THANK YOU BELTON!
Where do I begin???? Let me start by thanking everyone who came out and supported me last weekend. Last year’s show was my first road show where I made money… not much, but for me that was a solid victory. This year Bell County Comic Con welcomed me with open arms and I left looking back at my second most profitable show to date. There were some crushing blows received Saturday, but Sunday was so insanely positive that the last day made up for a very bad start emotionally and finacially
Now, let’s start from the beginning.
Day one – Preshow – Friday
Friday morning I awoke with visions of grander. I had been working like crazy on new art for the show because I was going to be featured in their free comic book. I just knew people would be hunting down a free autograph and that would lead to some extra sales. I wanted to be sure I was prepared. I left at seven in the morning to setup and enjoy what I hoped would be a bigger show financially than Comicpalooza.
First stop… Caldwell! I saw some amazing reviews of a Kolache place o Yelp so I drove 40 miles out of the way to stop at Nonnie’s Bakery. The kolaches were amazing! I picked up a chorizo, egg and cheese pig-in-a-blanket, a sausage and cheese pig-in-a-blanket. a pecan pie kolache, a cream cheese kolache, a coconut cream pie kolache and a peach kolache. I ate them all on the hour long drive from Caldwell to Belton. I am going to stop at Nonnie’s every year as I travel to Bell County Comic Con!
Second stop… Belton Journal! Downtown Belton is so pretty. As I approached the office of the Belton Journal, I thought I was in Heaven. The architecture is breathtaking. I love old buildings and old towns. I dropped by Belton’s weekly newspaper and dropped off a comic book and a presentation for the editor. Unfortunately, she was not there so I left it with the staff. I am going to email the editor tomorrow and touch base.
Last stop… The Expo Center. I popped over to the Expo Center which was only 6 minutes away and I had a feeling of warm happiness pour over me as I recalled last year’s successful show. The crew were working so hard setting things up. I grabbed my badge and paperwork in record time. I was not in a rush so I took my time loading in and setting up my booth. For once, I was not going to stress. If it took my 6 hours to set up, so be it.
I set up in two hours.
Why can’t I set up that quickly when I am in a rush??? lol….
I was done so quickly. It was awesome. I decided to go back to the Historic Downtown District and eat BBQ at Millers. The BBQ was very good. The green beans everyone bragged about were a salty, nasty mess… but the rest of the food was good.
I went back to the hotel and worked on a sketch cover for Kevin Eastman. I worked on the sketch for an hour and inked it up for another two hours. It looked amazing. Then I applied the markers to the terrible paperstock and ruined the piece. I managed to reink over the messy markers and made the cover look presentable. The plan anyway is to give Kevin the cover and one of my comic books. I really want him to read the book and the art is just a little extra to encourage Kevin to crack open my comic book.
DAY TWO – Saturday
It is showtime! I get there early and see the exclusive comic books! I sneak over and ask if I can take a peak at my page. I slowly flip page after page to discover that I am NOT in the comic book.
I have always heard people state that their heart fell into their stomach when they got very sad. I always thought that was odd. Well, I lived the experience. My heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. I had worked a solid week, non-stop, on new original art for the show because I believed the comic book and their autograph seekers would increase sales. After I finally came to grips with that reality, then my heart sunk deeper when I came to terms that I must have been dropped because I am just not good enough to be in this book. My self doubting crept in and suddenly I had no confidence whatsoever.
I needed some solid sales to boost my confidence.
The show began and dales were amazing for about an hour… and then nothing. The flow of artist’s alley was terrible. By the end of the day I was way off from last year’s numbers. My hotel was paid off by the end of the day, but my expensive corner table was not. I had only made enough to pay off the very cheap hotel. VERY cheap.
My pride was hurt so badly that I did not even try to approach Kevin Eastman. I placed the comic book I drew for him in my storage bin and chalked this up a a bad idea. IN hind sight, I should gave the art to Kevin.
Not much I could do. The layout had a weird jag which did not allow people to flow through freely. There were about 4 hours where my row was just dead. The magical, amazing show I witnessed last year appeared to have vanished. I left after day one with my ego crushed, hopes faded, and my dreams shattered. Just being honest. Day one was so bad. I had told myself that if this show failed, I would drop the number of shows I do in 2019 because there should be no excuse for me having a bad show. I have had two very bad shows leading into Bell County Comic Con.
I was asked to go eat with the other artists, but my ego was crushed after being bumped from the comic book and having such a poor spot. I could not go out with everyone, I just needed to regroup, alone, and set my sites on tomorrow. I went back downtown, at some amazing Thai food, took in the sites in case I was never coming back, and when back to the hotel. I was in bed asleep by 8:00!
At 10:00, one of my supporters, Che FX, texted me to say he was coming to the show Sunday and he showered me with praise and confidence. I turned back in, said my prayer again, and went to sleep. Tomorrow would be a good day. I could feel it.
DAY THREE – Sunday
What a difference a day makes. Sundays are not supposed to be the better day for sales, I was shocked. Sales were insane all day long. I was selling art. I sold out of the last of my first variant cover edition of my comic book. People I met last year were popping over to say hello and purchase prints. Traffic was still sluggish on my row, but people were finding me.
I found it curious that so many people were asking me why I was not with the artist’s in the other hall. I was told over and over again that people though my area was just crafters. Kevin Eastman and the other big name artists were in a different hall. Placement is everything at these shows.
Suddenly around 2:00 I see Danny Trejo walking towards my table. Before I knew what I was doing I called him over. Geez! What do I do now? He walked right up to me!!!! I shook his hand and told him I was a huge fan, I added that I knew he had a long plane ride ahead so I wanted to give my comic book to read. I gave him my pick about how I am busting my tail to make my dream come true. He thanked me and that was it.
The highlight of my day.
David Stone came by at some point during the day and gave me a t-shirt. David owns Choices Fitness in Temple, Texas. Charmy’s Army is a spokesman for his business. I produce cartoons for his Facebook promotions. He used one of them for his shirts. They looked amazing! Again, my ego was back, stronger than ever.
Also, all day long. one family kept coming back to talk with me and purchase items. At the end of the day I drew them all a sketch card for free thanking them for all the support and love. They made my day and had me shaking off the weak day I had on Saturday.
Bell County Comic Con 2019
I will be back next year. I love the town so much and the attendees were amazing. Johnny works so hard promoting the show as well. I have already turned in my paperwork and cannot wait to return to support this amazing show and this amazing crowd.