I attended on Friday this year and once again it was a fantastic time!
There was a large crowd, but it neve felt crowded. Here's a view of some of the floor:
And here's Artist's Alley:
I hit Artist's Alley right away and was able to chat with My Little Pony writer Katie Cook before her line got too long:
She did a small piece for my daughter and I picked up her first Gronk book. I should have picked up both volumes, as my daughter read the first cover to cover as soon as I handed it to her.
We chatted again about kids comics and I told him how much my son and I enjoyed reading SD together. A super nice guy!
I stopped by Amanda Conner's table, and although the line was short and orderly (shorterly?), she didn't have any new items to purchase. Ditto for J. Scott Campbell:
I think he actually had a smallish sketchbook I don't have, but I like his larger hardcover collections better.
See, I'm not a bring-a-box-of-comics-to-get-autographed guy, I'm more of a I-like-your-work-and-I-want-buy-something-neat guy, which is less common I suspect. Still, it was good to see fans and artists alike happy to see each other.
Then it was time for some C2E2 shopping!
I wasn't really looking for any older comics, but goodness knows there were plenty. And lots and lots and lots of toys and collectables!
This next one floored me, and I came really close to buying it:
I didn't see much of a webcomic presence at C2E2 this year, but the Cyanide and Happiness guys were doing a brisk business. Good for them!
Another almost buy...
There was a lot of LEGO at this show too, but the prices were a bit high and I saw too many custom and post-keychain minifigs for my tastes. Still, I found an Avengers polybag that never made its way to the States.
Of course you had your Renassiance folks...
...and the requisite cool car.
And finally, the cosplayers. Even on a Friday there was a lot to see!
There's always a lot of Harley Quinns, but I gave this one high marks for carrying around what looked to be a really heavy hammer all day:
And of course you have your Deadpool:
I thought these two Disney princesses were not only well done, but a breath of fresh air.
I found out after this pic that She-Ra and Dredd here weren't together, but I'd like to think that maybe they might find a C2E2 love crossover:
She-Hulk and her little Loki:
Thor here made a farting nose as I was taking this and made the Valkyrie laugh really hard. Wish I'd have been quicker on the camera to grab it.
But my favorite cosplay of the whole day was also probably the simplest:
So that's it for this year. I wish I could've seen a panel or two, but I spent too much time tracking down a giant pink Kirby for my daughter. I'd promised myself I was going to get Felicia Day's autograph too, but suspected I'd only be able to say "Felicia pretty" before looking at my feet and giggling.
Another great C2E2 and I can't wait for next year!
Last weekend I was lucky enough to be one of the presenters at Tundra Comics' 3rd Sorta Annual Success in Comics Seminar. (I also presented at the first seminar back in 2009.) Other speakers included Tom Gammill, Tom Richmond, Amy Lago, Jeff Keane, Stephen Silver, Ed Steckley, Mark Simon, Tim Brennan, and, of course, Bill Kellogg & Chad Carpenter.
If you want a great full accounting of the entire weekend you should totally check out the Daily Cartoonist's coverage, but I thought I'd share just a few of my favorite moments:
Chad and Bill started things off talking about self-syndicating Tundra into over 500 newspapers. (I mean, come on, that's amazing!) I think the thing here that most bears repeating is the idea that you shouldn't wait for success. Not syndicated? Can't get into the New Yorker? No one wants to publish your book? Don't wait, do it yourself.
Also, be professional. Be nice, hit your deadlines, it's a business.
I was surprised by Amy Lago's presentation. I know people are concerned about what kids might read in a newspaper comic (are kids even reading newspaper comics?) but "bite me" isn't allowed? And it sounds like syndicates basically aren't launching new strips currently. So if you're pinning your hopes on a syndicate contract, see Tundra's advice above.
Tom Gammill was all kinds of entertaining, and I thought his technique of using cartoons to pitch ideas was pure genius. And keeping an informal journal of little things that make you happy/sad/angry/anything is a great idea for generating material later.
Here's just a bit of Tom's TV writing:
Isn't that great?
Mark Simon has some really good ideas for self-promotion. One thing that I was glad to have confirmed was sending links to your material instead of attachments.
The next day began with Mad's Tom Richmond who was, I think, the only one there who actually went to an art school. Unfortunately they frowned on cartooning so he paid his cartoon dues doing live caricatures. More good reminders from Tom on being professional and making yourself easy to work with.
Unfortunately the last person I was able to see was Stephen Silver who gave a really inspirational talk. The part I liked best was if you figure you really get started career-wise at around 30, and you'd like to retire at 65, you've got just over 10,000 days to work within. Make every day count! (And a huge thanks to Stephen for the advice on my brush pen nibs!)
I wanted to take a moment to say thanks again to Chad & Bill for having me. This is something I wish I could have attended when I was starting out. Also, a big thanks to Mark for making my presentation work. And thank you so much to all of the attendees I met! I hope I gave you a good talk, and I had a great time chatting with all of you!!
Just a reminder that I'll be speaking at the 3rd Annual Success in the World of Comics Seminar Feb 16 & 17 in Annapolis.
At $375 for the seminar and $99 for the room this is a total must attend. Hope to see you there!
Visual marketing is big right now. Really big! But don't take my word for it:
This year more than ever, visual content is going mainstream. - TechCrunch
Visual marketing is Jedi-powerful. It can dramatically help you sell your products and ideas online. - grow
Seriously, it's a really big deal:
Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have ushered in visual marketing as the breakout trend for 2012. When it comes to their products, businesses are learning to show, not tell, and visual content sites are fueling our desire for beautiful photography and sensational design. Two years ago, marketers were spreading the maxim that "content is king," but now, it seems, "a picture really is worth a thousand words." - Fast Company
And it's no wonder:
Research at 3M Corporation concluded that we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. - Billion Dollar Graphics
The numbers don't lie:
Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content — photos and videos — saw a 65% increase in engagement. - Simply Measured via Business to Community
And funny is better:
Finding something humorous is inherently joyful, so it makes sense that so many brands use humor in their marketing activities. - Distilled
Funny is way better:
Funny images are easily the most popular images found on social media news sites and traditionally are the best topics for garnering votes. - Search Engine Land
That's an awful lot of text to explain that if you're looking to stand out online, tell your story visually. Or, put another way:
Hey, just a heads up that I'll be presenting again at the 3rd annual Success in the World of Comics seminar in Annapolis! (You might remember I presented at the first one in Las Vegas a few years back.)
It's the weekend of February 16 & 17, 2013 and you can see more details and sign up here. (You should hurry, it fills up fast.)
See you there!