Comic Con was a lot of fun. Not tons of traffic, and I didn’t quite recoup my $25 table cost, but I wasn’t expecting to. I expected to have a fun day and chat with good people, and I did. I think it’ll build into something bigger next year, and I’d definitely go back. Not least because I still have boxes of books to sell.
So the thing about the books is like this; I’ve got about 100 copies left. Which isn’t tons, but it’s still a lot more than I believe I can sell. Also, if I’m being totally honest, I’m not satisfied with them. They’re okay, but it’s embarrassing that they’re so much slimmer than the first volume (despite including three years of selections, instead of just two), and it’s embarrassing that there are at least a couple of pretty bad printing errors that I wish we would have caught. After we got the first book in our hands and discovered the issues we’d missed, I had hoped at that time that we’d learn and take a more careful approach to proofreading volume 2.
What I didn’t anticipate was that we (myself and my friends, who were also the creative team that put the book together) would both have life situations where we didn’t have a lot of extra time and energy for such things. We had little kids! We also put ourselves under a lot of time pressure for dubious reasons — the campaign started at the beginning of December 2017 and we wanted to have the books ready for Comic Con in February 2018, which we did, but barely. As in, we got the shipment of books literally days before the con.
So our approach to the campaign felt rushed, proofing was rushed, and afterward I felt like I was stuck with running around and delivering books and all the goodies we’d promised. Which again, wasn’t the end of the world, and I’m not bitter, but it was a lot of time and energy (and we still made mix-ups, even though we’d hit our initial deadline and could relax a little). The readers who had contributed to the campaign were wonderfully patient and understanding, but I still had a lot of guilt for making them wait and then ultimately delivering a product that I wanted to be better.
Since the comic was officially on hiatus, I tried to create a few opportunities to promote the books over the course of the year; I set a goal of doing a monthly Facebook / Instagram post, which fell by the wayside fairly quickly after the first few got very little attention. 2019 didn’t have a comic con in Winkler, and since then the books have been this kinda low-grade albatross, hanging around my basement, getting lugged to and fro when I need to get to something behind them in the closet or whatever.
I guess what I can learn from it is to try and be more realistic about what’s possible given my life situation, and next time to be more upfront with whomever I’m teaming with about what our expectations are from each other. I felt like I ended up handling tasks that I didn’t necessarily want, but probably that could’ve been dealt with from the outset over a cup of coffee and some pointed questions about who will do what. Unfortunately the whole thing has had a pretty chilling effect, in my mind, about the possibilities of a volume three, or of a reprint of the first one. I don’t want to think about storing more books in my house if I haven’t reduced the number of books I already have, and at this point I’m not sure how long that will take. The good news is that I’m writing comics again, and getting back into peoples’ brainspace. I guess we’ll see.
Woof. I lollygagged like crazy at the outset of the post, not really knowing where to start, but once I got momentum going it all kinda tumbled out. Feels a little better.
Thing I Saw:
Thing I Learned: Speaking to a person that was cosplaying the 11th Doctor, I learned that the pop-up Spirit of Halloween stores in Winnipeg are a good place to find a fez. One step closer to my Sallah costume!
I’m Grateful For: The volunteers and organizers of the Winkler Comic Con, and all the people who came by to say hi!