Not many people know that I work as the convention coordinator for the Comicbook Artist Guild. Before I became the coordinator, I helped come up with a list of basic convention etiquette and selling techniques. If you are a fellow creator, I hope you find the list helpful:Basic Convention EtiquetteThe following is an outline of basic convention table etiquette and relevant convention information. It's purpose: to provide you with suggestions on how you can have a great, stress-free convention experience.
Some information you should be sure to keep in mind or with you at all times during the convention:
1. Contact information
2. Pencil and paper. You may want to jot down the names of people who come by. Or at least keep track of the number of people expressing interest.
3. Make sure to visit the ATM *before* you come to the convention. The
line for the ATM at the con is usually very, very long by the end of the day, and you don't want to be stuck in the ATM line for 30 minutes.
4. f you like taking photos of cosplayers and have a camera, call cosplayers
over and take their photo. If they're in the mood for shopping, often they'll
stay for a while and look at your stuff. If they don't, no big deal: you
still get some great picture.
6. Your sense of humor - Absolutely essential.
Be sensitive to fellow creators and convention organizers by doing the
1. clean up after yourself. Trash disposal may not occur anywhere except a
designated trash can.
2. Arrive On Time.
3. Eat food and drink drinks AWAY from the table. Noone intends to ruin the products being sold at the table, however, accidents ALWAYS happen. Water is a suitable drink tableside if it is in a sealed container. (no cups please). Take into consideration the damage that even water can do to a fellow members products and drink with discretion. Please Eat and drink all other products away from the table in designated consumption areas.
4. Minimize the non-product items tableside. Keep purses, jackets, drinks,
etc. out of sight. Keeping non-product items under the table is a general
method used for the sake of keeping the table appearance clean. Never leave your items unattended.
5. Keep personal conversations to a minimal volume. This includes phone calls at the table, although you are suggested to refrain from telephone conversations while at the table.
Basic Selling Tips:
At the table, you are representing yourself as a brand. These suggestions help you sell yourself and your products more effectively...
1. Smile, ALWAYS. It will attract customers and instill the comfort level
they need to hear more about you and your product.
2. Introduce yourself and ask the other person what their name is. (in
general, people value their own names and rightfully so! If you make a point to call that person by their name, they will more easily see you as a friend out of an entire convention of strangers.)
3. Relate to the person. The only way to do this, is to observe and ask
about what they like relating to the comics industry. Their response will
determine what products you sell them. Remember that, although the individual with which you are speaking may not be a customer, if they walk away with your good impression, they just may send their friends over :)
4. Make it a point to know where relevant areas of the convention are. Such
locations would be the nearest restroom, the nearest food vendors, the
exits. You never know when you will snag a customer simply because you were courteous enough to gladly help them with their needs. Remember, the best time to help someone is when they don't ask for it, but you can see that they need it, so be observant!
5. Be willing to talk to the customer about things other than the product
you are trying to sell. General interest in the customer will set you apart
from every other vendor who simply wants to make the sale. The best way to attract customers is just be open, warm, inviting, and accessible. Talk to
anyone and everyone. Give your attention to whoever is with you; don't
always be looking to get somewhere else.
6. Make friends with the people at the tables near you. You can trade off watching each others' table in the event of an emergency, entertain each
other during the slow times, trade tips, trade off running to grab food, buy
dollar bills from each other when you run out of ones, and warn each other
when That Creepy Guy is heading your way. If you have a problem with your neighbor, don't start or let yourself get dragged into drama. Artists talk to each other and you don't want a bad reputation spreading around the con circuit. Remain calm, and ask the artist alley staff to deal with it. Plus, everyone has to pee eventually.
7. You don't have to passively sit there and wait for people to stop at your
table. Well, you can if you want to, but you're missing the chance to sell.
It's fairly simple, too: be friendly. Make eye contact with passers-by,
smile at them, and say hello. Ask them how their con has been, or compliment their cosplay. Talk, laugh. If you look like you're having fun, people will want to come to you.
8. Something that attracts people, although you'd probably never have
guessed it, is to stand up behind your table. If you don't believe me, try
9. Relax, enjoy, be a fun person. Don't force it: don't push yourself or
your work. Just make people think, "Wow, that's a nice, intelligent person"
and trust that they'll track down your work. in short, have fun.
