Cartoon and Illustration

Off to Yama-Con!



Tales of the Obscure artwork © James E. Lyle.  All rights reserved.

I won’t be driving through the desert in the back seat of a car piloted by a teenage bikini model with a gun–and I am not a cephalopod either–but I do feel an impending sense of adventure at the prospect of going to Pigeon Forge this weekend for Yama-Con (Round Two: Fight!)

I attended Yama-Con for a single day last year, commuting to the event for Saturday.  I was treated very well–as well as I’ve been treated at almost any show.  But then again, since I have a number of friends who are on various organizing committees of this show–that helps.  (A “shout out” to Tim, Becky, and Charlie.)

This year I decided to take the plunge and go for the full weekend.  This means I’ve booked a room at the host hotel, will be taking all my meals in Pigeon Forge, etc.   This sets the bar high for returns on my appearance there. 

To that end, I’ve also corrected for a number of failures made at last year’s show.

1)  I lost sales at last year’s show simply because I could not take credit cards.  This year I have a smartphone and card reader ready to go.

2) The very fact that I’m going to be there all three days is a correction on last year.  I need to commit.

3)  I also need to wave my geek banner high!  In my younger days I’d show up at conventions and be part of the events.  I’d wear my comic book character shirts, Doctor Who scarf, mingle with the other fans, etc.  In recent years I’ve been somewhat reluctant to stand out–or rather I have stood out by not taking part on the festivities, dressing in “ordinary clothes”, etc.  This year, the Doctor Who scarf returns!  I’m wearing my Flash sneakers! It’s not exactly cosplay, but at least I’m going into carnival barker mode ( here I am thinking of Steve Martin in The Jerk: “Imagine the thrill of having your weight guessed by an actual professional weight guesser!”)

4)  I have planned a “loss leader” as part of my table display.  This is a complex business concept, but bear with me.  The idea of a loss leader is to have something that customers will come by for, that doesn’t cost much, and that you are willing to take a loss on–just to get them to your place of business–in hopes they will buy more.  Convenience Stores work on this basis, with gasoline prices set as cheaply as possible (seriously) in order to get people to buy other items. ( I guess Santa Claus has a similar set up.  He gives away presents so that parents will augment those gifts with other purchases. )  In this case, my table at the show.  My loss leader this year?  Anaglyph 3-D glasses, like those worn by the most recent two “Doctors”, David Tennant and Matt Smith.  These glasses will cost $1 for a pair.

5) I’ve also taken out an advertisement in the convention program.  This was a difficult decision to make, as at the time I made it, I had no money to pay for it.  Thank the Lord, some money did come in.  So I won’t be selling plasma to pay for the ad space.  The advertisement promises a free gift to everyone who comes by and mentions the ad–guess what that will be? 3-D Glasses.  

( BTW, if you’re reading this blog and come by and mention I’ll never know the difference.  But if you hit me up for freebies anywhere else but the show I’ll have to punch you. )

6) This last one is the hardest decision I have had to make concerning this convention.  That is, I have to be apart from my wife, Karin all weekend.  ( I did do that for my visit to San Diego this past summer, but that was across the country–not just over the hill ).  Karin has to play music in Biltmore Village on Saturday and Sunday–but I’d booked this show months before that date was announced.  She also needs the car available, so I’m carpooling with a friend.

So, off to Yama-Con!


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