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Wizard World CCC recap

Chicago Comicon was definitely a success. I believe there were fewer attendees than last year, and those that did attend were on tighter budgets. But I sold almost 80 books and about 20 prints - that’s fewer books than last year, but last year the book was new and there wasn’t a recession.
(I’m writing this at the dentist office on my mobile phone, so sorry about the lack of links)
This year I was lucky to be hosted by Jon and Ruth Jordan of Crimespree Magazine. I’d never really spent alot of time with them and I’m so glad I did. I don’t know anyone who’s more willing to promote authors and creators more than them. And Jon is indefatigable - if he could eliminate sleep altogether he would. He uses that time to acquire knowledge of crime fiction in all forms -listen to him for 10 minutes and you’ll learn more about the business than you could ever guess.
I also got to share the table with some very cool guests - Raymond Bensen, JA Konrath, Marcus Sakey. RD Hall and his wife Amy, B. Clay Moore and Brian Azzerello.
Preview night, Thursday, was kind of strange - most people who were there were running around getting free stuff. I made some sales but folks in Artists Alley (AA) reported no pedestrian traffic. On the one hand, that probably says something about the folks who pay extra to get into Preview Night. On the other hand, there’s got to be some way of getting them to circulate back there - otherwise, it’s kind of a waste of time to make AA set up on Thursday.
Ruth, Jon and I finished off the day at Sheffield’s for Marcus Sakey’s book release party. Actually, Jon and Ruth finished the day there - I was already pretty wiped out. I’m not in their league when it comes to socializing through the night.
Friday was a good day - sales were fairly steady but definetly lagging behind the pace of last year.
It’s hard to compare, though, as last year the recession hadn’t fully kicked in and the book was brand new. But I noticed that there weren’t lines to get in the door this year like there was in 2008, so attendance was definitely down. AA didn’t see much traffic. It was cool to finally meet RD Hall and his wife Amy in the morning - we’d traded friendly barbs on Twitter so I knew he had a great sense of humor. I’m very glad, because he’s also a big man! B. Clay Moore also signed at the booth - I picked up his two Hawaiin Dick books -the only thing I’d planned to buy the whole weekend.
I linked to the Crimespree Panel in an earlier post, but I wanted to mention Brian Azzarello’s signing at the booth: there were long lines of people with multiple books to sign and Brian was only scheduled for an hour. But he stayed until the last person.
JA Konrath, Marcus Sakey and Raymond Benson also signed books. Fun fact I didn’t know about Raymond: He knows Playmates, and a few of them were on hand doing autographs.
The day finished up at a Chinese dinner with friends including Dirk Tiede, Brian B. and his wife Alisa, Jane Irwin and a surprise appearance by Layla Lawlor, all the way from Alaska! Dirk and I bookmarked her home’s location with our iPhones - if we’re ever near Fairbanks Alaska…
Saturday, I brought my daughters Elena and Nora, plus their friend Jackson. But first I had to stop at the bank and pick up some five dollar bills. These were in serious short supply, but twenties were all over the place.
Elena and Nora had been working on their own comic the whole summer, and we’d printed up about twenty copies for the con. We sold them for about a dollar apiece (to cover printing costs), and they were sold out in a matter of a few hours.
I didn’t spend that much time at the booth Saturday. I showed the way to David Petersen’s table where the girls picked up the latest Mouse Guard hardcover, a poster, some buttons and got everything signed. Later that day, the girls dropped off a copy of their comic with him.
Another cool thing that happened Saturday: A young woman named Cori stopped by the booth specifically looking for me - she’d bought Cash & Carry at Printer’s Row last year (I we had some fun conversation) and came looking for me this year! So cool - she had a brand new, handmade sketchbook that I got to do the first sketch in. It made my day and reminded me what I enjoy about doing comics.
The girls and their friend took off around two with a ton stuff, like Firefly t-shirts. I pretty much spent the rest of the time selling. Reports from AA were that sales picked up somewhat.
That night I went home and spent time with Kathy and the kids.
Sunday I spent pretty much the entire day at the booth. It seemed to be busy early on, but slowed later on. People showed interest, but they just didn’t have the funds to make an impulse buy. I pretty much ran out of postcards to hand out.
All in all, a good show. It was great to see old friends and I made new ones. Jon’s already making plans for next year, and apparently I didn’t drive him crazy because he’s taking about me being part of them.
But now, I need to get back to drawing comic pages. I’ve got the latest one penciled and I’ll finish it off late tomorow for a Wednesday posting.


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