So I spent this past weekend in Baltimore, making the rounds at the Baltimore Comic Con. Despite not really being a comic convention guy — I don’t shop for old comics, get sketches from the artists, or any of that other fun stuff — I had a great time. That’s because I accomplished my two primary missions.
The first was to spend time with some great people. I met with some buddies for a now traditional weekend and crazed fun, met up with many folks from IMWAN and elsewhere, and in the process wore myself ragged. I’ve already told all those folks how great it was, so I won’t repeat it here.
The second mission was probably more important (though certainly not as fun). I wanted to get some minor networking done and get copies of the comic anthology I wrote into some hands. (More information on it right here.) I could only afford to purchase and bring 15 copies with me — my collaborators and I used a print on demand outfit to put together nice, professional copies, which means it was all coming out of my pocket — but I figured that would do.
So that’s what I did. Talked to some people, chatted with others who have done the hard work of doing their own thing and showing what they can do, and got it in the hands of some good folks in the industry. Mission accomplished.
I don’t expect much to come from any of that. The truth is, 9 out of 10 of those copies likely ended up in a trash bin or at the bottom of a box that will never be opened again. And that’s fine. The idea wasn’t to get down there and make a sale or secure a job, it was to take the first step in the process of saying, “We’re out here. We do good work. You can expect to start seeing samples of our work come across your desk.” More networking will follow, as will some formal submissions, and, hopefully (because they’re needed in order to FUND those submissions), a few sales.
Erik Larsen, co-founder of Image Comics and a guy who graciously provided an introduction to this anthology, asked in said introduction, “Why aren’t you living the dream?” Comics are easier than ever to create and get in front of people, he argues, so why not get out there and DO IT instead of talking about it?
I couldn’t agree more.