Cartoon and Illustration

Prepping for San Diego Comic-Con

I suppose I’ve been prepping for San Diego Comic-Con all year (maybe my whole life–but let’s not go there), but have been keeping things kind of quiet for various reasons.  Sure, I’ve mentioned it here and there, but with one week to go I am just about ready to pop.

This morning I spoke with the front desk at the hotel where I’m staying, confirming my late check in status and making certain they know to hold a package I’m sending ahead with extra sample packages and a few items I may need during my stay there (allergy pills, that sort of thing).

I haven’t actually begun packing my clothes, but my convention bag is in process.

These words are too calm to describe what I’ve been going through in the past 6 months.

Going to San Diego is not something I take lightly.  People keep asking me if I’m “looking forward to it,” and i have to hold back a scream of angst / excitement.  Others have told me that I need to see more of San Diego than just the convention center.

I know they mean well, but let’s face it–for most people there are two reasons to go to San Diego.  One is you have been recruited by the U.S. Navy and have to report for duty.  As I’ll be turning 50 in October that is not why I’m going.

The other reason is to attend Comic-Con.

In my specific case it is to attend Comic-Con as a professional searching for freelance work.  So I’m not there to do Cosplay, pick up an armload of comics, or party with my friends.

I’m flying in on Wednesday evening, hitting the show for Thursday and Friday, and heading home early Saturday morning before anyone else is awake.

Most of the time I’ll be walking the convention floor shlepping (it’s a technical term) my sample books to potential publishers.  I have arranged to be seated at the National Cartoonists Society booth on Thursday 1-3 and Friday 3-5 in order to possibly sell a few prints and / or do a sketch or two.  The NCS will take 10% of my proceeds to help defray the cost of having a booth there, but hopefully it will work out.

I have heard unbelievable stories about how rich my reception will be at this show.  If I believed them then I’d probably be on the road right now rather than waiting for my plane trip in a week.  One fellow told me of a cartoonist who sold thousands of dollars of prints simply sitting down at a table there for a few hours.  I don’t have that much stock to take with me–but I hope to defray some of my costs, maybe for lunch and dinner (convention center food being both expensive and notoriously poorly assembled).

On the other hand many of my friends have been encouraging me to go to SDCC to find work.  Almost all have assured me that my skills are up to the task, that they’re praying for me–and that I need to breathe deeply before my face turns blue from lack of oxygen.

So I’m going.

While I’m there I’ll be staying in somewhat illustrious company.  Chris Sparks (the man behind the “Team Cul De Sac” Parkinson’s Disease book) is up for a Eisner Award for that book.  He and I will be sharing a room during the time we’re out in California.  While that doesn’t get me any first class treatment (other than the fact that Chris is a first class sort of guy and will be helping me out as a first timer at Comic-Con), it’s still pretty cool to tell people I’m rooming with an Eisner nominee.

But I really do need to breathe more.

The thing is that I really don’t care for air-travel.  Neither do I care for potential rejection at the hands of editors and art directors (nor people in general–probably going back to a childhood trauma).  If this trip involved snakes in any fashion I probably wouldn’t be going at all.

So forget a visit to the San Diego Zoo!

(Remember to breathe…)

Okay, so got my papers in order.  Got my lines of communication ready.  Got my samples. Getting my bags packed, and hopefully getting my act together but not my hopes too high.

(Remember to breathe…)

Not so high hopes that I am crushed by some editor with a hang-over and a long line of wannabees to deal with.  Got to ignore that stuff.

Head up, shoulders back.



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