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?