Searnold here – reporting to you not quite live from Emerald City Comic Con 2012 in Seattle, Washington! For anyone who has never been to this convention, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Let me stress that again with different words: Emerald City Comic Con is by far my favorite comic book convention, and I’ve been to just about all of them on the western coast of USA.
So what makes ECCC (as we like to call it) so different that it stands above the rest? I think I’ve narrowed it down to two things: size and Seattle. If you’re selling comics (as I and my fellow Imaginary People are at booth 220 – come visit us!!) then it’s important that there’s a large crowd to, you know, SEE your comics. But the crowd can’t be TOO large (*cough cough* Comic Con… *cough*) or you’ll just get lost in the shuffle. And ECCC has that perfect balance. The flow of people past our booth this weekend has been constant (no time for a bathroom break) and they HAVEN’T just been walking by to get to that panel about that movie. There are big enough names here at the con (George Takei, Pendleton Ward, Ed Brubaker – just to name my 3 favorites) but not anything so monstrous that it overshadows us little guys.
Which brings me to the second “S” that makes Emerald City Comic Con so superb: Seattle. And it’s citizens. They are hugely supportive of the indie comics scene. They love us. They can’t get enough of us. I’ve gotten a slew of folks who supported me just because they liked my originality, even if they didn’t actually like my comic (which I’ll tell you about in a sec – be patient.) People here are LOOKING for creative individuals to support, and they have plenty of excess cash to do it with. As I mentioned, I’m part of a collective of 4 artists called The Imaginary People sharing a massive corner booth – and every single one of us has ALREADY generated a profit. And it’s still Sunday morning. Not that the profit is primary – I recommend this con just for the awesomely supportive vibe – but making enough money to pay for my trip back down to Los Angeles and even buy some groceries when I get home is an extremely welcome plus.
Of course, what kind of comics creator would I be if I didn’t take this opportunity to let you know WHY I spent 22 hours driving from Los Angeles to Seattle. Besides for funsies. I’m promoting my new webcomic, Behind The Hero. Which, of course, can be found at www.BehindTheHero.com. My tag-line is, “As silly as they are super.” And the strip is, quite simply, about the world’s silliest super heroes. You should check it out – but only if you enjoy laughing. If you’re like super old and worried that too much laughter might induce a heart attack, you should definitely stay away. But what I’m doing here at the con is more than handing out promotional postcards (though I’m also doing that). I’m running a super special promotion that I’m having super special fun with: if you donate $5 to the strip, you get to suggest ANY line of dialogue, and I will find some way of writing it into the comic. So far, a few of my favorite suggestions have been, “Is that a monkey on a porch with a banana?” “Are you Facebook-stalking a playpus?” and “Why are Wil Wheaton’s pants on your floor, mom?” (Questions seem to be interestingly popular suggestions.)
So: to sum up: come to next year’s Emerald City Comic Con. And also check out my new webcomic www.BehindTheHero.com. And, as always, have a happy day!