Last weekend was Baltimore Comic Con, a show that was fairly pleasant by my standards and expectations of a comics convention. All in all it was a laid back, fun experience. A good time with friends and fellow creators and a good opportunity to talk to those of you who stopped by the table.
But towards the end of the show I had a couple of encounters that have got me thinking about what my expectations of a show are and how those have largely changed over the years. Granted I’m in a much better, slightly more privileged place these days, but it wasn’t so long ago that cons were a really torturous experience. I really do still understand what it feels like to attend a con hoping for a leg up, only to find yourself face down.
The conversations I had this weekend were with a few folks in that position. Some successful pros, others maybe not so fortunate. They inspired me to write down my thoughts on attending comics cons as a creator, which is something I’m really an old hand at. The philosophies I largely abide by are in a state of constant evolution. Honestly they’re the by product of far more error than trial. But of late they’ve really seemed to make attending conventions a much more rewarding experience and and have in no small way been beneficial to the career I’m trying to build and art I’m trying to create.
So with that in mind here’s what this thing isn’t:
It’s not how to nail a portfolio review or get an editor’s email.
It’s not what magic pen to use in order to ink like Wally Wood.
It’s not how to get rich at a comics show.
If that’s the kind of stuff you want advice on there are plenty of better folks to get it from. What I have to say MIGHT lead you to people who do know how to do all of the above and more. But I can’t promise you that. All I know is what has and hasn’t worked for me, and to some degree why. It should go without saying that ultimately it’s up to you to determine what that’s worth.
Still with me? Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you…
PLEASE NOTE: This is a wonderful and inspiring read. Just as inspiring as Jason’s work itself. Check out both and you will not be disappointed, in fact you might even learn a thing or two!