The Long Con

Not all conventions are created equal. Saturday morning, Dale Trush and I packed up the car, and headed to Lexington for their Comic and Toy Convention. A more accurate name might have been, The Toy Convention With Comics Thrown In As An Afterthought. By a wide margin, comics were in the minority, and independently produced comics were an even smaller minority. That should not have been a problem, I’m used to artist’s row being a smaller section of the convention floor, maybe a little off the beaten path. And, as this was the first year for this show, I expected a few missteps in the planning. But someone in their questionable wisdom chose to scatter all the dealers throughout the rather small space regardless of what they were selling.

Most of the guests were D-list film and TV wannabes. One of the guests of honor was a reality TV “star” called Johnny Fairplay, who looked like he might have changed his name from Johnny Foreplay. He came to party, dudes! And what guest generated the most excitement, you ask? People lined up the length of the hall all day to get a chance to meet the effin’ Power Rangers! Sweet merciful Mothra, this was not our crowd!

Zombie Marge Comics was sandwiched between a couple of unusual dealers, though I'm not quite sure what either one was selling. On our left was a guy who had created his own rather simplistic video game and set up for convention goers to stand and play. On our right was a Star Wars toy collectors club who were giving out free SW happy meal toys to anyone and everyone. Any time a potential customer stopped at our table, they screamed out "Free toys here!" and said potential customer left us immediately to choose their toy.

The crowd was huge! So many toy-crazed people were packed into one smallish hall, hardly able to move, and they were all ignoring us. Our location could not have been worse. Wait a minute! Yes it could. It was rumored that the poor guy stuck beside the Power Rangers sold nothing.

In the plus column we spread the word about the Zombie Marge blog. We handed out nearly a hundred trading cards and even more flyers. Across from us was a guy that produced several podcasts about comics. We gave him a full set of books, everything we had, to be reviewed on his shows.

Again on the plus side we had lots of great conversations, mostly with the creators we've met at other shows. And we spoke to a few very nice civilians who showed interest in our brand of weirdness and were not tempted by the promise of a free Happy Meal toy.

All told, it was not a very productive day. And not a show we plan to return to next year. How did you spend your Saturday?


  1. Heads up Tim. Sounds like the wrong Con for Indy creators. The books are great and would sell really well in a more comic-centric show.

  2. I have to blame location. A few of the other creator-types I spoke with had much better sales then we did. But they had a group of 3-4 similar tables together in a more open part of the hall. I got our reservations in plenty early for this one, so I saw no reason we were placed in with the toy and video folks, other than the random nature of the table organization. And there was NO excuse for Mr. Get-Your-Free-Toys-Here.

  3. Not the way to spend a Saturday, I guess. Sorry it wasn't great, Tim, but at least a few connections made. That's something.

  4. One of highlights was getting to talk to Mike Maydak, the northern KY painter. He had a new hardback collection of his work, which I bought for Debby. We love his work and he is a really nice guy.

  5. Bummer that the show was not good. Fingers crossed for SPACE...

  6. Next time take me, honey! I'll put on one of those Slave Leia costumes, that'll draw a crowd! If I can find one in my size that is.

  7. Being that this was the first year for this convention I expected all hell. I agree that this was more of a toy collectors plaza than a real convention, however that being said I am glad Lexington had it. I was one of the guys who stopped and purchased something and I found you guys quite pleasant and funny. I did buy from many independants and I plan on doing a review of what I have. Keep up the good work and do not get discouraged.

  8. Thanks for being in the very exclusive group of Zombie Marge patrons. Dale and I appreciated every single customer that gave us the time of day on Saturday. And I was happy to hear that not all of the independent creators had as slow a day as we did. I'm a toy fan myself. Had I been there to shop, I would have been in heaven!

    1. You know, it would be nice to have Zombie Marge dressed in her Slave Leia costume. I'd be happy to be the pilot "Dack" whose only line in six movies was "I could take on the whole Empire by myself" just before his downed ship was stepped on by an AT-AT on Hoth.