So Long, Sandy Eggo

25. July 2006

Just returned from four days schlepping cards and flyers around, attending panels, and meeting old friends at San Diego Con, which has gotten way too big to be sane. I heard an estimate of 125,000 attendees this year, and even the Big Two companies were overshadowed by the movie and game companies.

Herewith are some random observations:

Coolest object at the con:

The giant Lego Batman sculpture. Wish I had a picture.

Most gratifying experience at the con:

Seeing Rantz, Sean, Speed, Batton, Jackie, Peter, Craig, and Phil. I think I spotted a few other ENGINEers in the crowds but I’m not certain.

Second most gratifying experience at the con:

Spotting Tom DeFalco sitting at the Moonstone booth, and surreptitiously dropping a bunch of Big Head Press promo cards in front of a rack on the corner table where the booth guys couldn’t easily see them.

(For anyone wondering why I would do such a thing, see my blog entry here.)

Third most gratifying experience at the con:

Spotting Gary Groth at breakfast in the Hilton restraurant, and regaling my brother with the tale of how I got in the last word with him on The ENGINE.

Strangest annoyance at the con:

Since I’m in webcomics now naturally I meant to attend all the “Webcomics 102″ panels — but the line to the first one, about “how to find your audience” had a line with up to 500 people in it, for a room with classroom seating for 150.

Later I learned that these were not all new and wannabe webcomicers, but were largely fans of the “Penny Arcade” strip and wanted to meet Gabe and Tycho. One fellow who got in told us later that the panel was seriously crippled with fans who wanted to gush and talk about the strip, rather than the topic.

My brother opines that Holkins and Krahulik are “rock stars” now and ought not be allowed to appear at nuts-and-bolts panels such as this.

I have to give the convention organizers credit for recognizing the importance of webcomics but they’re still climbing the learning curve in terms of what works and what doesn’t. The “how to make money in webcomics” panel was pretty good, although the only thing I learned there that I didn’t already know was how huge a guy Scott Kurtz is.

And the “how to create compelling webcomics” panel, which consisted of one woman who did not have a good presentation style, focused mainly on the nuts and bolts of putting together a comic and getting it online. I was hoping for more in the way of creative tips and tricks for making one’s own comic stand out on the crowd.

Most harrowing experience at the con:

Getting poisoned. My brother and I had dinner at the Royal Thai on Fifth Ave., then smoked cigars purchased at the cigar lounge across the street. We wandered back to the convention center, intending to watch some animation programs, but never got past the Men’s Room. After some very ugly business, we made our way back to the hotel and collapsed in our beds, vowing never to do again whatever it was we did (the Pinot Noir? the spring rolls? the cigars?) that made us that sick.

Fortunately the malady was short-lived and we were back in action on Saturday.

Upshot: We are going to focus more on smaller cons going forward.

Kategorie Big Head Press, comics, Posts, Webcomics | Comments Off

No time for Heroes

5. July 2006

While it seems like everybody who is anybody in comics converged on Charlotte, NC this past weekend for Heroes Con, the Big Heads have been converging on Cheyenne, WY instead.

Bre’r Frank made the drive up from BHP Galactic Headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, bringing wife Jan and son Jake, showing up a day earlier than he said he would. Caught us in the middle of franticly cleaning up La Casa enough not to be embarrassing, at least. Frank said his “travel math” was off. He was leaving on the second for a two-day trip so he should arrive on the fourth, right?

As it happened, they showed up just in time for the great Cheyenne Deluge, Power Outage and Lost Dogs Round-Up. We had the biggest rain storm of the year open up just before they arrived; then after the weather cleared a bit we went out to eat and the power died before we could get our beer orders in. We found another restaurant in another part of town that had power — as it turned out, the outage only affected a roughly 8-square-mile section of the city — but when we returned to La Casa power was still off.

We heard our dogs barking in the backyard as we scrambled to set up my camping lantern and acquire some candles. We didn’t notice when they stopped barking, but I did notice when I called them in at close to midnight that they weren’t there. They’d managed to knock the gate open and escape. So we had a great time driving around the neightborhood looking for our prodigal canines, and find them we did by and by, and then I had to disappoint Frank by explaining that the next day would probably not be as interesting.

Kategorie Big Head Press, Posts, Wyoming | 1 Kommentar »