Friday: It was an extra half day – we finally managed to get away early so the ride in was smooth and setup quick. The Supanova space was expanded this year and all the little independents and fanclubs pushed to the back but on the plus side the space behind the table was a bit more. It was a fairly quiet day with some sales. While many people did pile in that day the majority seemed to be there to get in early for pictures with celebrities…. including me. I have never been interested in getting a picture with a celebrity before but this time was exception. I stood in lines for a long time for an ever so brief picture with Stan Lee. While awaiting in the photo line we was told ‘do not kiss Stan, do not hug Stan, do not try and make Stan pose, do not make Stan hold props’ – managed not to do any of these things and stood beside Stan for the shot and the Photographer told me to put my arm around him…. if you insist! I said thanks to Stan and that was it. It’s a weird experience having such a brief meeting with someone that was so involved in creating characters that affected your life.
Saturday: Many more people! Many strange cosplays and lots and lots of people. Many thanks to Alice for her help that allowed Emma and I to escape to see a few things.
Sunday: Sunday was commission day – Emma and I scribbled a few free sketches for kids. Kids are strangely extremely pleased with very substandard drawings. It’s very weird. Otherwise a bunch of drawings was created, from little girl ‘Death note’ cosplay to a request for ‘Deathstroke vs Azog’. The day went much faster drawing – I think we would do well to push drawings early on. The end of the event was dinner out with other comic peeps.
Overall fun was had but the sales experience was much reduced for us then last year. We would have certainly made more pushing cosplay/commissioned sketches then selling comics. Possibly due to a number of factors sales was not as good as last Sydnova 2013 – I don’t think we managed to push showbags lin the same way and missed opportunities for up-selling -possibly signage needs to be bigger and more in peoples faces. We was also up beside someone was selling prints of comic book movie characters.
This year the small table section was now relabelled as ‘Exhibitors Alley’ and marked as different sections: Supa-stars, Indie press zone, created collectables, fanclub central and supa-market. This did seem to help a good deal to separate out the blatant printing of popular characters on paper, prints, buttons and pillowcases to the indie comic people. Despite this we did get stuck beside someone who was selling digital art prints of movie comic characters which was frustrating as this was meant to be the ‘indie press zone’. So we had the familiar drawback of people immediately attracted to pictures of movie stars and crowded around and often blocked the space in front of our table. Strangely the people who had titled themselves ‘illustrators’ was spread out in the different zones. I guess how they perceive themselves is the area they chose to be in.
The usual complaint for indie comic people is lack of sales which the cause of I’m conflicted about. On the one hand I heard of one or two attendees that did well and many that did not. On the other side I watched someone try and literally give away some comics for free and struggled people to take one. I think a comic that most matches the quality and style of what you would find from the major publishers or something of a niche is the most likely to get attention…. or maybe not.
Well it was exhausting weird kind of fun. We brought a few sketch requests home with us to finish off and I think thats all for conventions for a while.
-Gavin THE tired Thomson