustrator Colin Wilson having a young cosplay fan subscribe on his slick iPad.
Star Wars' Tom Taylor and his little whipper-snapper were at the show too.
The rock-solid comics creator, Hayden Fryer, was there selling his BILLY comics.
One of my favorite writers, James Andre.
Overall, Armageddon was what I expected. Lots and lots of cosplayers, noise, movie/entertainment stuff, wrestling, comics, signings, TV personalities, etc. The indie comics are starting to diminish at Armageddon (I've noticed). It might be due to 'artists alley' getting smaller or the amount of tables available getting fewer (who knows), but I guess times are changing. The organisers have gotta go where the money is, I suppose.
I spoke to an old comics seller up in Sydney at Supanova earlier this year, and he was saying that 10 years ago all these big conventions consisted of comics (primarily), with the other entertainment making up only a small portion of the floorspace. Now it's the opposite. I guess the goal posts of pop-culture 'entertainment' have moved a heck of a lot.
These big conventions are still a lot of fun to attend (and sell at), though, unless you're an established big name (comics-wise), you tend to be hidden under the very large shadow of pop-entertainment that really yells at people. Being an indie creator at these events is sometimes equivalent to selling 'God' to guys in a strip club. Selling comics behind a table that requires a customer's passing curiosity is hard against all that distracting noise and colour that yanks at them. Though... I did come away with a few observations in improving ones table presentation at these events as I noticed what did and did not work.
It's not all doom-and-gloom, but one needs to be enthusiastic (yeah, like I've been Tony Robbins with this wet-towel manifesto), and be smart in one's selling in order to compete with the giants at these shows.