It’s been several years since I last sold comics at a convention, but this month found me once again behind the table. The Plastic Farm table, to be precise, at the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) in Columbus, Ohio. Plastic Farm is an ongoing series chronicling the deepening insanity of a man who can alter reality, and it’s the brainchild of Rafer Roberts.
The reason I was at Rafer’s table is that he had drawn the comic I was there to sell, Wild Women of the Kitty-Kat Galaxy. Rafer graciously agreed to help me ease back into the game, and I found it very calming to talk comics with him during the slow periods of the show.
Slow periods have always been my 2nd biggest fear about conventions. When left with my own thoughts, I tend to become overwhelmed with doubts and depression. This in turn keeps costumers away and leaves me in the abusive grip of my brain.
There were stretches of time where I was alone at the table; what’s the point of being surrounded by indie creators and not checking out their work? Having several years of perspective behind me, I realized that I could beat my bad brain. Low traffic means only less opportunity, and I let that get to me I can miss those people who do come within range. Like a trap-door spider, I just need to be patient until prey presents itself.
But less killy-eaty than that.
Besides, I found that I had missed the camaraderie of like-minded story-tellers. Everything from mini-comics to graphic novels were on display, ranging in narrative structure from image-dreams to biographies to continuing adventures. It’s like stepping into the fire bath of She-who-must-be-obeyed; it makes you immortal, or it returns you to your actual age.
On second thought, it’s more like something else. Go ahead and pretend I had a clever allusion for getting a power-up.
My biggest fear about conventions, by the way, is being trapped by a skeevy fellow describing his liberated, nearly-naked heroine to me in excruciating (and panting) detail. This happens, though thankfully not so often at small press shows.
So, it looks like I’ll be going back next year. Maybe I’ll even have another new comic!