This being the start of a new year (the Jewish New Year, but a new year just the same), I can’t think of a better way to have started it than working SPX for Ross.
It was an excellent experience and I thank Ross for asking us to do it. (Not that there would have been any question about it.) I know Ross was not happy he couldn’t be there, and I totally understand that. (I think he would have made more sales had he been there.) Still, if one of his friends hadn’t been so inconsiderate as to have planned his wedding this past weekend, well, I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to have had as much fun as I did. (Plus, I had a chance to see Ross–can’t ever pass on that!)
I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by to say, “Hi”. I would thank you by name but I wouldn’t want to offend anyone if I left them out. There were a number of people who thought we (Ross’s Dad and his brother) were the artist and when I explained that we were just subbing, they seemed surprised we would do it. I don’t understand why, I am Rossmom, after all, why think I would do anything else?
Just to make it clear–there is absolutely no way I could come close to doing what Ross does–I don’t have his imagination and I certainly can’t draw. Believe me, you would have a tough time being able to decipher one of my stick figure drawings.And, yes, there were still some people who came by and were surprised to see Rossmom–a real, live person. Really guys, I am real; I do exist; I really was there! (I am glad no one wanted to pinch me to make sure.)
As to what I expected, well, I hadn’t realized how much work is involved in preparing for a convention: determining what items to bring and how much; deciding on the best layout; transporting everything to the venue; setting it all up to view at the best angle; making sure you are covered for breaks (of course, I didn’t want to miss anything so I really didn’t believe in any breaks except those when your body says–”Now”); getting a chance to see the expo; breaking the table down at the end of the show; transporting it all back; recounting the inventory, etc., etc. etc. Whew, I’m tired just thinking about it. And, Ross does it by himself!!!!! Kudos to you!–that’s dedication and lots and lots of stamina!
Of course the payoff is worth it–meeting fans, making new ones and, last, but not least, selling merchandise!
I definitely got a glimpse of the work and the payoff: I met many fans of the most excellent The System; hopefully garnered new fans and sold merchandise. I made many new friends which is terrific and what I knew was verified–you are a great bunch!!! I wasn’t at all surprised to see Ross has so many loyal fans; it was great to have a chance to meet and talk with some of you.
Anyway, thanks to all of you who were there and most of all, thanks, Ross for letting me in on some of your fun. (I’m available anytime.)
I need to buy more RAM, right now my state-of-the-art computer (that you guys helped me buy, thanks!) only came with 2GB and FREAKS THE HELL OUT whenever I ask it to do, yknow, things. I’m adding more, don’t worry.
Come see me at Connecticon!
I’m here at Connecticon already! All weekend I’ll be at a table with posters, comic prints, and some shirts from the online store. You should come by and see it! It’ll look something like this:
Also, if you come by, I’ll give you free stuff if you mention you read the comic. It’s that easy. Just say that you read it. I won’t quiz you! High fives are free.
Happy Valentine’s day! I am doing nothing on the site to celebrate it, but I did something great to celebrate it last year. So go forget you maybe saw it and check it out all over again!
Come see me at Katsucon THIS WEEKEND!
I’ll have a table and be signing things / meeting people / selling wares at Katsucon all this weekend, and performing two (count ‘em, TWO) shows with Super Art Fight. The table will be in section GG 13-15 with Dern, Jamie, and Mikey, which should be fun. If you don’t want to buy a damn thing, stop by and mention you read the comic. I don’t mind, honestly. I’ll probably even give you something free, because I’m a nice guy like that.
As for the shows, on Friday night we are doing Super Art Fight: UNLEASHED which will be a complete shit-show of ridiculousness. Let’s put it this way, no pictures are allowed and it’s 21+18+! to get in. And considering what goes on at other shows, this will be… something. On Saturday, we’ll be performing in the Main Events area, with a big extravaganza of a thing! We have a super secret special guest that I’m really excited to meet. He won’t be at the Unleashed show, which is probably for the best.
Otakon, which I haven’t had time to talk about what with CHART MADNESS on Wednesday, was LOADS of fun! Lots of you fans in the surrounding area came by and made me feel welcome, and I really cannot thank you enough for that whether you bought something or not. Of course if you bought something, all the better.
I mostly spent the weekend at my table, so I didn’t get a chance to chat with other artists that much or go to any panels, but I was on a “collaborating in comics” panel thanks to Dern, and was in the same row as most of the Super Art Fight crew all weekend. Best of all was the chance to chat with Caldwell, since he lives out of town and the chances we get to hang out are great. We got to talk about the chart that you all saw on Wednesday which, officially, was the biggest day of The System ever.
I’ll be in Artist Alley, on the same row as some of my Super Art Fight friends. You can see all of us if you walk up the lefthand side. That isn’t to say that there aren’t awesome people like Digital Pimp, Alex’s Guide, and PLENTY of others throughout, but you can rest assured the lefthand wall is going to be partying hard! Oh, and in the C-block is Devil’s Panties? THIS is going to get interesting…
To those of you not attending Otakon (I know the biggest anime con on the east coast isn’t a priority for many), please let me know where you WOULD like me to go. When I pick out cons for next year, the best way to know where to go is for fans to tell me where they want me. Of course, getting convention committees to have me as a guest helps immensely as well, just sayin’.
Hobbies are funny that way. They have a way of turning around on you, and the joy you start getting out of them is replaced by how bad you feel when you let them down. I’ve had this happen with going to the gym, drawing, biking, and just about every website I’ve ever run. Consider this some comic-therapy.
Am I the only one that goes through this? Share your stories and possible solutions in the comments.
To those of you at Connecticon, THANKS SO MUCH for making me feel missed all weekend! It was great to hear all the updates on Twitter and via email. I’ll be there next year of course, and back to hosting Super Art Fight. In the meantime, I’ll be at Otakon in a few weeks, so hopefully I’ll see some of you there.
