What an AMAZING year I had in ARTIST’S ALLEY!
I cut down the number of shows I did this year, eliminating a few of the very bad shows where no one produced positive results and I increased my efforts at the positive shows. The result was a profitable year. Finally! Last year I was about $900 in the hole when all was said and done. Yes, I failed miserably!!!!
This year I finished just above break even. I tried two new shows which both proved to be bad decisions on my part. Both shows had vendors shaking their heads. The first was a Wrestling and Comics convention where 12 people showed up. I got to hang out with Mickie James and other wrestlers so I was very happy.
The second show was an Anime show. I tried it just to see how I would be received by the anime community. In my observations, people in Cosplay do not purchase merchandise. I knew coming in that I was probably going to do terribly but I heard from a few of my friends that they have had huge success year after year at this show. I can honestly say that I did okay compared to my neighbors. I was about $20 away from making table. My neighbors and everyone I talked to afterwards said this year was just a bad year for everyone. No one made table… or even came close to making half of their table back. I am going to pass on this show next year.
I had three huge successes this year with Comicpalooza, Space City Comic Con, and Amazing Houston Comic Con. All three shows were an amazing experience. I went all in and used all the knowledge I gained from my horrible mistakes last year to turn all three shows around.
Space City Comic Con was my first show. Unfortunately, I doubt this show will be around next year after the Sons of Anarchy scandal… a scandal that rocked the comic con industry. Because of this terrible experience for convention attendees, there were a ton of angry people and when people are upset, they do not make purchases. I heard from a ton of vendors that they did horrible. That said, I did very well! I blew threw the few Sketch Covers I brought with me. I ended up making table on the first day! When all was said and done I was up about $70. Not great, but for me it was a miracle. Last year I made 65 bucks…. Which only covered gas and parking. Last I did not even make a dent on my table.
Comicpalooza was my my next show. I expanded the number of pre-drawn Sketch Cards and Sketch Covers, offering readers some amazing, original art at extremely affordable prices. I also used social media to obtain commissions before the show even began. I had my table paid off before the show began! This convention is so HUGE. Last year I was in a corner with no foot traffic. It was also my first show ever. I had no backdrop. I only had 6 prints to sell. I don’t know how, but I made $45 that first year… which did not even cover gas. This year, I had table paid off before the show began with all my pre-show commissions. I tripled table cost by show’s end which was a day shorter than the previous year. This next year will be a three day show as well unfortunately… and it will be on Mother’s Day weekend so Sunday will be DEAD. I am still looking forward to the show next year.
My last big show was Amazing Houston Comic Con. I did not do crazy good, but I did just as well as I did at Space City Comic Con. I did well enough to leave the show on cloud nine. Again, I sold a ton of Sketch Cover commissions. People love original art. Prints don’t sell. Books don’t sell. Trading Cards don’t sell. People want original art. With these purchases lies huge profits. A print has about $4 in profit while a Sketch Cover has about $30 – $60 worth of profit depending on the retail cost.
NEXT YEAR IS NOW BEING PLANNED!
I have no idea how many shows I will end up doing. I do have three shows on my list.
1. Comicpalooza – BOOKED!
2. Amazing Houston Comic Con – Waiting on show sale.
3. Alamo City Comic Con – Hoping I can snag a table here!!!!
Want the hottest new comic strip cartoonist at your show? Book me! I will happily go to any show in Texas who offer me a free table. 😉
If all I have to do is book a hotel, I would be willing to drive up for any show. I just need to be booked a few months ahead of time so I can prep merchandise and advertise my appearance on social media.