WonderCon 2011on May 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm
It’s been almost a month since WonderCon. It would appear that “about a month” is how long it takes me to get my shit together.
I had never been to WonderCon before, and when ever I considered that, it always struck me as a little odd. Friends and colleagues are frequently telling me how great of a show it is. It’s well inside my Sphere of Practical Travel. It’s a relatively cheap show. San Francisco is a pretty cool town to visit. So, why had I never been before?
I’d heard that it was a show with all the professional draw of San Diego Comic Con, without the lunatic sized crowds and mega Hollywood over exposure. A calmer and more fan friendly show with a much wider variety of nearby restaurants and sights all packaged up in a some how more intimate package. Why not go?
So I dove in.
I got my logistics machine rolling, started talking to my regular crew of artists and collaborators and made sure that I had certain key materials. You know, like merchandise and the actual booth frame work that we’d spent so much time working on.
Didn’t I tell you? If you didn’t see us at San Diego last year, you may not know that we have this shiny new booth. Gone is the slapstick shanty town construction of cardboard held together with packing tape and twine. In it’s place is a semiprofessional looking shanty town construction of PVC and cotton fabric. It all breaks down and stores away in a suit case. As it turns out, a very heavy suit case.
So I got all that crap together, filled out my tax forms, and bought some plane tickets. Then everyone started to drop out on me. My regular show partner Jeff couldn’t make it, The Fillbachs and Joe Corroney were on a deadline, The Millers were going to a tennis tournament (or something), John Lustig was having medical problems, and Dan Parsons seemed to have vanished from the face of the earth along with his webpage. Spencer Brinkerhoff (the III) was fighting a mysterious conspiracy of Arizona speed traps and a cabal of judicial inefficiency. Justin Chung could make it, but hell the dude lived five blocks from the convention center, so that was no real coup.
Still, the money was already spent, so I figured I might as well stick to the plan. At the last minute, John said he was going to make it after all, and Dan Parsons reappeared in central California, and Katie Cook sent me a bunch of merchandise to resell. All the sudden we had a show again. I even found out I had a helper in the form of Dana, a woman I had met once during an unfortunate episode of sweater loss. I was so excited I had some T-shirts made that no one wanted to buy. Live and learn I guess.
In many ways WonderCon was like every other show we do. There were a lot of really fun fans, and a few really odd ones. I met some really interesting people and made some good contacts. I failed to entice any publishers with my work, largely by failing to provide it to any of them. I stood for too long, drank too much, and sleep too little. I crashed some parties. And in some way, all those things did unfold in a slower, more intimate way than they did in the chaos of San Diego.
I had a good time. I think I’ll go back. If I can get better booth placement.
You may have noticed that there’s still no update to Major Tom. I get asked that from time to time. “Hey, when are you gonna update Major Tom?” Sometimes they take the opportunity to call me names, or insult my genetic heritage or work ethic. Honestly, no one wants to see updates more than me.
Here’s the thing though. The Fillbach Brothers have obligations and deadlines. They just finished a Clone Wars book, and they’re barricaded in their house working on another project as I write this. Those are jobs that pay money. There’s like 8 or 9 people who read this comic, and the ad revenue totals about $3 a year. Nobody works for free.
Well, except for me.