Salvager Kain #4
While I'm not 100% certain when I'll be taking the site down to revamp it, I figured I'd let you know it's coming. With my successful start of the Salvager Kain Online comic site running this spring, I've decided to convert this site over to the Wordpress blogging software as well, which should make it easier to do updates (no more clunky HTML crafted through my outdated version of Adobe GoLive) AND hopefully make it more convenient to implement the online store (still down the road, but getting closer).
FYI I do intend to incorporate as much of the existing content here as possible into the new design, including con reports and comic summaries. Certain site links may get rejiggered, but I'll try as much as possible to keep it connected in much the same way.
And then, I promise, I will get back to writing & drawing silly pictures with funky hand-lettering. Wait, what? You mean I already do that? Every five days? And I can see it where? Over here? Oh... hey, fantastic! That's the bees' knees, that is! Do I rock, or what? What?
Wow, I can't believe I haven't added these folks to the list until today. I'm a Top Dog Space Cadet, I'm a Bad Self-Publishing Minicomics Cartoonist, I'm busier than I ought to be and sometimes let things slip. But what is blame, besides a fun thing to throw around?
Despite my missing-presumed-absent business acumen, let me say I'm extremely happy to have my comics in with the fine folks at Heroes Aren't Hard To Find in Charlotte, NC. Yes, these are the same people who run the Heroes Comic Convention in that same town! Yes, I did meet their store manager Shawn Reynolds at that con and persuaded them to carry Salvager Kain on their shelves! Yes, I'm a tool for forgetting to mention it until now! Now can we just... move... forward from here?
As always, visit the Buy page to see the full list of retailers selling Fool's Gold Press minicomics -- and plan your trips accordingly!
Hey everybody -- I've just added another retailer, this time in Brooklyn: Bergen Street Comics! I haven't been there -- I have my new minicomics agent Tony Shenton to thank for the connect -- but dang, the photos on their site sure look like they're running one very attractive store. If you're in Brooklyn, and I'm sure on occasion you must be, go visit them! They're carrying the first four Salvager Kain issues. Check out the updated Buy page to find the contact info for them, along with all the other stores selling Fool's Gold Press minicomics!
Paul's Heroes Con 2009 Journal, Pt 2:
(Yes, it's another Bowie quote. Move on.)
I was surprised at how big the hall was. I should have guessed from the guest list that any con boasting marquee names like Brian Michael Bendis, Jeff Smith and Adam Hughes AND non-marquee names such as myself would require a hall big enough to physically differentiate between our respective spots in the industry. I made the most of the empty concrete corner I was facing -- just glad to be in the hall.
And it WAS an empty corner, labeled on the map as the "Blood Drive". I didn't see that, exactly (though I did see something more gruesome, which if I have the time I'll add at the end). It's too bad the Blood Drive was absent; it sounded like a good cause, and I've often wondered how much better my comics pitch would work on the dizzy and light-headed. This would not be the weekend to find out.
Further distinguishing my little table slice of con was the drips of condensation falling Friday morning from the ceiling's air conditioning pipes, directly overhead of my portfolio book. I thank that first astute customer (or looky-loo) at my table, who pointed out what would have taken me I'm sure several hours to notice: a little SPLUT of water on the acetate. This gave me my first opportunity to thank Dustin Harbin (as one of the few "point" people I met from the Heroes Con organizing crew) for his prompt, efficient assistance. I didn't really care about titling the table whopperjawed so as to avoid the watercolor look; it's an easy way to stand out, and it fit my corner location quite well. But it was nice to know the con staffers and convention hall techs both respected the problem and had it fixed by end of day.
OK, so -- anyone who's seen me at a convention has "got" my approach: hand-drawn felt-marker signs with "witty" pitch phrases. Things like "Minicomics -- cheaper than a latte and easier on your gut". The upside -- they're cheaper, more varied & less hassle than pre-fab professionally printed displays. As for the downside, they do tend to scream "amateur," and I'll be the first to admit that after the same approach at different cons, overall it might seem a little bit routine. But the biggest upside is what keeps me doing it: I want to connect with folks, someway, somehow. I would much rather amuse someone strolling past (at that ten-foot restraining-order circumference most self-publishing minicomics creators like myself seem to inspire) and possibly lure them close to talk about ANYTHING, sales be damned, than to sit in silence, sketch, and silently bemoan my lack of traffic. So, yeah, if I have a sign out that says "Fool's Gold Press: ask about our discount for Tagalong Spouses (haven't they've suffered enough?)," there's a good chance at least someone will step into the Danger Circle and tell me they liked the sign. And from there, you'd be amazed how many folks ended up buying something. I even sold three signs!
