Phoenix Comicon Retrospective

I’ve really got to get this blogging thing down better.  What I should have done was post a nice blurb here and on the various other social media outlets that we were going to go to Phoenix Comicon and where we were going to be.  Not that I think it would have brought anyone extra to the booth…but hey, it would have at least been the smart thing to do.  Oh well, there will always be next year.

For the uninformed, Phoenix and the state of Arizona in general seem to be nature’s way of sorting the wheat from the chaff in terms of creatures that survive there, humans included.  The flora is all some degree of scary, sporting spikes and blades, and I didn’t hear about a piece of fauna that wasn’t deadly.  At one time during the trip Black Widow spiders were an actual concern, some being far too close for comfort.  Glenn (mighty artist of Edge of December) was far too nonchalant about their presence.  My default reaction to venomous spiders of that variety inevitably involves the proper application of fire, but I’m not even sure that would work since Arizona is actually an oven on a state sized scale.  Lets not even talk about the scorpions with hundreds of young upon their back.  In short, I found Phoenix to be an environment hostile to my flesh.  I feel that this should lend more glory to our victory there.  Really, I’ll take tornadoes over Arizona any day.

Phoenix Comicon was my very first Comicon experience, and holy hell, was it an experience.  We’ll completely leave out the booth for now.  I don’t think that I’ve ever been in a crowd like that before, and I’ve been to Disney during their busy season.  The event was massive on a scale that I did not appreciate before trying to navigate it for myself.  The thing takes up at least three buildings whose size is roughly akin to our biggest convention center here in Omaha.  The Exhibition floor alone was easily twice as big as the exhibition floor at the CenturyLink Center, if not more.  And the cosplay!  The wonderful cosplay!  I saw a couple of people dressed up as bride and groom zombies, shambling across the floor, grunting in undead confusion, then pausing for photo ops.  I saw every Disney princess in various flavors; vanilla, warrior, undead, etc.  I saw a fantastic Avatar Aang.   I know, some photos here would be ideal, but here’s where the bit about being in a booth comes into play.

Most of the convention I was on duty at the Edge of December booth (Booth 890, we’ll be right there next year).  Whooo boy.  You think actually going would be exhausting, you should try running a booth.  You are on all the time.  And I mean ON.  A smile for every person who passes by, conversation with every person who looks even remotely interested in what you’re selling.  Over the course of four days I got my Edge of December pitch down to a science.  I could segue into talking about the book from just about anything.  “Interested in prints?  Why don’t you consider our comic?”  I had a bit of a rocky start, but picked up the knack of things pretty quick.  If I’m painting a negative picture in your mind, then I’m just not doing things justice.  It was exhausting, but a ton of fun.  I got to tell tons of people about Edge and even sold more than a few books.  Books I got to sign!  I’ve never signed books before, and it was pretty cool.  Still, by the end of the con I was thoroughly jealous of the other authors who just got to sit and sign books.  I would have killed to have been able to just sit for a while.  Such was not my fate though.  I had to remain standing and approachable.  And that was probably the real kicker that made things exhausting for me; the standing.  I’m a big dude, and standing for that long does horrible things to my feet and ankles.

Still, we did really well with the booth; well enough to ensure that we’ll have a booth in the same awesome location next year and then some.  Beyond that, I’m hoping that we see a steady uptick in traffic over at Edge Of December.  Other than that, I met a LOT of the authors who I look up to, like Chuck Wendig (who’s awesome), Seanan McGuire stopped by our booth (I squeeeeed!), I went to a great class by Michael Stackpole, and got a lot of other books to read and met several other authors.  I met a few other web-comickers, such as the author / artist of JEFbot, and the author / artist of Mystery Babylon, both of which I can strongly recommend now.   Not only are they good reads, but they are fun people too.  And the art at Mystery Babylon is completely kick-ass!

Oh.  And I met Nathan Fillion.