This is what we used to imagine when we thought about comic book conventions.
These days, they’re chock-full of A-List actors…
And girls that could make a good dog break his leash…
I mean DESTROY that leash.
But I’m not looking to take selfies with stars or ogle the babes. That’s not why I attend these conventions. I want to break into comics as a writer, and to do so I’m following Jim Zub‘s advice: make comics and make friends.
So why attend cons? Why not network online? Because of my Austin Film Festival experience (BTW, I just bought my 2015 badge, so come October I’ll see you in line for Franklin’s). Being there, in person, forces me to talk to people. At a con, I can turn to the person next to me and gush, “you love Bandette, too?” or “isn’t Becky Cloonan the bee’s knees?” And if that person turns out to be an up-and-coming artist or an assistant editor at a small publishing house, all the better.
So what are my convention going goals? One, to deep dive into the community. Two, to meet editors and assistant editors. Three, to meet potential collaborators, especially illustrators. Four, to learn which cons would be good for me to attend as a professional (i.e., where I could get a table and sell books). Five, to discover a potential mentor. And lastly, once I have a finished comic, to put that sucker into people’s hands (or, at very least, to hand out business cards with a link to my work).
So which cons am I attending this year?
Long Beach Comic Expo – This is a fun, local con for me. Honestly, my favorite thing is how easy it is to navigate. If I attend both days, the artists I cruise will recognize my face, I’ll feel compelled to buy something, and we’ll strike up a conversation. That’s how I picked up this great print by Babs Tarr.
Did You Put on Your 3D Glasses?
Emerald City Comicon – This will be my first time attending the Seattle based con. Everyone raves about it, so my expectations are high. I’m told that most of the Portland talent attends (you do know that Portland is the mecca of comics), so this con definitely has the potential to kick ass.
WonderCon – I first attended this con last year, it was my first convention as a budding creator, and it was fantastic. The panels were awesome, the people were friendly and it was energizing without being overwhelming. Will I turn up at the Creator’s Connection again (where I pitched my idea to potential artist)? Seeing as I’m still hunting for an illustrator, I’m pretty sure it’s a “must do” for me.
Phoenix Comicon – I don’t know much about this con but because the guys at the Nerdist Comics Panel raved about it, I’m attending.
San Diego Comic-Con – This is the grandaddy of all cons. I went in 2009 but had no idea what I was doing. I’m hoping to attend this year but the SDCC is known to sell out in a matter of seconds. If you have a way to help me get a badge, please drop me a line.
Long Beach Comic Con – The slightly bigger brother of the LBCE. If I’m committed to community, then I have to attend.
Rose City Comic Con – This was the second con I attended last year and I loved it. Look, Portland is the home of great food, awesome beer, and unbelievably talented creators, so I’d be a knucklehead to skip this con. If I have one complaint, it’s this: because most of the talent lives in town, they don’t necessarily hangout after the con, so it’s a little harder to mingle with them at the local bars.
New York Comic Con – This is another con that sells out fast. If anyone that can help me get a badge, I’d be in your debt.
And that’s all (for now).
Yeah, I know, I’m exhausted just reading that list.
So, am I missing any big cons? Any other convention goals I should be setting for myself?