I realize at this pace, I could keep writing pages of journal -- and I'm supposed to be packing up everything today -- so I'll just have to give the highlights and photos:
• I have to say, the Heroes Cons seem REALLY well-regarded not just by other exhibitors but by a large number of attendees as well. A bunch of folks I talked to gave the impression the event was something not-to-miss. For that, and the fact I did my best sales at a con ever (and not just for the three-day deal), I'm definitely planning to return. I only hope they can keep it all in one big hall. My special corner experience, shared with many other first-timers, would be a different kind of suck if it occurred in our own tiny little room (like the only time I'd been to SPX, a few years back).
• I got to do my first two interviews, about Salvager Kain. The first was a future-podcast interview with Brant Fowler of Comic Related -- it was great talking with Brant, and learning a little more about Haven Distributors as well (formerly Cold Cut). (Before I forget -- "hi" to Jackie Hernandez, great meeting you and thanks for introducing me to Brant!) The second interview was for a guy with a video camera, no name and no site; I can see this ending really, really well.
• Also got to meet a few folks who actually count as fans -- some folks as far back as Exit At The Axis. That was a great experience, and one I wouldn't trade for all the art supplies, comics and coffee in the world. (My own shock -- a fan referring to "Exit"; wait, you mean MY "Exit"? Exit At The Axis? I thought surely he meant Nabiel Kanan's "Exit". Oh. Right! Hah.)
• Getting a viciously sore throat from talking comics to a steady stream of folks on Saturday and Sunday is a complete mixed blessing. Again, I'm not trading that, but I may prepare a bit better next con.
• Attending absolutely no panels and very few bathroom breaks on account of failing to hire a henchman / flunkie. Big thanks to super-cool Sunday neighbor Dani Dixon for helping a fella "in a pinch", and selling a decent set or two of Salvager Kain in my absence.
• Another high point: kind and possibly misguided folks who so nicely stopped and asked me for suggestions and / or advice on how to do comics / get to where I'm at -- all the while me resisting the temptation to ask, in all seriousness, "where am I at?"
• Lots more cool folks I got the chance to meet only because they made the heroic efforts to come to me, rather than vice-versa. I'll need to devote more time to covering the cool comics & creators I've had the pleasure to see, hopefully with reviews of their work, in the coming months.
• And lastly, about that Blood Drive corner... BIG kudos to the expedient professionalism of the Heroes staff, convention hall crew & EMT responders for their care of the unfortunate kid dressed as Anakin Skywalker who suffered a seizure & hit the concrete floor, hard, right in that open area my table was facing. We're talking big, you-should-be-really-concerned pool of blood. Thankfully the kid came to; but the worst part was hearing him plead and scream, apparently not from pain, but from the fact he didn't want to be taken out of the con. That was gut-wrenching.
(This picture was taken well after the medical crisis was wrapped up. You get an idea of my little empty corner -- not so empty at this moment.)
• Okay, I can't end on that. Last last point: having been to more Alternative Press Expo cons in the recent years than anything else, I'd forgotten how much the kids they love to dress up. Which, you know, is better than a fight club, so who am I to judge? The sexy-sexy costumes seemed occasionally (but not always) in poor taste, and I made some effort to balance the gender roles a bit. The hottie in the leather is still a hottie, seated and selling... and if the artist chaps are worth their salt, they ought to show THEY know how to suffer. That's what I say.
Well, that's it. Thanks for reading my journal account -- you justify my existence with only your eyeballs and your brief attention span. Now if you haven't already, pop over to www.salvagerkain.com and read my webcomic: Salvager Kain, already in progress, updating every five days. It's funnier than a bag of measles! I think.
