MCM Manchester Comic Con Recap
Wow...just wow. It could probably be seen as cliche but my word, the show really exceeded my expectations for doing a convention. I mean, I've never done one before, we have a brand new product, and gasp! no fan art to speak of. Having fan art at a convention, especially for an artist with limited funds and potentially a non existent fan base (MAPP Family excluded) is a sure fire way to garner attention to supplement any original work you have, especially with a unique art style or twist on the presentation of fan art; for example Will Terry's cutesy Star Wars iPad drawn series. This year like every other at MCM has been cracking down harder and harder on selling fan art and now if caught can be asked to leave and/or banned from future events...sorry Rick and Negan fan art of mine, your time to shine has passed.
So as you can probably imagine, no matter how much passion you have for your work and I'm extremely proud of Doomsday Kingdom and excited to work on it as long as I possibly can, there's just no guarantee that your original only work on display will actually grab on to some one. Which is completely the point of doing conventions - getting new fans and building a local fan base who may never have read a comic as I found out a few times with some never even thinking to read a comic until they looked around our stalls during the weekend.
With all that running around my head, that definitely made me more nervous, I've never even shown my art in public before. Questions come to you at all times, when someone stops by briefly to look at your work and then walk away - am I shit at art, is the product not good enough, am I trying too hard promoting it etc. I'm just really glad to say within 10 minutes of the first day, all of my nerves and fears left me and it became about just getting the word out above all else while there and trying to make some money, at least get that back of what you put in to get here.
As you'd probably expect, once one person took a real interest in the comic more followed. At first it took a good hour or so before this happened since most people want to look around before making a purchase but there were straight away a good amount checking the art and comic out while smoothly transitioning to the next stall and this eased my mind. You always get as I heard from other artists, those who say they will come back later and never do. More often than not in my case they actually did come back!
The main goal of the convention was primarily getting word out, even if no one bought anything they definitely saw my display and praised upon it's uniqueness with the Feeding Post diorama. There were fans relating in some way with our comic reminding them of Mad Max, Lord Of The Rings, The Walking Dead of course, Game of Thrones, House of the Dead, telling tales of the 80's monster movies and horror films like Friday The 13th and Halloween. Which shows just how broad a fan base in our genre we can reach. There were people who absolutely love The Walking Dead the show and wanted to read the comic but were daunted by the amount they'd have to read or those who bought the first couple of volumes and gave up but both instances gave us a chance and picked up the first issue. There were those that were scared by zombies but still gave it a chance and bought a copy. What really made me happy to see were a specific group of people who didn't really care for zombies but were more than intrigued as I explained (without giving too much away) the various different concepts we want to tackle in Doomsday Kingdom. The most interesting to them and my favourite example to give was the simple tale of morality - If you were a firefighter when the world starts to fall and you are called to action to help someone in need yet at the same time your family needs your help. What is it you decide? To do your civic duty, or abandon that person, or your family or simply decide to save your own life?
Among the countless that took a bookmark to either look at more of my art or use the link on there to go to doomsdaykingdom.com the best way I have at saying whether this was a success or not was the fact I started with 50 comics and a handful of prints of something no one in the grand scheme of things knew of, to selling 95% of the comics and a bunch of prints. This meant that the cost of the table and printing of the comics was regained by the end of Sunday, and surprisingly Sunday was the busiest period for me, selling 28 copies of the comic and a few bundled prints.
To me, for a first timer at all of this in general, it was an absolutely great convention.
Thank you MCM and especially thank you to Ronny for letting me work on this with him. One last shout out has to go to the amazing folks at Events 2 Scare for coming by and helping promote Doomsday Kingdom in the best way possible!
Check out some pics courtesy of my Dad, get him on instagram.