Here's my take on the first Cincinnati Comic Expo that took place on September 18th at the Cintas Center. I am in agreement with Tim that the Con was well run and heavily attended especially for being the inaugural event.
* Lots of "Twelve Way" Mojo!- We had a steady stream of folks coming up to our spot. Our table with it's banner and poster was way eye catching. I felt a little bad for all the kids that approached our booth as we couldn't sell them, or even let them page through the "Twelve Way" anthology. So I drew a whole bunch of sketches for the kiddies. I'm just like Santa at times!
* St. Larriby Perplexing at First - The St. Larriby Holy Cards were a stroke of genius. Thanks Tim! Initially some people were a little confused and thought St. L was an actual entity! I must have explained about 50 times that, "We decided the cartooning profession needed a patron saint too. And since the Pope is in no hurry to decree one for us, we decided to create one for ourselves." People had a good laugh and a freebie with info on how to order our book.
* What Were We Thinking? - We could have sold a whole bunch of Zombie Marge T-shirts. We had Mike Dougherty of Anything Airbrushed print up a few for us to wear at the Con. But we should have had a batch for sale as we had many inquiries about the shirts.
* Tough Economy/Money Is Tight - Although we sold more copies of "Twelve Way" than I thought we would, even the reduced $15 price point was more than a lot of folks were willing to spend. If you are a known talent in the comics industry or have characters that are easily recognisable, people would be more willing to part with $15 for a book. But I think coming out of the box as a new entity, it was beyond what some people were willing to spend. The original $20 price would have been totally out of the question. A good price point would have been in the $5 to $10 range. Of course that would have meant a smaller page count book.
* Comic Expo Charity - The organizers of the Con had a charity auction and requested Superman related artwork or a donation of a comic/book from those who had booths at the show. I had some time on Thursday before the Expo to create this bogus Superman vs. Zombie Marge comic book cover. The original is in B&W. The winning bid and original art going to our own Bruce Chrislip. I'm glad this artwork found a proper home!
* Faces In The Crowd - Along with Bruce, other "Twelve Way" contributors seen in the crowd at the Cincy Comic Expo were Jerry Dowling, Brennan Bradford, Brian Hagen and of course the irrepressable Woody Hinton and his lovely wife Lisa. And our invaluable proofreader, Dale Trush.
* Speaking of Woody - I finally got my hands on those "Kolchak" comics from Moonstone that feature awesome cover art from Mr. Woody. Cool and creepy! They were personally signed with "heartfelt expressions". Thanks Woody!
* Check These Out!- I also got these two fantastic prints from David Beck. I dig 'em!
Check out the layout on that Batman illustration. I've never seen Batman striking in that pose before. And the Belle Starr is fetchingly awesome. What great color!
* I Love Me Some Wacky-Assed Comics! - Check out these gems I scored from comic dealers. I go for the "off the beaten track" titles. There has been some really crazy stuff printed over the years.
Ooohhh... Big Boy meets a fortune teller! I think there is a witch doctor in this issue as well. How else do you explain Big Boy's shrunken head??? Check out that bold, bold linework on the cover of Ace Comics. Cool! This issue features kids getting spanked and electricuted. Ah... the good old days when you could just be funny and not have to worry about lawsuits or offending the hyper-sensitive. I swear if I could go back in time right now to let's say... 1973, I would!
Here's a little advice for any of you who might happen to be in a canoe that's about to go through rough waters, "Do something more than just covering your face!" That kid deserves whatever happens to him. But given that this is an issue of Treasure Chest, a Catholic grade school comic, I bet St. Larriby will bail him out!
Real Life Comics with Francis Marion and... Bing Crosby! Yow!
Check out the head on that Super Villian! And here's a Daryll fun fact... I have been trying to track down this Classics Illustrated Pinocchio comic for years! It was part of the most horrible collection of comics I ever received. I was sick and asked my mom to buy me some comics while she was at the drug store. Big mistake. When my mom came home she walked into my bedroom and handed me my bag of "goodies". And what did little Daryll find? A copy of "Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane", the aformentioned "Pinocchio", which was not the Disney version, so in my mind it double- sucked and if I'm not mistaken, a Casper comic! Are you kidding me? It's bad enough I'm all feverish and pukey, but you bring home this collection of comics for your son? I guess the drug store was sold out of issues of Millie The Model and Hazel.
Gotta love Mom, but leave the comic buying when you're sick to Dad!