Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Denver Comic Con Aftermath

For a guy who loves to sit home and draw all day this last month has been a rollercoaster of activity and, unfortunately, the blog has suffered. And, even though things have settled down over the last few days it's been hard to sit down and get back into the swing of writing. I've also been spending a lot of time trying to update the OilCan Drive site and answer a lot of emails I missed over the last few weeks. But, I figured I've neglected the blog long enough and it was time to get back on track.

While this last month has seen a wedding, a honeymoon, more than a few illnesses, and a lot of juggling I figured it might be best to talk about what happened this last weekend and then go backwards from there until I've filled you all in on what's been happening.

This last weekend, on Friday and Saturday, I attended and exhibited at the first ever Denver Comic Con. It's been over ten years since I've been to a comic convention or did a store signing so I was more than a little nervous to set my stuff up and see if the world remembered who I was. Luckily, I was pushed back into convention mode by my good friend Jeff Lafferty. He set everything up, got us a table, and made all the arrangements. And, when Jeff wasn't able to make it down to Denver for the weekend he was good enough to come down on Friday to make sure I got in the door and wasn't thrown out that first night.

I was sad he couldn't make it and part of the reason I agreed to do the convention in the first place is because I figured, even if everything went to hell, I'd at least have a friend next to me and we'd go through it together. So, when I was left to set up by myself on Friday night I felt a bit lost and alone.

The fact that I was comic off being very sick didn't help much either. I'm not sure if it was nerves or being sick but I was actually shaking a little as I started lining up the newest OilCan Drive books on my table and setting up the little Henry Pin-Heads I had created to sell at the show.

But, a guy who was sitting across from my table with his own display came over, looked at what I was doing, and asked, "are you Sean Tiffany?" I told him I was and asked if we had met before. He said, "no, but I used to read Exit 6 (my first self published book) when I was a kid."

This made me feel good and bad. It was great that someone knew who I was but it was weird to hear that someone used to read my stuff when they were a kid. I felt very old and the gray in my hair wasn't helping either. But, it was great that he came over and I felt like I already had an ally in the comic book alley I had set up in. I wasn't forgotten and I already had the first person I met glad I was setting up my table.

And, honestly, it just got better from there.

My main goal at this convention was to give away little promo packets I had made up to help tell people about the new OilCan Drive web-comic site. Anyone who came by my table and showed a bit of interest got a little packet with two business cards, a postcard, a custom OilCan Drive printed guitar pick, and an information postcard with a QR code on it that brought you right to the OilCan Drive site. I was so busy giving away these packets that I was honestly surprised when someone wanted to give me money to buy a book, a print, or a little paper toy. But, people did want to buy the stuff I put out and it was great.

On Saturday Monika came down to Denver with me to help me man (or woman?) the table. She actually dressed up as Nicole, one of my OilCan Drive characters, and even brought along the little maquette of Nicole she had sculpted. Monika was a great table-mate and, by the end of that day, both her and I had developed quite a little talk track to let people know what OilCan Drive was and what we were trying to do.

One of the funniest moment I remember is when Monika walked away from the table for a bit and a guy came by and stopped to get a closer look at the little sculpted Nicole. I told him that he just missed the real life version of her and that she'd be back soon. He got really disappointed that he'd missed Monika but, lucky for him, he did find his way back and got to meet her later.

After Friday and Saturday I had given away almost all of the four hundred promo packets I had made up and, being sick, I decided to skip going again on Sunday and stay home to get some much needed rest. In fact, I was so sick, and talked so much, that I lost my voice both Friday and Saturday night. So a day off on Sunday was very much needed.

Still, for even a partial showing I think it went really great. I met both new people and old friends who I hadn't seen in years and everyone really seemed to like the new stuff I was working on. Whatever fear or nervousness I had about stepping back into a convention was totally unwarranted. It went really great and I plan on going to the Denver Comic Con 2013 next year. I figure it can only be bigger and better and it gives me a nice goal to set so I can get some new projects done.

One of the other things I did that I thought would be fun was to set up my GoPro camera behind my table. I pointed it out at the crowd and had it take a photo every minute. Unfortunately, the battery on the camera only lasted two and a half hours each day so I didn't capture everything I saw but it was really fun to see the photos later on and see all the great people I met. I liked it so much that I took all of the photos and made it into a time lapse video of the event complete with a soundtrack by Angels and Airwaves. The video is below so you can get a small idea of what it looked like behind my table for a few hours each day.

So, there you go. There was one thing that got me out of the house and away from the drawing table. It was a little scary but I'm glad I toughed it out because I forgot how great it is to get out there, show people what I do, and make some new friends.

Thank you Denver Comic Con, thank you Monika, thank you to everyone I met, and a big thank you to Jeff for getting the whole thing started in the first place.

Tomorrow, I'll get into the week I had before the wedding. It was crazy and is almost the type of story that could fill a novel or a romantic comedy. So, until then, have a great one!

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