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Comicgong 2015

Comicgong 2015 published on No Comments on Comicgong 2015

Comicgong 2015 is done.  A smallish area but a busy gathering of people at Comicgong Wollongong City Libraries mini one day mostly comic convention. There was a remarkable amount of creators there that you don’t usually see all in one place- I think the tables dedicated to creators was far more numerous then those dedicated to merchandise . You don’t usually see that many different creators at one place and I think this is likely due to two factors:

1. ‘TABLES WAS FREE’. As we are starting to see more and more little ‘comic’ themed conventions like this start up I would like to make this extremely clear to anyone who is thinking of running a comic themed convention and are confused/upset at having a lack of comic creators and other artists.  Make your tables free or at least very, very, very, cheap. Why? Cause the vast majority of Artists /creators are not going to make money – let alone money to cover the cost of a table.. or accommodation..or petrol..or..probably lunch. Hell most people who print their comic have done so resigning themselves to the fact they will never see that money again and now just hope someone will be interested in the thing they made.The other expenses you get something out of it -food, a place to sleep etc. If you still have a crap day of sales you will still still think you are ahead and hey someone liked that thing you spent days and weeks on enough to give you a few dollars for it..

2.  Really friendly and helpful organisers. We also had the local canteen people doing walks past the tables offering snacks, and drinks. which is really appreciated…and keeps us working.

The Bad – The cosplay. While I enjoy seeing people walking around dressed as the weird and wonderful we was placed in a really really bad position for it. The organisers had setup an area for people to stand and watch but it did not appear to be enough. We had hours of people all across our row and the next standing directly in front of the tables staring over our heads at the cosplay. Possibly the tables could be positioned lengthways to the stage in future? I’m not sure – at this stage I think we would have had a much better time in the first room.

The really bad- the kid who had had his Beemo cosplay stolen.We watched him slowly but surely drag his adult over to our table to get some of our buttons at the end of the day. He got some shiny discount and free badges.

The day ended with dinner at a local Chinese restaurant with other creators as organised by Marcelo Baez which was fun and we heard tales of cats, crazy con stories and the regret of working for the devil and not charging enough. Next time I’ll be getting that massive plate of noodles.

-Gavin the hungry Thomson

‘Bob’ Now on Comixology

‘Bob’ Now on Comixology published on No Comments on ‘Bob’ Now on Comixology



For people who like comics in a digital form ‘Bob’ is now available on Comixology for all your sad puppy story needs:



Edited by: Emma-Jean Stewart
Written by: Gavin The Thomson
Art by: Gavin The Thomson
Price: $0.99Bob is a story of a boy’s childhood pet dog through the eyes of the people that loved him. From Bob’s first days to his last this comic details the experience of loving a pet and the effect it has on your life.Buy now on comiXology!

Sydneynova 2014

Sydneynova 2014 published on 2 Comments on Sydneynova 2014

Back from a trip to Sydnova 2014 representing the ACT Comic crew with the Emma and Alice.

photo 1Friday: 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 photo 2pushing 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.

photo 3The 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




Comic making dreams – Is there a program that does this?

Comic making dreams – Is there a program that does this? published on No Comments on Comic making dreams – Is there a program that does this?

Is there a program that does this?

Like always I am looking to technology based solutions to the finicky slow nature of comic making… that or I’m just a lazy bastard. I am looking at a way to construct and alter the pace of comic panels across pages easily and organically.

So what does that mean? Well imagine opening up a program where you create lots of ‘wireframe’ boxes that can hold images in a grid on a page. The document has many pages. So far so good – many many programs can do this. You go along plotting out your story by placing images in each box until you find you don’t like panel 3 on page 1. You delete that panel. Now what I would like to happen is that the following panels after the one was removed would fall back into its space. So each panel would have a weight. Also I would like to be able to move a panel to another spot and have the other panels shift out of the way when it is placed. This would also happen if you altered the dimensions of the panel from a landscape to portrait for example.

I thought at least there might be an iPad app for creating photo albums that might have the feature but again no luck. Many have grid like layouts that you can insert images but none where the layout changed to the alteration of the grid.

Is there a way to do this with the various publishing programs that I have not found? I have poked Adobe Indesign and had no luck. Maybe Manga studio can do this ?

Please tell me if you know some application that could do this or even some kind of tricky hack? Or if I’m not making any sense?

Gavin the searching for the impossible Thomson.