I hope it helps. And if you see a creator at a show. Say hello, we don't bite.
I go to Disney World in Orlando a lot. I mean a lot. Last year, I've was there (for work and vacation) 6 or 7 times. As a result, I've been to Disney World for nearly every event that they offer. I saw the Pirates and Princesses have their party; Mickey and shared A Very Merry Christmas and a Not So Scary Halloween. I danced with marathoners. I saw the filming of the Christmas parade (which i wouldn't recommend). I was even experienced the very limited Wedding Night Magic Hours, where all my guests got into the park after closing. I guess I will never experience Grad night both since the program has been been discontinued and I graduated very very very long ago. (I did have my senior trip to Disney and the then newly opened E.P.C.O.T. Center) but I digress.
The one thing I had never experienced (and was dying to) was Star Wars weekend. But now, my wife's job scheduled her for June training event in the Disney Swan Hotel. That means that I will be able to take my daughter to see Star Wars weekend and experience the all new Star Tours 2.0. I previously wrote about the love of Star Wars that is shared by Star Wars.
Obviously, we also love Disney. So this will be two great tastes that taste great together. Especially since Ashley Eckstein
, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in The Clone Wars
, will appear each weekend this year as Celebrity Host of a behind-the-scenes talk show entitled "Clone Wars
: Behind the Force." Ahsoka is my daughter's favorite jedi.
So if anyone has any suggestions on how best to enjoy Star Wars weekends, I would love to hear it.
And speaking of Star Tours, Disney sent out the following Press release.
Re-Imagineered Star Tours Returns in Late May with New Intergalactic Routes, 3D and More LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- From the time Star Tours debuted at Disneyland Park in 1987 and at Walt Disney World Resort in 1989 until the attraction went dark for "reimagining" in fall 2010, guests embarked on a journey to the Moon of Endor and beyond, with a trainee pilot named REX at the controls of 40-passenger Starspeeder 3000 spacecraft.
Now the Star Tours attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida (scheduled to reopen May 20) and at Disneyland Park in California (scheduled to reopen June 3) puts a whole new twist on virtual space travel with Starspeeder 1000 craft -- predating the Starspeeder 3000 because the new show depicts an earlier chapter of the Star Wars saga than the original Star Tours did. But fear not: Techno-wizards are equipping passengers on the 1000 with the ability to experience the new adventure in eye-popping 3D -- wherever that adventure may take them.
The destination is not necessarily what guests expect -- unless they expect the unexpected -- as C-3PO, a new pilot (by accident) takes the controls for a journey to the "metropolitan" planet Coruscant or to Tatooine an arid planet on the "Outer Rim," or to some other planet within Star Wars' mythical universe. Even the outcome of the adventure may change from one "launch" to the next.
And here is a description of Star Wars Weekends.Star Wars
Weekends is an annual special event at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park
that celebrates the legendary Star Wars
Saga and the animated television series, The Clone Wars
. Join Jedi Knights, Sith Lords and Star Wars
celebrities for special shows, presentations and memorabilia.The Return of Star Tours
On May 20, blast into the universe of Star Wars
like never before—in 3-D! Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
takes Jedi from Tatooine to Coruscant and beyond. With several possible missions, you never know where the Force may take you. The Droids You Are Looking For
Come face-to-face with droids, alien creatures and many favorite Star Wars
characters. There are motorcades and appearances from the celebrities and creators of the Star Wars
films and TV series. Grab a Disney's FASTPASS before the Park opens to ensure your place in line for celebrity autographs at the autograph FASTPASS kiosk outside the Front Gate entrance. Quantities are limited. Train, You Must
Young Jedi have special activities in store just for them. Kids under 12 have the chance hone their lightsaber skills and prepare to do battle with Darth Vader himself at the Jedi Training Academy
. In the Padawan Mind Challenge, they can test their wits before the Jedi Council. Lightspeed to Hyperspace Hoopla!
Each day ends with the Hyperspace Hoopla!, where you can let loose with music, comedy, dancing and more. With Ewoks, Wookiees, stormtroopers, Jawas and more invading Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park, young Jedi and their parents would be wise to have their cameras ready.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day. As Michael Scott on the Office says, “St Patty's Day is the closest day Irish Irish people get to a Christmas.”
