Sunday, July 31, 2016

SDCC Reflection

It's been quiet out here on the west side of town. Today wraps up a week of not drawing comics for me. This is the longest I have gone without drawing comics since 2008. Comics have been a big part of my life for the last 8 years, maybe this is why last weekend hurt so much.

SDCC did not go well on many levels.

I had attended the show 20+ times in the last 25 years. However, this was the first time I was exhibiting. I really did not expect to sell much, but I set myself up so that I had the chance to sell a lot. A new issue of my flagship title Cousin Harold. A limited edition Space Mummy resin figure. However this really did not matter, I did not appear to be selling what the customers were buying.

I make hand made comics on my kitchen table. I write, draw, print, staple, fold and trim my books. From beginning to end, I'm involved in every part of the creation of my comics. Cousin Harold is kids book that is designed for kids to enjoy, but I really feel it's target audience is the adult who misses enjoying comics like he/she did as a kid. I usually tell people the book is created for 10-year-old me to read and enjoy.

I had many people say positive things about my book and work, but they usually left my table by wishing me good luck. I know my comic is not for everyone, at least we had a good conversation. The customers that upset me are the parents, whose kids are interested in the comics but are told they just got here and need to look around before they start purchasing things. The problem that I have with this situation is I'm not a mega-corporation with a television shop, video game, etc. I'm one guy with some hand made books and a banner behind me featuring my characters. Once they leave my 6 foot table, they probably will never think of me again. This is the problem that I need to solve.

I understand that parents cannot spend money on everything that their kids are interested in. Being a parent I have spent money on things that my own kids were interested in only to have those same kids get interested in something else a couple weeks later. I think I have a solution for this problem, without changing what I do. I'm in the planning stage for this solution and will share more once I'm ready.

The other things that did not go well at SDCC are more personal and I do not think they need to be aired here. All I can say that I'm done trying to help promote other people for a little while. I have spent the last 3 years making projects involving my friends from the AZ Universe series to the Comics Never Stop newspaper. I was hoping to build a team of creators which would I could travel to out of town shows and share tables/expenses with. I was hoping that these projects would spotlight what an AWESOME comics community we have here in Arizona, which I believe they did. But I felt like personally like I was left with disappointment and frustration every time. These project were a great learning experience and I plan on using many of the things I have learned from them to promote my own projects in the near future.

It's a week later and I still feel sad at how SDCC went. I remember someone saying at some point "Comics will break your heart kid!" or at least that is what has been going through my head all week. It might sounds like I'm blaming this on SDCC, but the truth is that every show I have done this year has been a little disappointing. SDCC is just the straw that broke the camel's back. 2016 has been a rough year for me and my comics.

Tomorrow I will begin to pick things up and start making comics again, formulating a different plan to get my comics out to people. Tomorrow I will make comics fun again, at least for me.


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