Saturday morning I was up bright and early to make the hour and half drive to Council Bluffs for O Comic Con aka Omaha Comic Con. Even with GPS, I got a bit lost so I was late and missed the first panel I wanted to attend. This was my first ever con and I was quite impressed with the quality of the panels and the exhibit hall.
While I was waiting for the next panel to begin, I roamed the Exhibit Hall where I started drooling over the amazing artwork on display. There were so many things I wanted, including a very expensive scale maille dress. I may have to look up the vendor online and see about having one made later…when I win the lottery. I was good and only bought a few things.
I tried to take pictures, but for some reason most of them came out blurry. I think I might have been a bit shaky from not eating most of the day. There really was a lack of places to sit and eat…or sit at all, except during panels. There were people sprawled out on the floor throughout the lobby and hallways. Food at the con was rather limited to snacky type things. Those were my only complaints.
Breaking Into Comics panel
This was the first panel I attended. It was made up of:
Jack Purcell is an artist who has worked with DC, Marvel, Heavy Metal (my favorite) and a ton of other publishers. He has also done indie work. I picked up his graphic novel, Malice & Mistletoe, which is his latest indie project. He autographed it for me and drew a totally awesome pic on the inside for me. I talked with him a bit about his work in Heavy Metal.
C. W. Cooke writes mostly for indies. I picked up a few of his comics, which he autographed for me. A really nice guy.
Grace Ellis is also an indie writer. Somehow I missed her in the Exhibit Hall. The Lumber Jane comics she talked about sounded interesting.
A few things I took away from this panel:
1) Persistence – There is going to be a lot of rejection and failures. Don’t give up.
2) Practice – Write or draw daily. If you’re pitching art, you will need something to show editors.
3) Be able to boil your concept down to 1 sentence. eg: Monster fighting girl scouts or What would happen if Superman couldn’t die?
4) Always be courteous, kind, positive and honest. You never know when someone you meet will become important to your work later.
5) Each person on a projects adds something to it. No one is less important than another.
Here is Jack Purcell drawing in my copy of Mistletoe & Mayhem.
Kickstarter Your Comics panel
This was a very well put together presentation by The Sun Bros, Brad & Wesley Sun. They have done several indie comics using Kickstarter.
What I got out of the panel:
1) Do as much of the work ahead of time as possible. People are more likely to support your campaign if they can see what the finished product will look like and know that there is definite likelihood that they will see the result of their funding.
2) Have a really great video.
3) Communication is key. Make frequent updates of the progress of the project.
4) Use social media and in person contacts to spread the word. Have friends, etc fund on day 1…this will make the campaign more visible on Kickstarter.
5) Don’t just promote your work, promote others as well. You’ll get more attention that way.
6) Find your audience. Besides Kickstarter, search out bookstores and consignment shops that you can get to carry your comics.
That is it for now. Look for more tomorrow.