Monday, March 4, 2013

Emerald City ComiCon 2013 wrap-up post

I'm back from Emerald City ComiCon in Seattle!  It was another great year.  Attendance was over 60,000 and the exhibition area was twice as large as last year.
(Check out the gorgeous photos of exhibitors Anna Goellner took at ECCC.)

The highlights of the weekend, for me, were probably the chances I had to meet face-to-face with people I've only known online.  I got to speak with Claire Hummel, Victoria Ying, Brittney Lee, and Joe LeFavi!  It shouldn't come as any surprise that they were lovely, charming people.  I now own 3 beeeeautiful art books from Claire, Victoria, and Brittney.

I invested a lot in prints this year, and it was a relief that they sold really well!  Commission sales were also great, and Between Gears continues to sell.  The coloring book sales were underwhelming, to the point that I gave them away to kids who showed interest in them, but maybe they'll be better for a show like Stumptown.  I need to thank Image Comics, especially Ron Richards, for taking time away from their extremely popular table to deliver more copies of Between Gears to me!

I took it pretty easy at night this year, going to dinner and drinks with friends from school more than hunting editors, and I found that to be extremely pleasant.  Big shows like ECCC attract people from all over the country, and I got to catch up with people I don't get many opportunities to.  It's exciting hearing what everyone is up to!  And they were really encouraging, giving me confidence in myself and getting me excited to undertake several project ideas I've been kicking around. :) Cons in general get me fired up and inspired--I felt like ECCC pulled me out of a bit of a slump and gave me a clear view of what I need to do.

Speaking of upcoming projects, many people asked what I have in the pipeline, so maybe I should list that out clearly for anyone who is wondering (there are a few more than this that haven't been announced, so stay tuned!):
  • It Girl & The Atomics issues 10, 11, and 12, coming out this May, June, and July
  • A Boy & A Girl coming out this year from Oni Press
  • A short story in the Thrilling Adventure Hour graphic novel, coming out this summer
  • A gallery show at Sequential Art Studio + Gallery in Portland during the month of May
I could hardly believe it, but I actually spent time each night in my hotel room working on commissions!  I always try to, but it rarely happens.  I felt that all of my commissions turned out well this year, and working on them in the evening meant I was able to go out at night without that responsibility hovering over me.  I will definitely try to replicate that in the future.

I was reminded more than once this weekend of Amy Poehler's speech to the Harvard 2011 graduating class.  I love the message about collaboration; it is so true.  I table alone at shows, but I receive tangible help from many people to get there.  From Colin carrying a 20 lb box of Between Gears for me, to Terry directing people to my table, to Ron scooting his stuff over 4 inches to accommodate my new wire arch set-up, to George and Hunter's pep talks, to Lucy and Chris's help folding minicomics and flatting pages for me, to Vitamin C tablets from Rich, to the offers from people to get me coffee and food when I was slammed at my table, I am just the face of a 40-person operation, and I know I couldn't do it alone.  I am grateful and a little embarrassed by how much help I receive.  I want to stay aware of that and make sure that I'm offering the same thoughtfulness, patience, and help to the people around me.

When it comes to a rising tide mentality and people shaping comics for the better, I really can't miss the opportunity to mention George Rohac, Yuko Ota, Ananth Panagariya, and the rest of Benign Kingdom.  Do yourself a favor and get acquainted if you aren't already!

Hope to see you at next year's show!  ...Except I might be in France.  I guess going to next year's ECCC is one of the consolation prizes if I don't get accepted to the TAPIF program. :P

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