The last time I blogged here was... January?!!!
What can I say, it's been a busy year so far. Instead of blogging, I've been doing an art stream most days on Twitch and YouTube, and that has worked wonders for my productivity. I'm improving my art skills enormously and getting regular gigs now!
A little over a week ago, I had an incredible opportunity to get in on the first annual Upstate Pop Expo, produced (most assuredly the wrong word) by Richard's Comics and Collectables. I had just seen Richard at Soda City Comic Con and given him a copy of SoulBound 1: Adrift, which he liked, and he offered to let me come to his shop and do a signing.
I did not expect to be offered a book signing event.
Richard also suggested that I ask Mia, the artist, to come and sign books as well. She agreed and we set the date for October 19th (more on this later).
At the time, Richard was also gearing up for putting on a comic con of his own in Greenville. It was the first I'd heard of it and I'm pretty sure all his booth spaces were full.
The week of his comic con, the Upstate Pop Expo, he emailed me and said that he'd had a cancellation on an artist table, and would I want to fill it?
Well of course I would! The first year is the best time to get in a comic con. You get to see all the potential coming to life. It was too short of notice for Mia to make it, but I brought comics and cosplay accessories to fill a table.
Richard put me between Gregbo Watson and Tracy Yardley, who were very nice table neighbors and much more established in the comics industry than me. I am drastically understating this in the interest of moving back on topic.
I mentioned the Upstate Pop Expo in the newsletter but I'm only just now answering the question I've been asked several times now:
HOW WAS THE SHOW?
The Upstate Pop Expo was, for a first-time show, excellent. The only comic con I have been a vendor at that comes close to the level of preparation, organization, and all around thoughtfulness is the Electric City Comic Con, which was put on by librarians. If you did not attend this comic con, you missed out.
This con was a hidden gem. Despite Richard making every effort to promote it, attendance was on the low side. Even so, I did pretty well for the weekend, I think. I don't have very good metrics yet for gauging that since I'm now concentrating on selling comics and reaching readers rather than facepainting and cosplay accessories.
But, for selling comics and talking about my story, this was an excellent con. I could talk to everyone who came by and strive to make a connection with them, and quite a few people took a chance on SoulBound #1: Adrift! What really melted me was that several came back, either later in the day or the next day, to tell me that they had already read it and loved it! A Mystique cosplayer came back and bought extra copies for her friends, and another, cosplaying as Shoto Todoroki, returned to buy the comic and a hatchable dragon egg kit, and we chatted a long time about writing. The fact that this con was less noisy and rushed than others made this possible. I sold double the comics I had at Soda City, even though Soda City is a bigger and more established con.
The only trouble with selling to cosplayers is that I already have trouble recognizing people I don't know very well, and I am at such a disadvantage now if I see them again at another con. I meet the best people and I can hardly ever tell who I've met before!
I think that the only thing the Upstate Pop Expo needed was more attendance. Maybe bigger signs out front and on the corner, too. The Shrine Club center is right across from a nice little park (full of Pokestops), and not hard to find if you know what you're looking for.
Next year, when awareness of this fun and incredibly well-organized event has had time to percolate through Greenville, I expect the Upstate Pop Expo to be even better and at least twice as big. As soon as I know when it'll be, I'll make sure to post about it.
See you in the OtherRealm,
Artist, writer, creator of stuff. I just want to build worlds for you to escape to.