Celebrating 200 Daily Misfortunes!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!! PARTY TIME!!! Almost a year ago I started posting The Daily Misfortunes, and am so glad to see how much people enjoy them! Sure, it’s the same picture, and sure, I’ve skipped some days posting, but for the most part, I’d say this is a pretty successful web comic going on here Many thanks to my friends who have inspired some of the misfortunes! And well, I can’t say I’m particularly thankful for misfortunes that happened to me (I STILL haven’t gotten my license from the DMV!!) but it’s always good to turn those bad experiences into a little laugh. And thank YOU, everyone on my mailing list, everyone on facebook, twitter, tumblr, google+, and people that just visit my site! YOU ROCK and THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!
I’ll be at Carmine St. Comics this Tuesday again from about 12:30pm to 8pm ish (maybe later if I’m feeling it).
In the past 2 weeks I did 2 comic conventions in the Bronx and want to rate them against each other. The first was the Bronx Heroes Con May 4th and 5th, and the other was the Kids Comic Con May 11th. One I lost a ton of money on, the other I did ok. Here’s the scoop:
Bronx Heroes table cost: $150 VS. Kids Comic Con table cost: $35
Money I made at Heroes: $55 VS. Money I made at Kids: $60
There’s the difference! Losing $95 at Heroes VS making a small profit of $25 at Kids Con. Now, last year at Heroes I spent the same $ for table and made $40 selling my comics for only $1. I thought I did pretty well for my first convention. But a year later I would’ve thought I’d do better by more than a $15 difference and still lose money. I was talking with some other vendors at Heroes and they had similar results. I think the only people who did well were the people who sold the perlor bead design things for like $1 each. Here are some things I think may have affected Heroes:
1. It was on Free Comic Book Day (the first Saturday in May). Many people on Saturday thought all the comics were free, but why should you PAY for comics if you can get other comics for free? Next year, I’m not doing a con on free comic day. I might participate in an event in a comic shop or something, but not pay for a table in a convention.
2. It was in a library. In the far Bronx. Most of the people that came by said they had just stumbled upon that convention from being in the library. When you go to a library, you get books you can read for free (granted, not to keep, but you’re not paying for them). I think the mindset of people is different when entering a library vs entering a comic store, for example (like I said earlier, I did better at Carmine St. Comics grand opening in one day vs 2 days at Heroes).
3. Even though there were some bursts of traffic, it was swarms of kids that didn’t buy anything. Of course, it’s always good to teach them things about comics, and I’m always happy to answer questions – they were all very curious. I suppose Heroes is more of a convention for you if you’ve already “made it” in the industry, have money to lose, and your main goal is to educate kids. I wouldn’t recommend Heroes for someone just starting out.
There were also long periods of time when there just wasn’t much traffic at Heroes. Sunday was especially dead. I asked the person who ran Heroes and said “Hey, I know it’s a lot of work to run a convention, but where is all that money going to? Does some of it go to the library? Does some go to you? I just don’t understand why a con this size should cost $150.” (To compare, MoCCA Fest, which is a HUGE event, cost $200 for half a table. Heroes wasn’t nearly to that scale or fame though). He said some of it went to the library, but most went to advertising. Just for the heck of it, I called the Bronx Fordham Library just now and asked them how much it would cost to have an event there for the weekend. Basically, they said they only hold library sponsored events. So I asked if that comic event was sponsored, did that mean they got the space for free? The lady said she couldn’t give out that information. Interesting.
Also, if we do the math, I’d say there were about 20 tables at Heroes. If they all paid $150 each, that’s $3,000. Let’s say some went to the library, like $500. Even so, that’s still $2,500 for advertising which, in my opinion, wasn’t that effective. Like I said above, most people at Heroes just stumbled upon it because they were already at the library, with very few people making the convention their main destination. I heard Heroes was advertised on tv, which can be pricey. But I noticed even the fliers they handed out and posters online didn’t mark the address of the library – I had to find it through the library site. Now, I haven’t run a convention before, but I’d say Heroes could learn a lot from Alex Simmons, who ran the Kids Comic Con.
Both conventions were in the same area of the Bronx (only 2 stops away). Kids Con was even bigger than Heroes. Kids Con had cool special events, like a competitive pictionary-like comic game. It was an all-around good convention. And even though I didn’t make a ton, it’s way better than losing $. I also got to network a lot too. I did notice though, that some larger companies like Viz and Archie were giving away free graphic novels (I suspect leftovers from Free Comic Book Day the week prior), so that hurt a bit in that nobody bought my $2 mini comics.
