Tuesday, November 9, 2010
MID OHIO CON
FINALLY. After 36,565 conventions this year, I'm down to number 36,566, the final convention. MID OHIO CON, Columbus Ohio, November 6 & 7.
Above is a batman commission I did at Mid Ohio. I made a hellboy and a Silver Surfer, too, but alas, the "forget that your camera is right beside you at your bidding' bug bit me once more. The quite gifted Jeremy Sorrell (http://jrs2345.deviantart.com/) hooked me up with a JPG of the Batman sketch I did for him.
Some conventions surprise you, and some go just as you hope and expect. New York was verbs 1 & 2. San Diego- 2 & 3. Pittsburgh, Bmore, Balticon and the York Book & Paper Fair- fall in the Expect Only column.
Mid Ohio, however- and I still don't know exactly why- was a surprise... sort of. I was surprised I didn't make as much business as I'd hoped, and I was surprised at the little amount of traffic my table received. Those are surprises that bring a dropped head. But, there were the other surprises of the happy Dirk kind. I was surprised by how many familiar faces I got to see throughout the weekend, and the warmth of that familiarity made it as much a positive convention experience as any of the other cons I've been at. And I was surprised, despite lackluster sales, how much fun it is for me to share my art with those interested. I never get tired of explaining my processes, talking art with fellow and aspiring illustrators, and chatting, LEARNING from those who decide to speak to me on topics regarding illustrators of yore.
Pittsburgh's my 'home convention' for now- not because I once lived there or really know the area that well, because I honestly know one street, and that's it. It's home because I've been at that con now for at least 5 years in a row now, and most of the organizers know me, are very friendly, and definitely enjoy seeing me return consistently. Right back at 'em.
Bmore's my local con. I've done it a few years now, I tend to gain cool freelance gigs every year, and I've always been able to walk away with a few extra bucks from commissions in the pocket to take home.
San Diego is great, and loads of potential, but way too expensive- travel, food, shipping, table cost- all add up to negative Washingtons for my budget. Someone should fly me out there for free.
New York is San Diego but affordable! Simply put. Totally on the list forever more.
York Book & Paper Fair- the super local, super-out-of-my-element con. I do it for a couple reasons- I love old books and finding old illustrated novels to lust over, it's cheap, and the organizer is a hell of a man to root for.
Gen Con- one and done. If I belong in the gaming book world, it's going to be with a publisher who's willing to take a risk with my black & white scratchboard style. I don't see it happening, unfortunately, and that bugs me a little, but I guess I'm a decade late as color is much less expensive to print now.
Origins- Gen Con with less big publishers, and therefore even smaller pockets. But another nice trip to my Alma mater.
Balticon- the lone sci fi con- cute, cheap, a fascinating experience that can only get better in terms of roping me deeper into the realm of genre fiction, and possibly forcing my participation in either larping or bondage clubs. Both are at equal plausibility at the moment.
I haven't signed up for ANY cons next year yet. I have to really concentrate on being even more frugal than ever before if I'm to pay off the man in 2.5 years, and I want to make sure I'm making good calls as to where I travel. New York, Pittsburgh and Baltimore are lock-ins. Everything else is open on the table for consideration. But next year, I absolutely MUST make room for a good 4 day long hike or road trip. I missed out this year.
Thanks to Brian Kane, Dwayne Todd, Jason Bowser,, Otto, Wallace, Frank Cvetkovic, Joel Jackson, Mike Watson, Ren McKinzie, Dexter Rothchild, Emily Holt, Greg Kissner, Drew Jones, Jeremy Sorrell, & Phil Carter for the nostalgia.
PS- Michael Berryman is such a nice guy!