One of my favorite people in the world, Paige Braddock, has asked me to appear with her at the upcoming Alternative Press Expo October 12 & 13, we’ll be at table 800. Paige and I created the Martian Confederacy series and formulating our plans for a third entry to tie up the series. This will be my first convention appearance in some time.
After some disastrous experiences, I decided to take a break from comic book conventions for a while, possibly forever. I was burnt out and not making the most of my appearances. I needed perspective on why it is I pursue the goals that I do. Also, I get claustrophobic in crowds and usually drink my face off to deal with it. As you can imagine this doesn't make me a networking magnate.
My first convention, as a professional, was the Alternative Press Expo in 2003. I had arrived with the first issue of my Ditko influenced Less Than Hero mini series. I was immensely proud of that first issue, despite a litany of spelling typos, and sold my first copy within 5 minutes of the doors opening on Saturday. My mind did the math, if I sold a copy every five minutes I would have a bona fide hit. This would kick start my career! I could be writing Spider-Man before the end of the year! Well, my math was off because I didn't sell another copy until the next day.
Conventions bring up uncomfortable emotions in me. I oscillate between being excited about my latest project to feeling like a one in a million hack. Expectations mixed with competiveness, ambition and economics can make the whole endeavor emotionally unbearable. At Emerald City Comicon I abandoned my table midway through the convention when it became clear my table would be forever buried behind the line for Scott Capullo’s autograph. Instead I went bar hopping in Seattle, telling strangers I was in town for a convention I couldn’t bring myself to attend.
My love of comic books is a deep and personal one and I’m grateful to be expressing myself in the medium that has shaped my life. The challenge for me going forward is maintaining the rewards of that relationship in an antithetical environment.
Hopefully our table won’t be near the bar.