You couldn't call the trip's beginning "smooth", exactly. I'm not really bitching; I just think it's kind of funny how the whole thing started out, and why not share?
Let me just preface these minor little crises with some personal background: my wife & I have been living this spring in New Haven, CT, just temporarily... and therefore we aren't where we normally live (Southern Illinois), where we know full well the deal of what you can & can't expect, and have adjusted to it. Because you have to.
Problem number one began (like Exit At The Axis) the moment we left for departure, about ten feet out the door of the apartment we're staying in. The one suitcase we have with us that's big enough for me to pack all my con-going gear in, turns out its wheels are bust, dysfunctional, kaput. I have its doppelganger back home, which I've taken to cons before... but this wasn't it. And there wasn't time or a functional double for me to repack. Solution? Piggyback the luggage onto my smaller, fully-wheeled carry-on, for rolling's sake. It worked... but that little fella left here looking like a black brick and at the end of the trip resembles something more like a pillow.
Problem two began at the door of the apartment building (you can see what kind of progress I was making here that morning). Stacey went to go grab the car from the parking lot, to pull around and pick me up & my faulty luggage. Fifteen minutes later she returned on foot with the regrettable news that the parking lot wasn't open yet, and wouldn't be until about 7 am -- about the time I was hoping to be near to if not already at the Hartford airport. This being the first early morning trip we've taken while staying in New HaHa (as I've been calling it)... this was the first I'd heard of the locked up lot. Solution? Debate other options for about ten minutes and then head over to the parking lot anyway hoping to catch whoever arrives to open up, hopefully as early as possible. We lucked out enough and got in & on the road by 6:30.
Problem three was getting uncharacteristically lost (after a stop for gas) on the Connecticut freeways, which resemble British Columbia backroads (beautiful trees and poor signage) more than the fully developed US Interstates I've come to expect. Solution? Lots of cursing, and surrender to several wrong circuits before finding the right path. (Much like the creative process is for me, in that respect.)
And then thankfully, at the airport, things improved -- and how often can you make that claim? My Hotwire-booked ticket had me catching a flight from Hartford to Detroit, and then from Detroit down to Charlotte, NC. Six hours, and hardly direct. Turns out? That Detroit-based flight was well over weight restrictions, and they were looking for something like ELEVEN volunteers... and if I could have volunteered a couple times, I would have. How sweet was this? They put me on a direct two-hour flight to Charlotte, leaving an hour later and arriving three hours earlier than I would have arrived otherwise... they brought my checked, bulging, broken-wheel bag to the hotel once it arrived (I took the bus, had a decent ride and saved a $30 cab fare)... and I got a $300 voucher out of the deal. Not karma, not luck, just the way things played out. However you slice it, my Thursday turned out pretty good by the end of it, and I'm grateful.
And that's not even covering the convention, which really was fantastic... but it's a start to the story, and all you'll get for today, I'm afraid; I need to get back to animation work. I should have a bit more up here tomorrow, though with some fun pics from the con -- be sure to come on back!
SK Online - Updating Every Five Days!
Kain's search for a route back home to The Kingdom keeps on hitting snags, as he's just encountered Spit the Vicious and his slacker gang of "legendary adventurers". Is he about to be maimed, robbed, or enlisted?
As of yesterday, we're up to page 10 of Salvager Kain #5. In the next few months I aim to increase the frequency of installment updates, create an online store and by the end of the summer have SK5 available for sale in all its black & white minicomic glory. But the online comics are the main train to keep a-coming; head on over and read 'em now!
New Minicomics Sales Agent: Tony Shenton
This is something I've been meaning to do for a while, and it's had to take a back seat to just "working on the story" for way too long. Tony Shenton pulls off a unique and herculean effort as a minicomics agent, selling minis like mine to more comic shops than I can count. I've certainly done a lot of traveling across the continent in the last couple years, and have been lucky to personally connect with retailers with most of the cities I visit... but that doesn't begin to compare to the list that Tony services. So I'm happy to finally be one of the publishers he represents, and extend the reach of stores that sell Fool's Gold Press.
The Band Is Awful And So Are The Tunes:
other peoples' comics:
the dreamer / lora innes
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