Monday, April 16, 2012

C2E2 2012

If I'm honest, the convention weekend, which began on Thursday, started out a bit rough.

Thursday was fine. We packed up the car and made our way to Chicago where we said hi to old friends and got ourselves settled in for the weekend. Some of us made a run to Kinko's for some late night last minute printing. It took a bit of doing but we found some parking, stumbled back to our beds, and went to sleep.

We woke the next day, gathered up our things and headed off for the car. A little piece of advice: when parking in a strange and unfamiliar city write down the address of the residence nearest to where you parked. Why, you ask? Because we could not find it. At all. What we did find was a sign that indicated that the area in question required a permit. We waved down a passing officer and had a bit of a conversation. She then zipped away to check the area for our car as no one was 100% positive of where we had parked the night before.

Upon her return the conversation became a bit confusing. You see, we were under the impression that the car had been towed away so when the officer told us it could take over a year to find we thought, "that seems like a poor way to run a government run process." So we kept asking "who do we call to locate our towed car?" and she kept saying, "your car wasn't towed." "But it's not here! If it wasn't towed it would still be here!"

The officer stared at us as if we were the dumbest people on earth. And then, like a wave of soul crushing despair, it hit us... it wasn't towed, because it was (sob) stolen.

As I contemplated throwing up in the nearby flower bed, because though it is phrased our car it is in actuality my car, my phone rang. It was Dave who had wandered off. He does that. He wanted to let us know that he had found the car on the one section of street the parking officer neglected to check. There was a great deal of relief. I offered to hug the traffic officer which was declined. She was then kind enough to drive us over to the car where we packed up our items and made our way to the convention center. There is no doubt that many representatives of the Chicago law enforcement community had a bit of a giggle that day. You're welcome.

Once properly set up on the convention floor we documented the occasion then settled in for selling, sketching, networking, and people watching. My personal goals for the weekend were to a) break even financially, b) drop off samples to DC and Marvel comics, as well as other publishers, and c) have some fun.

Saturday morning I went to a panel required to submit work to DC comics. It was great. More importantly, it allowed me to gather up the necessary forms to drop off work. Here's how it works currently. You fill out forms and drop off your samples. The editors review them that night and then in the morning there is a board where they post the names of those they'd like to talk with. They receive heaps of packets and invite only a few to have said chat. Marvel is the same way. Over the course of the weekend DC talked to, I believe, a mere 5 people, and Marvel talked to about 18 if I'm not mistaken. May the odds be ever in your favor.

So I filled in blanks, did some stapling, dropped off and went back to people watching.

Bella and her friends stopped by that afternoon looking for a Game of Thrones print. I pointed out that I could draw something unique for her if they didn't find any. They left, searched, and returned. She seemed happy with the results of my labor and brought the friend it was for by the next day. Delightful!

My friend Todd, a Chi-town resident, has recently acquired a home complete with basement speakeasy so Saturday night he was kind enough to play bartender for our merry band. We had Gin Suckers and cookies while playing a round of Apples to Apples.

Having dropped off my forms the day before, Sunday came with the need to check the boards to see if I'd get to have a portfolio review. I stopped by the DC booth and the answer was no. I was not one of the three chosen. Hope dashed I still had to check over at Marvel. It was there that I found Samir. He did not look happy which boded none too well. As it turns out he hadn't found the list yet. We looked. We found. Samir was on it!

And so was I!

Yeehaw! It was, to say the least, a great feeling. There was hugging and possibly some public dancing. Later that day I met with an editor and had my first portfolio review that focused on the things I do well and how to build on them in order to continue a path towards some day possibly working for Marvel. Tee Hee.

From there out the day was some coasting through, eating, shopping for silly things like a super-cool Plastic Man shirt, packing up, saying our goodbyes and driving back to Minnesota for some feel deserved sleep.

As for the weekend as a whole? I broke even financially, got to talk with a major publisher, and even had some fun. Not bad for a trip that started in the back of a police car.

A huge thanks to everyone who stopped by and kept us company, helped support our efforts financially or emotionally, and just made it a cool trip. I hope to see you all again for C2E2 in 2013.

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