It occurs to me that in my haste to explain how Hurricane Matthew affected our New York Comic Con this year, I did a terrible job explaining all the many things that went right.
I always try to stay positive about comics and my adventures in writing and selling them. But I also try to be honest. I don’t pretend we’re a million dollar company with media deals just a signature away from fruition, I don’t pretend Neil Gaiman and I are close friends (or friends, or acquaintances, or he’d even recognize me, my name or my books if asked, or that we’ve ever had a discussion outside of me standing in line for his autograph – where he’s been amazing and I’m pretty sure we’re best friends).
When I made the decision we weren’t going to go back to NYCC next year (or to any other out of state cons during hurricane season) I felt I had to be honest and forthright about what went into that decision. I felt I owed that to you.
But that does not mean that NYCC wasn’t, in many ways, amazing. It was. Short term, financially it was a loss. But long term… it could very well turn into our best con ever.
So, I want to finish my NYCC coverage with a much more positive post.
Without further adieu: NYCC 2016 – The Golden Moments
Vienna in New York City
My wife and I met in 2002, when we both lived in Manhattan. I was bartending and a friend of hers named Tia was hired for a few shifts in my restaurant. I was single and a cute girl with lots of cute friends asked if I wanted to hang out. I did not say no. One of her cute friends was this funny platinum blonde that months later I found myself kissing in the middle of a concert. It’s 14 years later and thankfully she’s still cute and funny (though her blonde hair is much less platinum – allergic reaction – long story) and as far as I know she hasn’t gotten bored of kissing me.
Throughout her eight years on Earth, my daughter has heard of this mythical city of her parent’s meeting (we gloss over the kissing part). We always said we’d take her to New York. But inertia meant those plans never got any further than “when she’s older.”
With Hurricane Matthew forcing her onto the trip, she took her first taxi ride, saw the outskirts of Time’s Square, walked across Columbia University’s campus, saw the outside of her Mother’s first NYC apartment, saw this guy:
file_001 (Never tried a video. Sorry this opens sideways, but it makes the balance look even more impressive!)
and heard roughly 4,287 times the average curse words in a five day period.
Birthday with V.
The calendar is cruel. My daughter’s birthday is October 8th. Which has meant that I’ve had to be away from her on her actual birthday the last three years. She’s handled this fine. I’ve hated it.
With her on the trip I was able to hug her in the morning and share a cupcake with her at night. If you don’t have a kid or haven’t been forced to miss yours on a very important day, you might not understand. But for me this was a big, wonderful plus.
The Imperious Curse
Before the con I offered everyone on my email list an option to put me under The Imperious Curse and force me to sell any single item to them at whatever price they demanded. Two people announced the curse upon the arrival to the table which immediately brought a smile to my face. The game was on!
It was really fun. First, it meant people were reading the emails I was sending which was both flattering and relieving (they don’t write themselves). Second, figuring out what they’d choose and then watching them torture themselves about how much they should buy it for was a delight. I’m not lying this was one of the highlights of my con.
I did try to steer both toward Tart Vol 1 hardcovers since it’s our most expensive product. Funnily enough both paid more for it than they would have had to if they just bought it for half price.
We Met a Lot of New Readers.
By my count of first books in a series sold (Tart Vol 1, UnderWars 1 and Poodles #1), at least 87 people were introduced to our work. And that is people who walked home with copies. As long as they read them, history suggests a good portion of them will want to continue with their series. I’ve never said we are a sales behemoth, but we have a solid history of people liking what we’re doing enough to return for more.
This does not count in the 101 people who joined our email list (future Imperious Cursers!), or who heard the pitch for the books and might be inclined to purchase at a later date. Now, count in the people who didn’t stop, but subliminally took in the banners as they passed. Like I said, short term, this one hurt financially. Long term… I’ve got a good feeling about this : )
The Next Generation
At one point during the show a gentleman came up with his 11 year old niece. Now 11 is pretty much the golden age for walking past my booth. And by that I mean, I won’t bother you. Tart and Underwars are for 15 and older and The Poodles of Potter’s Peak is for 8 and under.
But they did stop and we spoke for a bit. The young lady is a writer. I often refer to myself, even now, as an aspiring writer. So when I label her a writer, I do so soberly.
As we spoke she admitted that she had finished her first book at 9 years old.
How amazing is that!?!
She reminded me that when I was about 12 I set out to write a novel. I believe I finished a page and a half.
So, yeah. I was pretty impressed with her.
We spoke about writing for a few minutes. Her uncle bought Tart and has read it already (Woo Hoo!). And I promised her verbally, and am putting it in writing now, I will buy the first book, comic, short story or whatever it is that she publishes as soon as it is available. I have a feeling I’m on the front end of someone who is going to bring amazing stories into the world.
New York Comic Con was wonderful. It was exhausting, but wonderful. I hope combining this with the first two posts about it does a better job of cataloging the breadth of emotions packed into 6 insane days.