In retrospect, for both Heroes and Kids Con, I’d say bring tons of stuff you can part with for free. Not just free fortune cookies or candy, because they’ll be eaten and forgotten, but free comics that will stick with the children and leave them wanting more. If you can afford it But all in all, Kids Comic Con WINS hands down because of low table cost! Low risk for people just getting into the business. Granted, your stuff does need to be “kid friendly.” (I didn’t display the first Misfortune Cookie comic because it has a swear word on the first page.)
In Heroes defense, I think last year’s location was much better – it was held at the Bronx Museum, right by Yankee’s Stadium, which was easier to get to from Manhattan and, being in a museum, I feel like people value art more. They also had a blood drive going on, which they didn’t do this year. I know the goal of the Heroes Con is to bring comics to kids who may not have seen them otherwise – it’s all about outreach. It’s a great cause, and the organizer is very passionate about it – I know him personally and he’s a nice, down-to-earth guy. Who knows, other artists and I may have inspired kids to keep drawing, which is super awesome! But hey, if Heroes continues to be $150 a table, they’re not going to have a convention if no vendors are willing to pay that. Word gets around. Next year, maybe I’ll sign up to have a lecture or something, but I won’t pay for a table if it’s that expensive. Some people may not view me nicely for focusing so much on the money aspect of comics, but hey – when I moved to NYC I made it my goal to become a professional cartoonist. It’s true that charity events are important, but you won’t get ahead in your career doing just those. I wish more artists looked upon their careers as being worth more, because we ARE worth just as much as any lawyer, doctor, scientist, etc and should be valued by others as such.
Some drawings I did from each con:
That’s true for New York, at least.
So much has been going on in the past few days! It’s good to be busy though. And have some fun Kids Comic Con went well last Saturday! I want to do a post this week comparing that con with Bronx Heroes (maybe Thurs or Fri).
Today I’ll be at Carmine St. Comics for a studio day (from like 1pm to 8pm ish). Tomorrow is another big event: Carmine St. Comics Community Showcase! In the words of the shop itself:
For our artists to meet the neighborhood and the neighborhood to meet our artists.
And for YOU to meet both!
All day on Wednesday May 15th, each of our Storefront Artists will have an hourly signing slot during which they’ll sketch for you as they sell their work!
And we’ll be sharing info about this beautiful NYC neighborhood’s history and culture over our social-networking sites from as we go along!
!! – - !!
ALSO! BONUS! Spending a certain amount at the CSC register will qualify you to take home exclusive one-time made-just-for-the-occasion
My time slot is in the morning – from 10am-11am. It should be fun! 34 Carmine St. off the West 4th stop in Manhattan!
I’ll be in the KIDS COMIC CON tomorrow, May 11th! 10am-6pm. It’s at Bronx Community College 181st St. & University Ave., Bronx NY 10453. FREE ADMISSION!
This year KCC’s theme is: Sci-Fact to Sci-Fiction, Where Creativity and Technology Meet. Kids will be able to meet and greet over 30 artists who use different forms of science and technology to create comics, animation, video games, puppets, and more.
KCC 7 Patrolled By NEW CRUSADERS! This year, the creators of Archie Comics’ sci-fi superheroes will be there to answer questions, sketch, and share an inside peek of their creation.
Around The Corner To SESAME STREET! Come meet members of the Jim Henson/Sesame Street creative team. Learn how they work with the Muppets, and much more.
KCC creator and founder Alex Simmons, writer for Archie, Scooby-Doo, Tarzan and oh, so much more, said he’s especially excited about this year’s KIDS COMIC CON.
“Since 2007 our annual event has introduced thousands of kids and families to the power of imagination and creativity,” Simmons said. “Our road shows have traveled from Upstate New York to Miami Florida, to Senegal in Africa. This year, we’re developing programming for students and teachers in the West Indies, and we’ll be screening a documentary about comics in Guatemala.”
KCC artists will also join Ronald McDonald House NY, and others, in its fight for children, against cancer.
“KCC’s primary goal is to promote reading, creativity, and exploration in kids’ lives,” Simmons said. “Now more than ever it is imperative that young people embrace a continuous flow of positive ideas, skills, and outlets for their thinking as well as self-esteem. And this year we’ve found even more people who share these ideas and goals. So come share the day and the magic!”
