I had a tremendous time at Katsuchan 17. It feels great to be back on the con circuit to meet new fans and fellow creators. There were aspects of the convention that seemed broken to me but I won’t dwell on those issues because the staff was abundantly aware of their shortfalls. Also, there was probably a lot of behind-the-scenes drama that played out that doesn’t need to be aired out in public. Overall, I had a great time and it seemed like the attendees that I talked to were having fun. And in the end, that’s what these things are for.
The Back of the Alley
My table was all the way in the back of the Artists Alley right before the webcomic guest section. I was in the weird position of being a Guest of the con and a Staff Artist but not a Webcomic Guest. Someday, I will join their ranks and stare at a back wall as well!
I could be mistaken, but the ass back of the alley is not terribly good positioning. So it amused me greatly to hear other artists complain about their positioning in the feedback meeting. Those bastards were all closer to the entrance. Fortunately, the power of Puppy Cow compelled people to stop by and check out my stuff.
I wish I had a camera with me to record all the reactions Puppy Cow got. Even if I didn’t sell a blessed one, those reactions were freaking priceless, everything from abject horror to squees of adoration. Loved it!
This was the first convention where I had products on my table. And not just the typical art prints and postcards. I had stickers, pendants, shirts, mini comics, and Puppy Cow. I sold more Puppy Cows than anything else which I kind of expected. But I didn’t expect to sell any mini comics which turned out to be the second best seller on my table. Stickers as well sold much better than I expected. I think having a variety of items at a variety of price points really helped. I probably would have sold more buttons than anything else if I had a chance to make some up for the con, but because of the fanart policy mess, I decided to just bring all original work with me.
Next time I will probably also offer to do sketches. I think $10 for a quick sketch might be reasonable. Full on commissions will probably be price terribly unreasonably. But I also might bring along a handful of original inks and such. We’ll see. So far the only other con I have lined up is SPX.
Going to School With Uncle Frank
One of the highlights of my weekend was going up against Frank Cho at Super Art Fight. Last year, Jo Chen cleaned my clock so I was used to public humiliation in front of my art heros.
I’ve been following Frank’s career since college when he drew University2 for the Diamonback newspaper at the University of Maryland, College Park. Getting a chance to meet him let alone draw along side him was an event that I never knew I could even dream about. The actual fight went by like a blur and while I felt like I was just walking around like an idiot making stupid marks on the canvas, a few people came up to me after the show to congratulate me. I’m so glad I didn’t totally suck.
I’m happy that the piece sold well at the charity auction. I got a chance to talk to Frank afterwards and he seemed to enjoy the fight. He’s a really nice guy and I got to talk about art stuff and how his books and covers are going. He introduced me to his girlfriend as a sick bastard which, strangely enough, I take as a huge compliment for reasons which will be explained in the next segment.
After Hours With Drunk Cartoonists
I enjoy drawing cute things. I enjoy drawing cute yet disturbing things. And there are times when I enjoy drawing completely fucked up things. So when challenged to a “Let’s-see-who-can-draw-the-most-horrifically-depraved-thing-ever”-off by a fellow cartoonist, I take it as a matter of pride to rise to challenge.
And so, Friday and Saturday night, if you were in the courtyard by the fountain at the Gaylord hotel and happened upon a group of drunk cartoonists, you may have witnessed horrific things being drawn by yours truly, Ross, Bill, and Danielle as Dani, Dern, and James (I’m sorry, I don’t have a link for you!) looked on in amused horror.
Now of all the people I ever thought I would ever have the opportunity to meet, the one person I would have thought would be immune to the horrific images I am able to conjure on paper was Danielle Corsetto. From reading her comic and her twitter feed, it is clear that not a whole lot shocks her. However, operation horrify-a-drunk-cartoonist was a big success. I’m not sure if these terrible things will make their way onto the interwebs, but the fucked up thing is that they were kind of tame compared to some of the other shit that I’ve drawn.
There’s gotta be a market for this kind of thing.
These late-night, early-morning drinking/drawing sessions are the best part of going to conventions. Meeting fellow cartoonists, talking about cartooning, conventions, working shows, process, and generally just shooting the shit, this is what I’ve been missing for the past few years. It’s good to get back into the swing of things.