Monday, April 03, 2006
I Left My Heart in Seattle (along with a few Jacksons)
Something I did when I was 2 years old.
Green City Not So Green
Well. here we go again, what can I write about the Microsoft City Comicon? ...hmmm, lemme see. . ."What a great convention!". . .No, not true, it wasn't a good con, in fact, it sucked elephant dick (I'm sure a couple of big-name DC/Marvel artists will disagree with me, but overall, it bombed).
The Northwest's only major comics convention was poorly attended, in my view it's a disgrace, and it does not reflect upon the fine people of Java Town and its surrounding areas, I'm positive there are just as many comics fans in that part of the country as in anywhere else but it tells the story of an inadequate planned and poorly promoted event, I don't think the organizers did enough to get the word out or to invite the type of people who have the power to attract big and diverse crowds, easy for me to say, what the fuck do I know about putting a show together?
Personally, I did OK and can't really complain much as I was able to recover my investment and make a few bucks to spend on extracurricular activities, mainly because my books are kind of "expensive" by comics standards, considering that the average comic book is listed at $2,95, so it takes a lot less individual sales for me to break even and turn a profit, but I find it hard to believe that the average independent comics artist could have come out of that show with a substantial amount of money in his/her pocket.
In terms of self-promotion, and networking this event was OK in my humble opinion. This is another reason why I look at these shows as opportunities to travel, meet fellow artists, students and supporters and enjoy the company of my friends in the industry, I feel bad for many of the artists who depend on these shows for income.
This of course, is not just my opinion, I interviewed a lot of the artists exibiting at the show and the majority were very disapointed. After 3 years of attending these geek festivals, I've developed my own ways to measure the success of a particular event (or lack of). I can tell for sure if a show it's going to suck by observing the crowds, if by the time I roll in on Saturday morning I don't see a long line of people, wrapping around the convention center building, it usually spells doom, especially for a two-day convention. People I talked to offered all kinds of rationale why the show did not draw a bigger audience, me? I believe it's all in the promoting, advertising does work, the right advertising that is.
Now, having said that, and to be fair, I must say that the event ran smoothly and without incidents, the organizers were very corteous and helpful, the place was clean, well-lit and spacious, but the food tasted like shit; have you ever heard the expression "Eat Shit & Die" well, that's pretty much it, but then again the food at conventions everywhere in the US is of school cafeteria quality -without the nutritional value-.
Despite the fact that the con was a financial dud, it did not hinder in any way our ability to ridicule ourselves and to have fun like pigs in manure (and I don't mean cops in a drug raid either). Stephen Silver and Patrick Morgan are not only amazing artists but terrific friends, Silver missed his true calling in life, he should have become a stand-up comedian.
Our efforts to find decent entertainment on Friday night did not yield respectable results, the three of us were virgins -having never visited Seattle previously and without an expert like Stripclub Tony to hold our collective hand- we were lost children; Saturday night, however, proved to be an entirely different story.
Right after the show ended we hooked up with our Canadian pals who are organizing the Calgary show: Kandrix and Laurie B. and we headed to the picturesque Pike Place Marquet by the water, we had dinner at the generic named 'Japanese Gourmet Restaurant' -82 Stewart Street (between First Ave. and Pike Place), which a local woman raved so much about, of course she was wrong! the sushi was rather bland, but the company was grand.
We walked the fine streets of downtown Seattle, crashed an 'art' gallery show, wandered around in circles searching for the "Lava Lounge", a really cozy tiki bar and had a tremendous time hanging and drinking with those crazy "kickass Art" fools. The talented Joe (Patrick's friend) drove us to a very special place, highly recommended by Stripclub Tony whom we found inside awaiting our arrival. Tony's vast knowledge and expertise in the entertainment field is out of this world!, unfortunately (for you) I can't reveal the nature of our business at that locale, let me just say that "what happens in Vegas, is nothing compared to what happens in Seattle", maybe one day I'll write a tell-all book, but not today.
Dropping Names Ain't Polite
But I'll do it anyway. Now, the part of the convention that made it worthwhile: meeting old friends and making new ones; lots of visitors, fellow artists I admire and friends of this here blog, came by and said hello, something that blew me away and nearly made me cry. Thanks for the love, guys and gals!! It makes me so happy to finally put faces to the names of such kind people.
The list is sorta long but off the top of my head, let me give thanks to the great Michel Gagne and his lovely wife for sharing battlefield stories and garlic bread -we'll turn Calgary into our personal playground, I promise you-, my beautiful friend Wade, sorry we couldn't spend more time together, man, we'll do a book together for sure!, Ben Balisteri, the very gracious Ovi Nedelcu with whom I traded compliments and books, my buddy Jason Pearson -Megan says Hi!-, Brian Stelfreeze who I can talk art with for an eternity, Dave Crosland, Abbott Smith and his lovely wife, Scott Morse -whose book on Maurice Noble is nothing short of a masterpiece-, Jen and Greg Thompson, Jeremy Haun, Kara Fairfield (who fed me), Hawaiian Dave -thanks for the chocolates- (yes, he's everywhere), The Original Dangster and his charming, charming better half, Tha Art Slayer and his brother, Darque Artiste, AnimeGWAAAR!, my boy Forest Eaton -I'm going to give you so much original art, you'll run out of walls-, Kevin Isaac, Stripclub Tony, the uber talented Kevin Dart, the gorgeous Camilla, the mighty Adam, Gene Blakesfield, Joe and many more no less important peeps whose names I can't bring to my lips at the moment. And above all, Stephen Silver and Patrick Morgan, without whom, this trip wouldn't have been made possible.
All in all, this was an incredible experience and I'm looking forward to visiting Seattle next year.
PS: New MP3 playlist on sidebar ----------->