Here’s a pic of me at my VERY FIRST table for The System, which was at Connecticon 2008 3 years ago. In fact, The System marks its 3-year-old anniversary this week, and I wish I could be at the convention where I premiered the comic to celebrate with some of my oldest and dearest friends and fans. Unfortunately, two of my close friends are getting married and while conventions come and go, hopefully they are only going to get married once and I should be there for it.
While I won’t be there for it, plenty of my friends and some of my stuff will be! Of course, there’s SUPER ART FIGHT, which has its biggest show of the year at Connecticon:
To those that are going to be attending, be sure to go to this show. It is going to be amazing. Plenty of huge things are planned, including guest artists and our first ever ROYAL RUMBLE.
Going to conventions is hard work and what generally happens consists of the same cycle. I spend lots of energy preparing everything and running through all the logistics, then get to the show already exhausted. After a weekend of standing, trying to look awesome, schmoozing with fellow artists, fans and random passers by I come home exhausted. At that point, I promise myself and you that I’ll post a writeup about the convention, but after a weekend of not answering email, not sleeping and not drawing more comics I generally fall behind rather horribly. So here is a gigantic mega-writeup to cover 4 of the cons I’ve been to in the last couple months. Apologies in advance for forgetting to write about people / events / details. Conventions are a blur when I look back on them so I tried to hit the highlights.
If I met you at one of these cons, this is a perfect chance to say hi in the comments!
New York Comic Con (NYCC)
Most recently, as in 2 weeks ago, I attended the biggest convention of my life. I don’t mean figuratively, I mean that completely literally. Up until NYCC the biggest convention at which I had ever exhibited was Otakon with over 20,000 attendees. NYCC hits a number in upwards of 100,000.
At this point I have to pause to say that I did three things that were essential to making the weekend a success:
I had gone 2 years’ before with Internet superfriends Marty, Nick and Dern and therefore knew where it was, what the crowd was like, and generally what I was in for. Otherwise the sheer size may have blown my face off.
I split a table with Applegeeks’ artist extraordinaire Hawk (along with his awesome friends Jess and Jean), which kept me sane, gave me a few breaks without leaving the table empty, and brought the price on a table down from “absurd” to “high”.
Finally, I set up a new convention favorite of mine known as the TOWER OF COMICS™. This involves putting up lots of prints of various System comics in a giant tower and at a large size for people to come by and read. This was hugely successful and constantly drew crowds over to come read comics, laugh at a few and sometimes even buy one to take home. You can see it slightly in some of the pictures below.
Outside of those events, it was a blur of a weekend. Thanks so much to all my friends and fans who stopped by the table, whether to buy something or just say hi. When doing any convention you find yourself staring at a sea of people, but seeing some friends in the crowd really helps break up all the insanity. Thanks to those of you who said they were a fan, and to those new ones out there who took the time to come by. I’m looking at you, girls from San Francisco.
Some other highlights from the con include dinner with the Least I Could Do / Blind Ferret gang which, in case you didn’t know, includes an entourage of about 10 people. I have no pictures from this event but according to witnesses we had a good time. All I can say for certain is about 20 minutes where the entire table was talking about Super Art Fight. That was a good feeling.
Oh, and what’s that? You saw me at the Cyanide and Happiness table? Yeah you did. Here’s me drawing wangs with the gang:
Finally, thanks to my parents and my good friend Kimmers, who made the whole weekend possible. My parents helped with all the logistics of getting all the supplies to the con, and Kimmers gave me a place to stay. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.
Wild Pig Con
I went there! It was fun! I spent most of it staring at this TV that my table was pointed at making fun of old Spider-Man and Thor cartoons with Dern and James Hatton. Rossmom even worked the table for a while, but nobody asked her to sign anything. I was disappointed for her. Also, I saw Fat Flash. Which has been my iPhone background ever since.
We did 2 amazing Super Art Fight shows there. Fans came by. I got a table next to my friends Kev and Blondie from Caf-Fiends, and they stayed with me for the weekend. Nobody can have better friends than these two, they are amazing people. Not to mention Kev is insane. If he and Gary Busey were ever put in the same place, that place would explode and take about 4 square miles with it.
I shared a table with Kev and Blondie. There was a fire alarm. I really wasn’t trying that hard to sell things because I was so tired, but I DID invent the TOWER OF COMICS™. It must’ve been successful, this badass girl dressed as monster-hunting Velma came by my table and I sold a “Beards Turn Laziness Into Awesomeness” shirt to a girl with no beard. Velma, if you’re out there, I miss you.
What We’ve Learned
Since this wraps up the convention season for The System for the year, here’s some behind-the-scenes recap:
The TOWER OF COMICS™ is a must in the future. Will be trying to perfect it further.
Sometimes, the convention doesn’t have a lot of traffic. That doesn’t mean you aren’t good at selling things, sometimes there’s just nobody around to buy them.
I really need to finish book 1 of comics, if only to get people to stop asking me about it.
I hate lugging around a ton of shirts. I either need helpers (that I can’t afford) or to only bring 3 or so shirts to a con.
There are lots of you Systemics out there, and you guys come to cons. Which is honestly always a treat, as numbers do not accurately represent the fact that people come and read this site every day. It is always a heartwarming feeling.
The new banner is sweet as hell. Did you see it? It’s in a lot of the pictures above.
I miss Velma.
Thanks for reading this absurdly long post, guys! If you liked it or even just if you read it, post a quick word in the comments. In fact, if you ever met me at a convention, post that too! Was I awesome? Smelly? Did I have a sweet beard? Post your convention stories about me or any of these cons and your experiences!