The final day had arrived! Travis was still not feeling well but decided to tag along. He is such a great kid. He came in handy later in the day when I was swamped with people wanting the 3D poster… and when I just needed some company or a bathroom break.
We arrived at 8:00 am on the dot and was again told vendors would not be allowed in until 9:00 am. That only gives vendors 30 minutes to setup before the VIPs arrive. For me, that is no issue. For others it is a major hassle.
Travis and I set out to find food downtown only to discover all the restaurants were closed until 10:00 on Sundays… oh but they were all cooking because the more we walked the more the scent of bacon frying and biscuits cooking filled the air making us both wanna kick in a door or two. We finally found a coffee bar open and they were terrible. The cappuccinos tasted like coffee with a little bit of cream… There was no way that was a cappuccino. They also had breakfast tacos and they were tiny and very bad as well. I hate chewy bacon. Bacon was like rubber.
With that, I figured we were given an omen of the day to come. If the day was like Friday, I new I was in for another disappointing show. My goal here at this show was to break even paying off my table, my new backdrop, and the 3d posters I printed.
Upon the moment the doors opened, I listened for the roar as convention attendees trampled through the door. Instead of the “rush of the crowd”, I heard the “hush of the handful of attendees”. Oh this was bad… It took until noon, that is two hours, before the show picked up. Once noon hit, the show was filled with young parents and extremely young kids. Today was Amazing’s family day. Families who purchased a Groupon package rate to try something new. They don’t go to shows to purchase stuff, but they do desire the show experience which is talking with vendors with a story… and I gave them that experience.
About three hours into the show I was having fun just talking and entertaining the attendees with my story about how I was going places and the fact I will be in newspapers soon… guaranteeing them that they were meeting someone who would be famous. I guess I would not be famous enough for them to be inspired to buy a sketch, lol, because like every other artist on my row I was not selling anything. For me, that is fine.I just want to pitch my strip. I would love to break even though and I was so close to paying off the table. I mentioned yesterday that I was $40 away from breaking even… that was only for the table cost. I still had another $150 invested in the posters and the backdrop. There is no way I will break even today… but I was already doing better than the last two shows.
Suddenly two guys I met the day before stopped by freaking out. They read my strip when they went home and fell in love with my characters. I was so excited to see some happy readers! They purchased a set of print cards and I had $10 in hand, thinking the day would be picking up any moment! The two guys were so awesome too. If this was as good as the day was to be, I would happily take it.
Right after they left, a gentleman stopped by grinning ear to ear. He had been reading me for a long time and was thrilled to meet me! ME!!! I had a real fan before me. I talked about my process and what I want to do in the future with my strip. I showed him my original hand inked and lettered strips and he was so impressed with the craftsmanship and the labor I put into each and every strip. So much in fact that he purchased one of my originals!!!! Another 75 bucks and the table is now paid for!!!! Plus the I had just paid off the backdrop. I am $100 away from paying off the 3D posters.
I cannot tell you how many people loved the 3D posters! I had one out on display as a “try me” show stopper. It did the trick at getting people to stop. Everyone loved the poster but no one was buying anything. It was not me… it was not any of the awesome artists in artists alley, it was the attendees. No one was purchasing art all weekend. It was Space City Con all over again. Once again I was not doing all that well and the artists around me, seasoned vets of the cons who do this for a living, were doing WORSE than I was.
The day was winding down and suddenly I had two people return at the same time for a 3D
poster. The lady in the photo also purchased a few sketches! The one thing I love most about these shows is talking with everyone and making their show experience the best it could be. The lady who purchased the 3D poster was so nice. Most artists do not realize the show is not about them and their art. It is about the experience the attendees are getting. I feel that we as artists are here to entertain, to listen to our audience, to interact and learn who our fans are… what makes them tick. I am so bad with names, and I wish I can recall this lady’s name but she was the one who was AMAZING. She works with underprivileged kids and works to make a real difference in people’s lives. Quite humbling and I was honored to have met her.
I racked up $50 with those last two purchases and ended up only being $50 from my break even goal. I was quite happy with this considering how badly the other vendors performed. I was also very happy because I had made so many new friends as well. Cory, my neighbor, gave me so many great tips for my next show and he inspired me to keep plugging away.
The other goal I had was to hand out all 1,000 business cards. I handed out about 600. That goal was a huge disappointment. the show had so many dead moments though. Unlike Comicpalooza and Space City Comic Con where I had mobs of people passing by, this show had huge time spans where the aisle was dead.
Still, it I combined what I pulled in at Comicpalooza and what I pulled in at Space City Comic Con, combining my take, I beat both at this one show! That was pretty cool so I am very happy.
Next up? Comicpalooza FanFest!!!! I have a feeling it’ll be a fun show…. but something tells me that Amazing Houston Comic Con is going to be as good as my shows are gonna get. I had two attendees at Amazing who purchased one of my original strips at $75 a pop. Those purchases made my show successful. That is not going to happen at every show. If this is as good as it gets, great! I will take it. My plan was to do two shows this year and now look at me. I just finished my third show and I have three more to go.
I will make the call at the end of the year as to what my plans will be for 2016. I may only do two shows again. I want to do Comicpalooza in June and Amazing Comic Con in September. I would love to do Space City Comic Con again, but I can’t keep losing money at the shows. I will make firm plans after my last show in Bryan, Texas. If I can manage to turn a profit at one of the last three shows, I will expand my plans for 2016.
All in all, I am so freaking happy with my three shows so far! Year one was not about making money.I knew I would lose money. I just want to get my name out there, meet a few readers, get myself some confidence, and make some key connections. I have done all of that and more. The more being the experience I shared with my son Travis. Priceless.
I want to thank a few people for making my show so awesome. Ben with Brazos Valley Comic Con for making me feel like a rock star, Guy with the Amazing Con for auctioning my work and helping me get my name out there, and Cory, my neighbor, for being such a great mentor and encouraging me to keep working, doing the thing I love… my art!