RESULTS of the Australian comics convention sales survey !!!

RESULTS of the Australian comics convention sales survey !!! published on 4 Comments on RESULTS of the Australian comics convention sales survey !!!

Hi peoples,

Well here it is – the findings of the surveys I posted regarding ‘Comic book sales at Australian Conventions’. Firstly thanks to all respondents. I would have liked more respondents to be sure of trends /averages but I have posted here what I have. While the surveys are separated by event the information presented here is amalgamated into one data set. My goal was not to find the best venue but what’s happening overall. So do you like pie?! Your do! Awesome – cause here come the pie graphs!

The kinds of comics on sale – the majority are selling a single title which is creator owned – which is nice to see. Only a small amount are involved in selling licensed properties. We have about the same amount of people banding together under one table as we have titles gathering under a publisher.



Genre of comics: We have a very pretty broad selection of genres by Australian comic creators with Anthologies, drama and horror being the most common.

genreofcomicsHow many comics are for sale? Most people seem to be gathering together to sell comics. The typical table has about  4-6 books for sale (titles and issues). If we compare this to ‘titles for sale’ about half of the books will be from a selection of 1-3 titles.


The Price of the average best selling comic: The average price of the best selling comic is not surprisingly between $2-$5 – which is a bit below what is considered normal from the major publishers (DC, Marvel etc) whose monthly comics are between $5 to $7. The next most common price point is $6-$10.


What other items did you sell?: The most common items people sell other then comics are ‘prints’ followed by ‘badges’ and ‘sketches/commissions’. otheritemssold

How many comics sold: If you sell comics at a convention the most common question you will get from your fellow exhibitors is ‘ so how’s sales?’, to which the answer is ‘umm good.. yeah… I think’. So just what is good? What is normal? Normal amount of sales appears to between 20-59 comics. If you are selling over 59 comics then you are doing very, very well – have a pat on the back. You are also almost certainly selling licensed work as part of your offering.


What costs did you have to cover?: To attend the convention everyone has to cover food, table hire and insurance. A bit over a third of people had to cover additional expenses the most common being travel from interstate.


Did you recover the costs of attendance from sales?: I received some blank answers from this question so it is not as clear as I would hope -or possibly I should consider the answer to be ‘no’? Most people responded with ‘no’ or ‘not sure’. Of those that did recover costs the only ones to succeed while selling 100% creator owned work only had to pay for table hire and insurance. Only those selling comics with licensed characters as part of their table offerings was able to cover any other costs.

Recovering printing costs: A strange result from this question hitting a broad selection of responses. The largest response was 38% of people are needing to sell between 50-75% of the entire print run to recover the cost of printing. After that 28% of people need to sell 76-99% of their print run to recover costs. Responses for other values are spread out evenly which also included the response ‘I cannot recover the costs of printing, even if I sell all issues’.

How do you price your comics? This question was open ended so I got a variety of interesting responses. The majority responded in the terms of what they thought people would expect to pay, by gut instinct and by what other people are selling their comics for.

“…what I expect fans to reasonably spend.”

“What I would pay for things crossed with what I expect fans to reasonably spend.”

“What I thought was fair and what I thought people would pay. “

The next largest group seemed to have no intention of recovering costs or do not seem to think it’s possible:

Making money doesn’t interest me. Making comics does.”

The smallest group was people who responded in terms of cost. The common approach people took was to figure out the cost of producing one comic and doubling it for sales price. Or as one responder put it:

“Cost + 100%.”

A portrait of the average person selling comics at a convention: So from all this information lets have a look at what the average exhibitor selling comics at a major Australian Convention looks like.

They will be selling comics in the genre of Anthology, Drama and Horror. They will be selling them as part of a group or a selection of comics under a publisher. They will be 4-6 comics from 1-3 titles on offer. The comics are likely to cost between $2-5. They have about a 50% chance to have sell 20-59 comics need to sell 50-75% of their entire print run to recover the cost of printing. They will be selling prints and badges. They price their comics by gut instinct and/or by what they think customers are likely to pay. They will be covering the costs of food, table hire and insurance to attend the event. They will not recover these costs or be unsure if they did.

And thats all there is. If you think have not filled out the surveys then you still can at the links below. If I receive a large amount of additional information I will make another post of findings.

Supanova Sydney 2013 Supanova Perth 2013 Ozcomic Con Melbourne 2013

Thanks !

Gavin THE pie graph making Thomson.

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