So, in honor of that, here are some beloved marvel and DC comic characters that will be gathering to drink green beer and sing the Unicorn Song in the local pub tonight.
How can any list not have Shamrock on it. this Marvel character Shamrock first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes: Contest of Champions #1. She would later go on to appear in several books, including: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #279, Rom #65, Marvel Comics Presents #24, Alpha Flight #108, Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #3 and #4, Excalibur #108 , and Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters. She even had her own entry in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #9. What was her power, why the Luck of the Irish, of course. More specifically she possessed by the souls of thousands of victims of wars who manifest themselves as poltergeists which affect probability within a 20-foot radius of her, altering situations so that she is given an advantage.
Sham,rock recently appeared in a story written by Kathryn Immonen and illustrated by Colleen Coover in Girl Comics #2. If you haven't read this story, The years have not been kind to poor Shamrock.
Cassidy is a vampire featured in the Vertigo series Preacher. He is the best friend of Jesse Custer and Tulip O'Hare. He charms just about everyone with his exuberant attitude, rapacious wit, his honest vampirism, and his love of life overall. But, Cassidy is really has two personas: one a loyal, fun-loving, well-meaning Irish rogue, and one a desperate, selfish, weak-willed addict with a violent streak.
The Cassidy's Black Tom, Banshee and Siren
Unrelated to their Distinguished Competition character with the same name, the dysfunctional family of Irish mutants that make up this entry have been around the Marvel Universe for quite some time.
The now deceased Banshee (Sean Cassidy) was an Irish mutant and member of the X-Men who possessed a "sonic scream," capable of harming enemies’ auditory systems and causing physical vibrations. A former Interpol agent and NYPD officer, Banshee was always a decade older than most of the X-Men and had only a relatively short tenure as a full-time X-Man. He was, however, a mentor of the 1990s-era junior team Generation X. He was killed by Vulcan.
Like her father, the X-Men's Banshee, Siryn, (Theresa Cassidy) also has a "sonic scream." Siryn was raised by Banshee’s cousin and arch-nemesis Black Tom Cassidy without Banshee's knowledge. By her early teens, she left Black Tom and joined the X-Men offshoots X-Force and X-Factor. She also has a questionable relationship with Deadpool.
Black Tom Cassidy on the other hand, doesn’t have a scream, but instead can manipulate, bond with and project energy through plant life. He was the black sheep of a prominent Irish family. When Tom secretly raised Siryn he conscripted her into his criminal gang. Black Tom was also a longtime partner of the super-strong villain Juggernaut, until Juggernaut's recent reformation.
These guys are so Irish that they have Leprechauns living in their castle as can be seen from the Nightcrawler image from Uncanny X-men 103.
The villainess known as the Silver Banshee first appeared in Action Comics #595. In that story, Siobhan McDougal was the first-born child of Garrett McDougal, the patriarch of an old Gaelic clan that has occupied an island midway between Scotland and Ireland for a thousand generations. On that island is Castle Broen, where first-born McDougals undergo a ritual to prove themselves worthy to lead the clan. When Siobhan was young, she traveled the world, only returning to Castle Broen when she heard of her father's death. Her uncle Seamus determined that no woman would lead the clan and intended her brother Bevan to become the new patriarch. She went ahead with the family ritual by herself, which involved calling on supernatural forces for power. She was interrupted by Bevan, and the distraction proved disastrous as she was dragged away into an infernal netherworld. An entity called "the Crone" granted her powers and the ability to return to Earth as the Silver Banshee, but demanded payment in the form of an occult book that belonged to her father. She found that her father's book collection had been shipped off for sale in the United States. Her quest brought her to Metropolis. Killing anyone that stood in the way of her search attracted the attention of Superman. Unable to defeat Superman, she chose to retreat and continue her mission at a later date.
Most Recently, Silver Banshee faced off against Supergirl.
Silver Banshee has also one of the many villains to be featured on Smallville and played by Odessa Rae. In that version, she is a deceased Gaelic heroine, who was cursed and placed in the underworld. She possessed a whole bunch of people (including Lois and Chloe) before Clark was able to stop her.
