Twenty Years!July 16th, 2013 |
In the midst of the intense excitement that was our (successful!) Volume 3 Indiegogo Campaign, a modest little anniversary passed by. July 2-4, 1993, my cousin Franz and I drove 11 hours to go to the Chicago Comicon with our freshly photocopied-and-stapled first issue of the new minicomic we called Salmagundi.
Salmagundi was a “flip book”, which meant there was one story on one side, and then you flip it over and you get another cover and another story. Franz’s comic Vagabond was on one side, and Galaxion was on the other.
As I am fond of telling people, the 1993 Chicago Comicon was the Best Con Ever. We arrived on the scene as regular attndees, standing in long lines to get in, and with vague optimistic ideas of selling our new Salmagundi comic book out of our backpacks (yeah, well, we were young and didn’t know any better). But upon reaching Artist Alley we happened across Greg Hyland, a comic artist whom we’d met and chatted with at a comic convention in Toronto, and who had very kindly given us lots of good advice about self-publishing. We showed him our new comic and to our surprise he told us that this made us Real Comic Artists, and that we should go to Guest Services and ask for a table in the Small Press area of Artist Alley. A bit nervously, we followed his advice. Not only were we given a FREE table, when we informed these kind folks that we’d already paid for full weekend passes, they gave us each a Guest Badge and a refund for our passes!
These days I have a full convention kit that consists of tablecloths, display racks, signs, and banners, but for that very first show we had nothing at all. Didn’t matter. We were delighted. And amazingly, we even sold a bunch of comics! The great thing was, because we had no expectations at all (and because there were two of us to watch the table), we were able to enjoy a lot of the programming and evening events without the nagging worry about making back our costs. It was a great time to be a self-publisher. Really, best show ever.
In the twenty years since then (minus the six years between 2000-2006), I’ve been to dozens upon dozens of shows across the United States and Canada (but mostly the US). The badges I saved and have hung up on my work room door only represent a portion of all the shows at which I’ve hawked my comics. I’ve published Galaxion in at least three different formats, and I’ve drawn almost seven hundred comic pages.
Even I have to shake my head with wonder sometimes that I’m still here, still plugging away, still drawing. Still looking at the finish line off in the distance, the end of the story. We’ll get there eventually!
Looking forward to another twenty years. Thanks to everyone who’s joined me on the journey.