Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ECCC 2012 wrap-up post

This was the best convention I’ve had yet. Thank you to all of the organizers, volunteers, attendees, and other exhibitors for making this show so much fun. You can bet I'll be there next year if I can snag a space before it sells out!

I borrowed my brothers’ car and drove up on Thursday with Emi Lenox. It was great taking a car (vs. Amtrak), because we could take as many boxes as we wanted and we were on our own schedule. Usually, I have to pack very light and leave the show a few hours early on Sunday to catch the last train, but this year I could stay until the veeeeery end, go to dinner, and then hit the road.

Getting my badge, setting up my table, and checking into the hotel all went smoothly. It was lovely. Emi and I met up with Cat Farris, Ron Chan, Sean Kelley, Wook Jin Clark, Patric Reynolds, and Jarrett Williams for dinner, then had a relaxing first night in.

(We also did some Seattle spelunking)

On Friday morning, I was hoping to take a ride in an open-cockpit biplane, but the company didn’t call me back in time to arrange it. It was a bummer, but I went to Pike Place with Emi, Cat, Ron, and Sean instead, and was able to hang out with Terry Blas and Colin Matthew before the show started. Maybe I can take a ride with a different company this summer, or try this company again next year when I’m in Seattle again.

I sat at an exhibitor island with Periscope Studio, and we got choice traffic flow. It was fun watching my studiomate Benjamin Dewey constantly engaged with his Tragedy Series fanarmy. That man could take over the world tomorrow if he gave them the order...

I blew my fangirl budget before the show even started on two Brittney Lee prints (1, 2). xD They are gorgeous. I’ve had my eye on them for a long time, and was really happy to be able to buy them in person.

Attendance at ECCC this year was incredible. I've heard that it went from 32,000 in 2011 to 50,000 in 2012. Friday and Sunday, historically slower days, were at least as busy as Saturday was last year. And Saturday? Insanity. I’m glad my table spot was less than 50m from the bathroom. This was, of course, a really REALLY good thing as an exhibitor. I was pleasantly surprised to talk to a lot of people who said it was their first comic convention, let alone their first ECCC.

It was funny when I looked up immediately after making that purchase and saw this:

The ECCC volunteers were helpful and prepared, as always. This year, they did me a nice favor and helped connect me with John DiMaggio so I could cut a 2-hour line (so sorry, everyone else! @_@) and give him some fan art before sprinting back to my table. I’ve been e-mailing with Ben Acker of The Thrilling Adventure Hour, and he helped make this happen as well. Oh, you want to see the fan art? It’s for a later post, but stay tuned~ :P

I was on the Image Comics 20th Anniversary panel, which was nice, but in all honesty I felt pretty out of place sitting up there with a bunch of well-established pros. I also said some unfortunate things like, “obviously, things have gone pretty well” (about my career since college). xD; I blame nerves! Some people came by my table and picked up Between Gears, citing the panel as their introduction to it, so I am grateful for that. Brandon Graham, Emi, and I had a little fun doodle-jamming during the panel:

Convention sketches were fantastic this year. I got a lot of requests, and many of them were fun subjects and turned out really well. Here are a couple of my favorites:

PS - Did you commission me to draw Sadako Sasaki? I want to give you your commission, but you need to contact me! (Tally at farbeyond dot com)

I did a lot more interviews than last year—I’ll be sure to link when they go live.

(Emi, Eric Stephenson, Ron Richards, Joe Keatinge)

I normally try to network at ECCC because it's a fantastic show for that, but this year it was difficult because several industry parties did not end up happening. I had good times, mostly with friends from Portland, and didn't beat myself up about it.

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