I'm sorry that this comic is so late. In fact, this comic is ridiculously late, it could almost qualify as NEXT week's comic. I couldn't stomach that thought, so I tried my hardest to publish it by today.
A big part of the reason why this week's comic was late is thanks to Emerald City Comicon. (Well, actually, the real reason it's late is because I don't work with a buffer. But I'm going to blame Emerald City Comicon anyway.)
Due to flights leaving from Seattle being both ridiculously scheduled (11:15 pm, REALLY?) and ridiculously overpriced ($650, REALLY?!) I opted to stay in town an extra day and take a cheaper flight that wouldn't bankrupt me. I still got home pretty late Monday night and pretty much went straight to bed that evening.
Tuesday I spent catching up on life-stuff (hugging my kids, or whatever) and by Wednesday I was battling a full-blown case of Con Crud. I was able to draw and ink the comic on Wednesday, though and spent Thursday night coloring and shading. Remind me again how I managed to do this three times a week? Oh, yeah. NEVER SLEEPING.
Although my recovery has been difficult, the show in Seattle last weekend was AMAZING. By far the busiest con I've ever been to and the crowds were FANTASTIC. For whatever reason, I was innundated with requests to do sketches. I did over 40 when - usually - I do maybe 10 to 15. I'm going to upload all of them to the Theater Hopper Facebook page soon. Follow me on Twitter for notification (SYNERGY!)
Doing all those sketches actually gave me a good idea. In addition to the 4x6 sketch I currently sell for $5.00, I'm going to start offering a more highly-detailed 8x10 sketch for $10.00. I'm going to bust those out at C2E2 next week, but if you're interested, you can place an order in the store today!
But I'm getting ahead of myself. The show was great and I met a lot of really cool people. Several fans came up to me and told me they were sorry to hear that I was ending Theater Hopper. But all of them said the same thing - that I was ending it the right way and "thank you" for all the free entertainment over the years.
That made me feel really good. It made me feel like I had friends in Seattle - and you have no idea how valuable that was to me while I spent the weekend away from my family.
That's not to say that I was completely ALONE all weekend. I ended up sharing a booth with Gordon McAlpin from Multiplex and Angela Melick from Wasted Talent. I really want to thank them for letting me crash their table. It was a fantastic opportunity and I'm glad it all worked out.
The booth space was a little tight, though. I know Angela and I bumped elbows a couple of times. If she's reading this, I just wanted to let her know I wasn't trying to crowd her out. Thanks for putting up with me. I hope all is well.
I also had the opportunity to hang out with some webcomic folks during the evenings. Randy Milholland from Something Positive, Jeph Jacques from Questionable Content, Alina Pete and Layne Myhre from Weregeek, James and Rebecca Hicks from Little Vampires, David Willis from Shortpacked Ryan Sohmer and Lar deSouza from Least I Could Do and Joel Watson from Hijinks Ensue.
I'm seriously humbled that I get to talk to these people at all. Often I feel like I'm at the "Kids Table" of webcomics. Kind of obnoxious enough to pay attention to but not serious enough to be part of the conversation. The analogy is kind of appropriate considering I was actually invited to dinner by Ryan Sohmer on Saturday night - which I need to thank him for. It was very thoughtful and he was very welcoming.
I also have to give a special shout-out to Joel Watson who let me crash in his hotel room on Sunday night after the convention to help me save a few bucks. He also had some fantastic tips that helped me out on the convention floor - even if he was being kind of a bossy boots about it!
I tease Joel because I'm insecure. But also because he is a bossy boots. He'll have the last laugh, though because I plan on using his Proven Money Making Techniques
That's the funny thing about ECCC this year. I actually picked up a lot of really good ideas that I'm going to be able to turn around and execute quickly at another convention. Typically I go to one - MAYBE TWO - conventions a year. Any insights I glean are usually lost by the next time I make an appearance.
This time I actually WROTE DOWN ideas to take with me to the next convention - a whole strategy document. I even managed to execute one of those idea this week. I created a business card to hand out to people who check out my Spoiler shirt.
In retrospect, this was a completely obvious thing to do. Over the course of a weekend, I would say no less than 250 people probably stop to look at my Spoiler shirts. I place them very prominently on my table and use them to attract people so I can tell them about my comic.
People either say "I gotta have that" and graciously buy a shirt or they say "That's really funny, man" and go about their business. Either way, I was being STRAIGHT UP STUPID by not giving them something to take home with them to remind them about the shirt. So now the business card exists to say "Hey, remember that shirt you liked? There's actually a pretty cool comic associated with it!"
Like I said, it's completely obvious and long, LONG overdue. It's especially egregious considering people at the convention would ASK me if I had a business card. I never did because I could never really figure out what to put on it. Contact information alone just didn't seem... clever enough. I'm glad it only took me 10 years to figure it out. Just in time for me to end my comic! My business acumen, you see, is (how do you say it?)... not strong.
Speaking of my Spoiler shirt, by the way, we got a pretty cool shout out over at AV Club in an article called "Favorite Pop Culture Apparel." We're mentioned right at the top. Tasha Robinson, wherever you are, thank you! Also thanks to Ryan Estrada for sharing the link with me!
Last thing I'll mention (again) is C2E2. I'll be at table O2 in Artist Alley. Here's a link to a map in case you want to find me later. I'm in the back of the hall, kind of by the Food Court. Be sure to visit me, okay, because I'm going to be lonely. My good friends with the Digital Pimp crew secured a booth this year up in the front of the hall next to the Marvel Comics monolith. That's what I get for making arrangements at the last minute!
I'll be selling books, shirts, buttons and sketches and I fully intend to leave as much of it on the floor as possible. If you're at all anxious about not being able to pick up some Theater Hopper merch, I would strongly encourage you to do it this week. I'm not sure what my inventory will look like after next week and I don't plan on restocking these items any time soon!
Next week's comic should hopefully be a little... less late. Thanks to everyone for their patience and understanding. See you again in a couple of days!