Well, from my perspective, today's BangPop! show – the first comics & pop culture convention in Bangor, Maine in roughly 15 years – was a rousing success. There were more people there – both attendees and exhibitors – than I expected, I sold a lot of books, and found a few nifty bargains.
For the first time in my career, I didn't lose money attending a con. I more than made back the cost of the table and the gas to drive there. I was (and am) frankly shocked. While books weren't exactly flying off the table, I sold far more than I expected, and, in fact, more than I've ever moved, even at much larger cons. My Kolchak issues were popular, and so was Femme Noir. What was especially gratifying were the people who bought one issue of Femme Noir and then came back later to buy the other after reading the first. I also had one attractive young woman show up with her own copy of Femme Noir #1, who handed it to me to sign while informing me that it was her "favorite comic."
That's never happened before... and it really made my day.
I was on a panel called "Breaking Into Comics," along with artist/writer Mark Ricketts (creator of several Image Comics graphic novels, including Nowheresville, Night Trippers and Whiskey Dickel, International Cowgirl) and a couple of other local small press creators whose names escape my addled mind at the moment. We ended up talking for an hour and a half, and I was brutally honest about the difficulty of making it in the comics field. Surprisingly, I had several people come up to me afterwards to thank me for my honesty and for sharing my 28 years of hard-earned experience with them.
As the show wound down around 4:30, I raided some bargain bins and scored a couple of great Kitchen Sink Press Spirit issues I was missing, two Dick Tracy comics I was also missing, a handful of assorted Joe Staton E-Man, Green Lantern and Huntress comics and a couple of late Turok, Son Of Stone issues from Gold Key. I also stumbled upon an old Eternity Comics reprint book from the 80's called Tough Guys & Wild Women, which reprints four 1940's Saint comic book stories. (I plan on reviewing it for my Guns In The Gutters blog, which I hope to get back to updating regularly later this Fall.) Most of these were only 50¢ each!
I also got to meet and speak briefly with a few local genre authors, including Alex Irvine, Walter Hunt and Joe Hill. Everyone was very friendly and I enjoyed talking with them.
So, a big thank you and kudos for a job well done to BangPop! organizer Gibran Vogue Graham, who not only pulled off a minor miracle in putting together a good show, but who was also a very helpful and accommodating host.
I'm really looking forward to next year!