Last weekend’s WONDERCON show was the first time I have ever exhibited in SMALL PRESS and also the first time exhibiting solo (my longtime booth-partner Rhode now lives in New York) So it was a smaller space overall (an 8 foot table instead of the 10 footer at the full-size booths) but more room to display my own work than ever before.
I put a lot of thought into planning how to display all this stuff. Even with the extra space dividend (now that I get the entire table to myself) it is hard to display all the bits and pieces I have produced over the years, now including the stuff I produced for this show; 7 new buttons, and 40 new prints (ten 11×14 designs, ten 8.5×11 designs and twenty designs at the NEW size of 5×7). The prints in particular present something of a conundrum to display in such a limited space, especially the variety of designs that I have now. Some exhibitors bring wire frames to hang the artwork, or other heavy, bulky display cases but I am determined to use only lightweight and modular displays so that I can take the show on the road as much as possible.
I am quite happy with the solution that I came up with this time around, which was to use a daisy-chain of clips to hang prints from the back-drape (between the two banners I had made for EMERALD CITY) and have a fetching booth-babe stand in front of them as an eyeball-trap… What a marketing genius I am, to be sure.
I need to think of a different solution for those shows where there is no drape (such as APE) so I will most likely make myself one of the PVC pipe display frames I see other people use. I didn’t get a new book done this time around but I have not given up on the idea that a mini-comic may get done in time for COMIC CON. Lately I have been puting more effort into PRINTS than comics… It is always tricky to trade off the months of work that drawing a book takes, and the low price that they sell for, against the ease of selling one single image over and over at a relatively higher price (a comic takes months for one person to make and sells for $3-$5 and a print may take as little as a day to make and sells for $20).
While I would like these things to at least pay for themselves I do not want to be driven away from what I want to do in an effort to pander to “market forces”. Likewise, I’d prefer to have more people come and actually look at the artwork (rather than just walk on by) So I will do as much as I can to make the display appealing, but I don’t beat myself up if people move on to something else. Failing on my own terms is what it is all about.