Well, I’m back from San Diego Comic Con 2011 and I’m still alive. I feel as though I just went head to head with a bull and barely made it out alive, but just making out alive is a win in my books. After every convention I’m left feeling a little different about where I’m headed as a self publisher and what my next course of action should be. One of the great things about conventions like San Diego is the amount of like minded artists and self publishers you get to meet and share strategies and opinions with, and this year was no exception. Sales weren’t the greatest over all, but I heard that from a lot of people (I’m guessing it’s due to over programming of Hollywood panels which require attendies to wait in line for 3+ hours a pop, on Friday and Saturday, which are supposed to be the busiest days of the week), and the doubling and tripling of hotel rates leave everyone financially rung dry, including us exhibitors. With that said, it always takes a day or two to weigh whether the pros of conventions like San Diego outweigh the cons….. (and this year certainly had it’s fair share of pros).
Javier Hernandez behind the Possum Press/Ultraist Studios/ Los Comex table
My brother, Mike who is usually sharing a table with me at conventions couldn’t make it to San Diego this year, so I had the pleasure of sharing a table with Javier Hernandez of El Muerto fame for Friday, Saturday and the better part of Sunday, which was a lot of fun. If you haven’t checked out Javier’s work, make sure you do!!!
He even made me an original Possum/El Muerto sketchdoll (TM Javier Hernandez!)
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves……. I arrived in San Diego late Tuesday night, and seeing as the convention didn’t start until Wednesday at 5pm, I had the morning to myself (which wasn’t a luxury last year as Mike and I arrived Wednesday night), so I took the Coronado Ferry over to Coronado and hit the beach. It was a great way to start the week.
Debuting from Possum Press this year was my newest issue of The Possum, issue #5, which arrived a day before I had to leave for the convention (talk about cutting it close).
I had a really good response from people who picked up some Possum comics at last year’s show and who came back to get the entire set which was really nice. As always, I drew sketches for people who picked up a comic book (free of charge). Here’s a few of them:
The Possum vs. Zombie Jesus.... How am I supposed to draw this tastefully???? (this is what I came up with)
Since Mike wasn't with me, I got to draw SPY GUY!! (with El Muerto by Javier Hernandez)
The Possum on a train request.... She had me stumped for a minute there
The Possum (by Blair Kitchen) vs. a Midget Muerto wrestler (by Javier Hernandez)
But like I said earlier in this post, the best part about any convention is the people you meet (including the fans). Some highlights for me were talking to Sergio Aragones and Stan Sakai, who are always an absolute pleasure to meet and a fountain of knowledge. I said hello to Doug TenNaple who I’ve been wanting to meet for a while now and I got to hang out all day with Javier Hernandez too! Also, I reconnected with Shane and Chris Houghton who have taken their previously self published book “Reed Gunther” over to Image and were signing at the Image booth all weekend. Throw in a dinner in Old Town with some old and new cartoonist friends and I guess you’ve got a pretty good Comicon in my books. (In part two, I’ll post more of my thoughts on Comicon and what I feel a self publisher like myself needs to do moving forward….)
Blair Kitchen (The Possum) and Rob Wuest (Monsters Among Us)
Update: Javier Hernandez has a great Comic Con review up on his blog, Javzilla.