Alex Simmons (comics creator/writer, creator of KCC)
Alitha Martinez (artist, Marvel, DC, Archie, etc)
Angelo DeCesare (comic artist)
Archie Comics (meet artist for NEW CRUSADERS series)
Barbara Brandon-Croft (syndicated cartoonist)
Bronx Heroes (Ray Felix)
Danny Fingeroth (comic book writer and editor)
Dawn Griffin (creator/artist of Zorphbert & Fred)
Diana Leto (member of Sesame Street creative team)
Emilio Velez, Jr. (creator/writer of The Dodgeball Teens)
Guardians of the City (kids creating heroes to guard their neighborhood)
HB Comics (LazerMan comics)
Jamal Peppers (artist on Archie’s Sonic)
James Sherman (artist comic, storyboards & animation)
Jesus Marquez (comic artist)
Jim Salicrup (Papercutz)
JMG Studio (Friend Fish)
Joan Hilty (freelance editor, DC and others)
Joe Endres (comic artist)
Karen Field (writer, archivist for Jim Henson Company)
Larry Brown (giving a demonstration in archery)
Louis Mitchell (member of Sesame Street creative team)
Mark Mariano (creator/artist of Happy-Loo)
Mindy Indy (comic artist)
N Steven Harris (Voltron artist)
Noel McNeal (puppeteer for Sesame Street, Big Blue Bear, Between the Lions)
Paul Castiglia (comics writer)
Rick Parker (comic artist)
Sam Ito (pop up books)
Suzannah Rowntree (comic artist)
Tim Field (animator, “Molly’s ROCKET”)
Viz Media (publishers of Redaki, Max Steel, and more)
SEE YOU THERE!!
Hey peeps! Tuesday was super nice at Carmine Street Comics. The picture above shows more of what their little studio set up is like. The artist sits on that elevated platform in the front window of the store. I was actually successful at luring some curious new people into the store! (well, “luring” may not be the best word, but you know what I mean). The desk space is just big enough for me to work on my comic pages. That day I worked on drawing and inking the weekly comic I do for the Dysautonomia Foundation – No Tears: Life With FD. It was super great and super chill drawing at that space. I had a nice big window, the door was open and let in the fresh spring air, but best of all – I got to talk with comic peeps every so often! Saw some friends, met some new people, talked about comic stuff. MUCH better than just working on stuff alone at home and going stir crazy (and more productive too, since it’s not easy to climb up and down from there all the time, I’m not distracted). And hey, I even sold a book, so that was a nice extra bonus!
Each day Carmine St. Comics has rotating artists drawing in the window. Today (Thursday) is Ellen Stedfeld‘s turn. Friday is Sean Von Gorman‘s turn, and he’s having a special party event. He has a book out: The Secret Adventures of Houdini. Sean usually does an escape act of some kind during his events. In his own words: “When I crash a party ANYTHING CAN AND WILL HAPPEN!” So stop by Carmine St. Comics this Friday May 10th anytime from 2pm to 10pm to witness the insanity. I may or may not be there (gotta prep for Kids Comic Con THIS WEEKEND).
Also, Carmine St. Comics Community Showcase is going on next Wednesday May 15th 11am-10pm! ALL of the daily window artists will be there at some point of the day sketching, signing, partying, having an all-around good time! Special prizes available to customers of the store!
All this awesome stuff going on at 34 Carmine St. in Manhattan off the West 4th stop. Look for the big green awning that says Imperialist Bookstore, and the Carmine St. Comics sign will be underneath it. GOOD TIMES!
This happened to my friend Ellen on Sunday, literally. 3 times. Then she took the subway. Gotta fight for your right in this city!
Stop by Carmine St. Comics today – I’ll be there working on projects and stuff. Come chat, get a sketch, chill, whatevs. 34 Carmine St. in Manhattan. SEE YOU THERE!
Last Wednesday was a great success for the opening of Carmine Street Comics! A big crowd was steady from the afternoon onward.
I was sketching outside for the most part. (Later on, I had to condense my drawings plastered all over the window.) It got super cold in the evening and I had to borrow a coat
My friend Ellen Stedfeld sketched in the small studio space the store had in the front window area. The owners said they’ll have “resident artists” on a rotating basis every day in the store! My next day will be TOMORROW, Tuesday May 7th, ALL DAY! Come for a sketch, check out the new store, chat, and/or hang out. I’m excited about this new work space!
Here are the proud owners of the store: Michael Novo (left) and Jon Gorga (right). What’s extra cool is that hey, they’re my age and owning a freakin’ store. You can do anything in life you put your mind to! Of special note: this store space is shared by Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books, that’s been there like forever. To save on rent (cuz hey, it’s in the Village) that bookstore rented out 1/3 of their space. Life in New York: finding creative ways to make things work!
Can you tell that Sonic & Knuckles are my favorite? (And they always have been!)
So be sure to stop by Carmine St. Comics on Tuesdays to check out my work! See you tomorrow! 34 Carmine St. by the West 4th station.
Oh yes, and I did the Bronx Heroes Comic Con this past weekend. Didn’t go so well for me and other artists, but more on that later. To be honest, I did better at this one event at Carmine Street Comics (and I wasn’t even there the whole day!).