Another month, another Carter Comics Newsletter! Well, spring is officially here with the sunny skies and 80-degree temperatures (I only wish it never got warmer than that in the summer, as opposed to triple-digit heatwaves), but hey, this is all about good news:
The arrival of spring means to me the start of convention season. As most of you reading this should know, I exhibited at Wondercon in Anaheim over the weekend for my sixth year. I was in the Small Press area of the floor (8-foot tables with high-curtained walls for vendors who primarily sell independent books), and the show overall went just as well as last year. Though my sales were slightly lower than Wondercons in 2018 and 2017, they were still sales that are higher than any other Southern California show I exhibit at. Also, while Small Press doesn't get as much foot traffic compared to Artist Alley (AA is right next to the convention entrance), it's the type of crowds that matter to me. The customers who do frequent Small Press and approach tables there are interested more in books than prints and sketch commissions, so while they're aren't alot of them, they pick up alot of items. I had three customers Saturday that made the show for me: One guy who found me through the Wondercon Facebook event I created back in December, picked up all 8 issues from my Cosmic Force series (that's 6 issues of the parent C-Force series and two prequels). Two other customers picked up all four issues of Damn Tourists. My last customer for Saturday also followed me on Facebook and picked up a Damn Tourists #1. This combined with some smaller sales throughout the weekend resulted in about $200 in sales (my sales threshold that I've held since 2017 at this convention) and selling out of Cosmic Force #1. I also had a good friend of mine help me out at the table on Saturday and Sunday (both days were sold out of tickets by the way) for bathroom breaks, drink runs, and most importantly, tear-down at the end of the show. With the convention being a weekend sellout, parking was definitely an issue for both attendees and exhibitors who weren't staying nearby the convention center. The only other available lots mentioned after the Anaheim Convention Center ones filled up were three miles away at Angel Stadium, where Anaheim Transit provided a free shuttle to drop people off across the street from ACC. Even though Wondercon 2019 has wrapped up, I have already mailed my exhibitor application for next year's show. After giving serious thought to selecting an Artist Alley table for 2020 (AA tables are 6 feet and pushed closed together, giving vendors very limited space) due to their higher traffic flow, I decided on returning to Small Press for mostly the reasons I mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter. While some of my AA friends were attempting to nudge my decision in favor of Artist Alley, I had to go with my own instincts and track record in Small Press and, as the saying goes: "not fix what ain't broke."
The Carter Comics Convention Circuit kicks into high gear later this month, as my next show is a big one in terms of travel: I will be exhibiting at my first out-of-state show called "Awesome-Con in Washington DC, Friday April 26th to Sunday April 28th. In addition, I will be watching the much anticipated Avengers: Endgame the Monday after the convention (the film opens April 26, but I just won't have the energy to hit up a movie after the show). The new and exciting challenge of taking my books across the country to both an entirely new show and market for me extends to the airport, where I need to pack efficiently to lower my baggage fees. That means a less elaborate setup with me swapping out my large white folding bookshelf with 5 smaller separate bookstands, taking only 4 floppy issues of Damn Tourists and a trade paperback fo Cosmic Force, my large art portfolio and retractable banner (that totals 1 personal item and two checked bags). My flight getting into DC after midnight will add to the challenge, but I will make sure to get enough breakfast before I leave, and a sizeable meal during my layover. That being said, I will get even more excited once I perfect my packing as the con and flight dates get closer. I've wanted to spread my wings as an artist vendor for a long time now, and this year I finally get my chance not once, but twice (I'll mention the other trip in next month's newsletter).
Well, that's it for this month. Thank you all who stopped by my table at Wondercon, whether you purchased an item from me or not. I appreciate good conversation just as much as I do transactions if that's all you can give at the moment. Have yourselves a great month, and I'll see you back here in May when we do this all over again!