In 1972, I sat on a bus for 14 hours to attend my first comic convention in New York City. It was a hugely influential event that shaped my choices for many years and fired my desire to write and draw my own comics. The changes since that first convention, both to the comics industry and to culture in general, have been staggering.
I approached the Cincinnati convention with much the same excitement. For the first time I would be sitting behind a dealer’s table, selling “Twelve-Way with Cheese” and “The Blue Beagle.” Daryll Collins and I arrived at the designated 7 a.m. set-up, arranged our table, and sat, surrounded by empty tables in a nearly empty hall. It was not until the half-hour before the doors were opened to the public that the hall came alive with comic dealers rushing to get their books in place before the crowds poured in. First lesson learned: Don’t get there so early; sleep in.
The Zombie Marge Comic Group table drew much interest. People approached with a mixture of uncertainty and apprehension. There was genuine confusion in their eyes when we offered them a free Saint Larriby Holy Card with the ComiXpress ordering information on the back. It was only when they “got” the joke that they warmed up to our pitch. Saint Larriby was a great conversation starter. Even if they walked away without a copy of “Twelve-Way,” the holy card would remind them of the ordering website once they realized the error of their ways. Second lesson learned: Always have a freebie for people to take away.