I mentioned I’d give a full debrief of this year’s Emerald City Comicon in my previous post about it but I’ve been fighting a nasty cold (aka con crud, con sars, con flu, etc.) since getting back home from Seattle last week and didn’t want to scribble some DayQuil-fueled ramble about how superawesome it was. Yes, it was indeed superawesome but since I had already explained that, I figured you’d want some specifics, which, since I’m feeling about 80% myself again, I can now provide:
THE CON ITSELF. ECCC was where it all began for me as far as conventions go, as it was the very first con I ever did (back in 2011) and is still my favorite. Every year it expands in floorspace, every year more people fill it, and every year it gets more energetic and exciting. I was fortunate to have a great space this year, right in front of the Image Comics block and right smack next to amazing/talented/cool cartoonists Danielle Corsetto and Randy Milholland (of Girls With Slingshots and Something*Positive, respectively) and right behind the Blind Ferret block, which towered up over the back of my booth, making it appear as though I was part of their collective. (Naturally, I didn’t complain as I’m a fan of what those guys are doin’.) Needless to say, I had loads of traffic around my booth which allowed me not only to sell more BOTstuf than ever, but to talk to people who had never heard of JEFbot before, hand out postcards and hopefully got them to give this webcomic a try!
NEW MERCH. Since this was my first con as a full-time webcomicker, I had much more time to prepare, which meant I had a lot of new merch in a more well-thought-out booth. This was my first convention with the new Quality Time 2.0 tees which I’m happy to report did quite well, in addition to some QT2.0 prints (including a canvas) which completely sold out! I’m hoping to get those prints restocked and available in The BOTshop as soon as I finish working out how to ship them safely. The only stuff that was able to outsell the QT2.0 tees was the new Mouthfuls of Madness Ramen House shirts! I literally picked those up from the t-shirt press the day before leaving for ECCC, and was happy I did since there were a lot of A) Cthulhu fans or B) Ramen fans or C) Both in Seattle last weekend. I sold out of a few sizes of the limited Deep Red and Stonewash Green variants and moved a bunch of the prints, too. I also brought the new JEFbot Greeting Cards with me, with three additional new cards, to boot! I’ll be putting those new ones online with the others soon and will blog about ’em when I do.
BOT ROCKIN’ PEEPS. Every year the list of BOTreaders comin’ to the BOTbooth grows and this year did not disappoint! Big thanks to all the fans that showed; you guys really make coming up to Seattle worth it and make the convention just fly by every year. I always bring a bunch of special BOTtons to give away at each of the conventions I do and they flew out of the booth faster than ever before. I was nearly depleted of them before the end of the second day and could only give them out sparingly after that. There were several readers who came sporting last year’s BOTton affixed to their lanyards and satchels but a couple had both 2012’s and 2011’s to add to this year’s which completely blew me away! Wow. And the BOTpeeps that offered to bring snacks and/or beverages over were awesome – I was pretty well nourished this year since I had help, but I know what it’s like to be stranded at the booth without food or drink for hours, so it’s always appreciated. Oh, and special thanks to Heidi for bringing over that Bacon Maple Bar all the way up from Portland; that thing was just wrong in all the right ways. Nomnomnom. I’m salivating (and feeling my arteries harden) just thinking about it.
LAST THOUGHTS. I better start wrapping this post up before it gets any longer. Let me just say (except for contracting the con crud) I loved everything about this year’s Emerald City Comicon. I mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but I was honored by getting my artwork in this year’s Monsters & Dames book and auction, both of which raise money for the Seattle Children’s Hospital, so that was definitely a highlight. Also, I drove the nearly 1200 miles from Los Angeles to Seattle with my buddy, Joe, who also helped me set up the BOTbooth, sell merch and greet fans, and then helped disassemble the BOTbooth and stuff it all back into the car before making the long drive back to L.A.. There’s no way this trip could’ve gone any more smoothly without him. Another huge thanks goes to Tiana – you’ve surely seen her in the JEFbot comments over the past few years – who was a major help on Saturday at the BOTbooth. She handled all the readers, cosplayers and fellow geeks around the BOTbooth with aplomb and slung BOTmerch like a pro. Right now, she’s journeying across America, so I’m hoping to see her again during her travels. I also wanted to sneak in a thanks to Joe’s awesome friend, Kris, who let us stay with her at her relatively new place in Seattle, which just happened to be blocks away from the convention center where ECCC was housed. She made the stay comfortable and convenient and was a ton of fun to hang out with.
Man, the Emerald City Comicon set the bar so high this year I don’t know if it’ll ever be beat. Of course, I’m going to give it a try next year since I’ve already reserved my booth, and there are a few upcoming cons this year that may give it a run for its money – Phoenix Comicon and Comic-Con International in San Diego to name names. It’s going to be a pretty exciting year, methinks. If I haven’t already, I hope to see you at a con soon!