Monday, May 20, 2019

B:TAS Fans and Indy Authors at ECCC!

Hey folks! Busy times are coming up. My next program 'Seuss on the Loose' begins this Friday, which involves me reading Dr. Seuss books, preparing Seuss-based crafts, and dressing up as The Cat in the Hat for the next five weeks. Little STEAMers begins the first week in June, and Women in NASA follows soon after in July. It should be a crazy, and exciting, time!

Before all that begins Matt and I planned on having a little fun. This last weekend we attended East Coast Comicon in Secaucus, NJ. As you can see from the badge, we originally intended to vend there. Due to the whole 'no drawing for six months' restriction, we decided at the last minute to save the bit of stock remaining for Anthrocon and just enjoy the weekend. Don't worry, the table didn't go to waste. The fellow who was supposed to be our neighbor was able to use it and expand his booth space. So it all worked out in the end.

(A comic lover's paradise.)

It turned out to be a great choice. We had a blast! This was the first con where we really had a chance to actually immerse ourselves in the whole experience and it was wonderful! We were able to wander about at will, chat with vendors, and attend panels! So cool!

(We even got to see one of my comic heroes, George Pérez, talk
about his career in comics. Awesome! Another panel featured some
of the voice actors from 'Batman: The Animated Series'. You can
hear a bit of that panel here.)

I'm sure that most of you are thinking, 'duh, Darc, that's what everyone does at a convention!' The thing is... that's not so. If you're vending you don't get to engage in the wonderful free-for-all geekdom that is a con. You're stuck behind your table for the whole day, often without getting away for meals and missing out on everything. Time spent away from the table means possible missed sales. And dealer/vendor tables run much more than an admission badge, a cost that you hope to recoup in sales. Once the dealer's den is closed for the evening you're often so worn down you just want to grab some food with your friends and then crash. Trust me, it's a completely different experience.

(One thing I did not do was stand in line for an autograph from
George Pérez. I love him, but the line was insane. Here's a shot
when the mob was relatively small.) 

Oddly enough, I only bought one comic book. Matt bought just one as well. Most of the indy comic creators were using some hard sell tactics which tend to turn Matt and myself off. We understand why - again, it's not cheap to vend at these conventions - but we prefer to buy a book out of interest, not feelings of guilt, pity, or desperation.

Instead, I spent most of my time focusing on the independent prose authors sprinkled about the dealer's den. I'm always interested in finding new authors to read and while they weren't getting much business, they never came across as desperate or pushy. They all seemed comfortable, excited, and confident in their work, qualities which I admire. I'm happy with this decision, because I came home with a number of wonderful works that I'm looking forward to reading. I've already started one and it's great so far!

(A pile of amazing sounding books to enjoy, and one
crazy comic I couldn't resist.) 

Matt joked that I should wear a button at cons that says, 'I'm a librarian and I read indy authors'. It may not be a bad idea. While I don't have any buying power at work, I do have access to folks who do. Hmm...

And the cosplayers! I'm always amazed at some of the wonderful costumes folks pull together. I didn't grab many pictures because I'm a little shy about asking folks, but we did see a great Master Roshi...

 ... and Harley Quinn.

The 501st were there as well.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend! Thank you East Coast Comicon and Cliff Galbraith for an excellent con and for being so understanding about us not vending! With luck Matt and I will be able to attend next year as well!

In the meantime, I've BookCon in a few weeks to look forward to and Anthrocon in early July. So yes, I've a fun and wild summer ahead!