Saturday, April 29, 2006

Supanova Day 2 (or Will sell comics for $2)

You know that feeling where you know if you just had a spew you’d feel better but don’t have the motivation to vomit. Well that was the feeling i had for the majority of Sunday.

I was limping from the incident where the coffee table moved two feet to the left once I turned the lights out. I got to the showgrounds about 10 minutes before the con opened - artist alley was pretty quiet. I ran into Ben Hutchings and enquired on why he didn’t meet up with us, i think he said he went to the pub but couldn’t find us. Its scary when 30 comic fans can blend into a bar. The morning was painful and drawn out. My voice was coarse but not as bad as Abstruse’s angry muppet.

Tonia saved the morning with double chocolate muffin. It was sickly sweet and not really what I usually eat when I’m hung over (pizza or cheeseburgers) but I forced myself to finish the damn thing.

Sundays are really different from Saturdays in the whole comic convention scheme of things.

Both days start slowly as people just wander and browse. On Saturdays though people at the convention for one day will then do all their spending in the afternoon, which leads to a massive burst just after lunch. Sunday though is slow but consistent in terms of sales, it’s a lot of families or dedicated shoppers. Even though, we barely ever had more than one person at the table on Sunday I still sold almost twice as much product. However we had one person on each day do the whole; ‘I’ll have one of everything’ – those people are cool.

Also cool are the people who say, ‘I’ll be back later’ and they actually do come back and buy stuff.

When people browse sometimes its good to engage them, try and convince them but stuff using lines like

1) Do you read comics? What do you like?

2) You read any Australian comics before?

3) You an artist or writer?

4) You bought much from upstairs? What did you get? If you like that you’ll love….

5) You here for just the day?

But not

1) You got any money?

2) Are you legal?

3) Why you spending so much money on shit?

However, part way through Sunday I tried a new technique in sales. I’d spot someone walking past, try and figure out what kind of book they’d like and then just hold it up and once I made eye contact, just nod knowingly. This worked on young females and “the bear” book, if they took the bait I’d suggest reading the first 4 pages and if they didn’t like it, they could walk away. If someone in a pirate costume walked past then I’d hold up “Pirates” and say, “Its full of vitamin Arrgh!”.

And it worked, I got sales from people who would just normally walk by.

I also instigated “Sell out a title – mark dances” policy. This beats my previous ideas of “Beat Mark in a mc battle and get 50% off purchases” or the similar themed Dance Off. Maybe at Sydney or Melbourne.

But, yes, sales went well. I’ll probably do a break down of what I sold later on next week.

I also went on a shopping spree and bought pretty much everything I could from Artist Alley with the exception of Storm publishing because there is some much stuff there I wouldn’t know where to begin and the Sev Trek stuff (because it’s a bit rubbish). Everything else I already had. Again I’ll list everything I bought with a thumbnail of a review later on, I’m still sorting through it all.

The only non comic purchase was a big movie poster I had my eye on all weekend. It was a poster for “the Big Red One” and it was designed as a bunch of lobby cards on a A2 poster. It was in pretty rubbish condition but for $2 it was great. When I inquired about the price for the poster, the salesman replied with “Oh yeah Mark Hammil, I’ve had that for years”
“Yeah, I’m more interested in it because of LEE MARVIN”. Because I’m not a nerd. Well not much.

Of course there were assholes, like the 25 year old guys that would scoop up the fantales or minities on our table and walk away. The assholes-in-training who would ask if the lollies were for free and then complain when they were told that were for under 12s and for people buying stuff. The people who state ‘they have no money” but have a $600 lightsaber replicas under their arm also piss me off - its not like they pay rent – losers – 'Expand your mind with new innovative art fucktard and stop sucking the dick of a grotesque billionaire who peaked 28 years ago' (and it was a low peak at that).


I made about $350-400 in sales (though I think I lost $50 at the pub) and sold about 100-120 books.

The con didn’t end with a bang, nor a whimper, more like a loud moan.

Socially, I had made the suggestion of karaoke, since it would be hard top top Jelly wrestling and sauna club from the years before. But I think everyone was exhausted. Paul, Chewie, the Siberian crew all had early flights. Ben and Karen had a long drive ahead of them, Weber had work and I was buggered. So it just ended with a quiet dinner and drinks. We (Andy, Weber, ian gould Karen and Ben) headed in to Chinatown for food. Karen and Ben pretty much stated that they did not want to go to the same place as we did last year. I suspect next year they’ll be saying the same. It was ok, for what it was, I had a grilled chicken with a nice and hot dipping sauce. The only interesting thing was watching tears roll down Ian Gould’s face as he ate his green curry. At drinks we caught up with Paul, the Cult Fiction boys (who left early), Wendy, Stewart McKenny, Rissa, Jason Rand and Travis Burch (private eye! watching you!). Rissa and co went all 2002 and started ordering Cowboy Cocksuckers. In response Andy, Weber and myself went all 1995 and got tequila shots and hot damn that was some fine tequila (we could have gone all 2000 and gotten Illusions but ….didn’t).

Other memorable events were

-watching Jason Rand drink some pink cocktail in a champagne glass through a straw

-being perplexed that no one had heard the phrase ‘pull the pin’ as in “if they aren’t here by 11pm I’m pulling the pin and going”

-realizing that I didn’t want to drink anymore.

It all petered out about 12, so we pulled out stumps, shook hands and were on our way.

Highlights – Only having to pack up 15 books. The thought of various people singing.

Lowlights – realizing I’ll have to wait another year before having this much fun again.


killeroo said...

"The people who state ‘they have no money” but have a $600 lightsaber replicas under their arm..."

bingo. One of the main reasons I don't go to those cons - the core audience couldn't give a shit about comics, any comics - and this seems to be the case more and more as each con passes.

Mark Selan said...

i don't think its as dire as that.

People who read superhero comics will not but anything outside of dc and Marvel, even if we (as in Australian creators) create full colour superheros.
But the other audience, the indie crowd they are buying comics. They want to be part of 'something', they like lowfi comics. The comics i was selling that were b/w a5 sold better than the stuff that looked like traditional comics (comic size, colour covers).
i think doujicon has a good chance of being successful for comic creators if the organisers look outside anime/manga fans and towards the indie/zinester crowd. like the zinefest associated with the newcastle young writers festival