Irish Catholic Matt Murdock is like the JFK of the Marvel Universe. As a kid, living in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, was blinded by a radioactive substance, which blinds him and give him super enhanced sense. After his father is later killed by gangsters, he becomes Daredevil. Then he goes insane a few times, changes his costumes, sleeps around a lot (a lot of his “partners” die horrifically), changes his costume, gets redemption, goes crazy some more, and then seeks redemption again.
Matt gets Irish bonus points because of his former girlfriend Glorianna O'Breen (one of the ones who dies horribly). Glorianna came to the states from Ireland, where disguised as The Old Woman of Beare, made travel arrangements for the Irish Republican Army's agents in America. After Matt went crazy but before he changed his costume, she left him and became Foggy Nelson's girlfriend. She was eventually killed by Victor Krueller, a henchman of the Kingpin.
Tommy Monaghan is an ex-Marine Gulf War veteran turned contract killer from the Cauldron, a lower-class Irish district of Gotham City. After gaining super powers, Monaghan decides to specialize in killing metahumans and supernatural threats, targets typically shunned by conventional contract killers as too dangerous or too expensive. Despite his powers, Monaghan relies most on his creativity, improvisational abilities, and impressive gunfighting skills to take down a majority of his targets. This specialty line of work gives him an edge over his competition, but also leads him to encountering a number of eclectic characters including demons, zombies, dinosaurs, gods, superheroes and supervillains, as well as more conventional, realistic characters such as CIA agents, the SAS and the Mafia.
All Star Black Canary
The All-Star Batman and Robin version of Black Canary is an immigrant from County Monaghan, Ireland. In the series, written by Frank Milles and drawn by Jim Lee, Black Canary is an unnamed bartender in a seedy gin joint called "Black Canary". Her costume is actually just a uniform she wore for her job. She is offended by the lewd flirtation of the bar's male patrons. Deciding that she has finally had enough, Black Canary beats up all of the male patrons in the bar. When her boss asks her what got into her, she simply replies "Batman," assaults him, and then leaves the scene on a motorcycle stolen from one of the men she has just battered. She later makes out with Batman, while Batgirl jumps around and yells a lot of stuff that was incorrectly censored with black boxes, which caused the initial run of the book to get pulped.
Hope that gets you by as you eat your soda bread and down your Guinness. Let's go dance a jig.
As a pretty mainstream superhero reader (and writer), I've been trying to expand my horizons. I picked up the trade of Daytripper by Fabio Moon’s and Gabriel Ba at the recommendation of G4's Blair Butler
. (Hi Blair!) I read the entire collected 10 issue series in one sitting.
The only word I can use to describe the book is "moving."
Basically, Daytripper tells the story of a Brazilian obituary writer named Bras de Oliva Domingos. Each issue/chapter focuses on a different time in Bras' life. (the title of the issue reflects Bras age in the issue and range from 11 to 76) and deals with the highs, lows and sometime mediocrity of life. Death is a major theme in the book, but not just because Bras writes obituaries writer. The hook with Daytripper is that at the end of every issue, Bras, himself, dies. And we, the reader, sees how that death affects people around him and our choices affect our life.
(I would love to see the pitch document for this series).
Despite the omnipresent and inevitable death at the end of each issue, Daytripper is more about life and parenthood and marriage. Bras must come to terms with, how to stop living in his father's shadow, becoming a parent, and the loss of his best friend. The art in the book is equally beautiful and haunting and is perfect for the story being told.
By the end, it all makes sense and I will admit to occasionally wiping my eyes while reading this story. Of course, I am a sap.So, if you haven't picked up Daytripper, you should check it out..
I'm not sure if you heard the news, but Disney has announced that its world famous Jungle Cruise Attraction is being turned into a blockbuster movie. Was there really that much of a demand to see the "backside of water"
on the big screen? Given their theme park movie track record, I can't wait to see which way this one goes.More after the jump.
The New Podler Review of Books has made their annual "Best of" selection for 2010. I was amazed and honored to see that my first novel, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy made the list.Thanks to
S.B. Jung and the rest of the folks at the Podler.The article can be found here