GMX (or the Geek Media Expo for those not in the loop) was an amazing show this year. In addition to just being a great show in general, it also happened to be my first convention to ever visit as an exhibitor and not an attendee. YES THAT’S RIGHT I’M A PROFESSIONAL ARTIST NOW SO SUCK IT! Seriously though, we had an amazing time hanging out with some amazing people who made the experience even more memorable. So here’s the recap.
I ended up working a half day Friday so obviously I was a nervous wreck by the time I got to my apartment. We (meaning myself and the very talented Betsy who draws FRUIT! which you should be reading) were furiously trying to get everything done at the last minute. Hell, we had to get our banner from the apartment office because the delivery guy dropped it off there the day before. That’s what last minute really means. I had to do a rush print job of my comics because I didn’t have as many as I needed two days before the con. Thanks to the wonderful people at Fed-Ex for making that happen.
Anyway, we got to the Millenium Maxwell House around 2:00 PM and people were already setting up. I think one of the biggest things we were nervous about was the question of who our booth neighbors would be. Would they be cool? Would they take up too much space? Would we? Well all of those fears were quickly put aside. Our neighbors to the right were some awesome energy drink people, one of whom is on twitter and is a very, very cool person who was also new to the con circuit. Our neighbors to the left were the EXTREMELY talented Bielaczyc brothers, Paul and Mike. If you’ve bought professional costume grade elf ears in the continental US you probably got them from these guys. If you didn’t, you should return the ones you bought and get some from these guys.
Setup was fairly quick and any thoughts or worries we had that we wouldn’t have enough merchandise to fill a six foot table were quickly vanquished when we saw the awesome layout we had created.
Paul quickly helped get rid of our fears that we wouldn’t sell anything the entire weekend by purchasing one of our buttons for the low, low price of one dollar and even signed the bill, ensuring we’d have to frame it and couldn’t count it as an actual profit.
The rest of the day went by very quickly as people began to crowd in and see the show. We got some great pictures of some costumed gentlemen and ladies and even made a few sales. It was an amazing day and by 8:00 PM we were ready to head home, get some sleep, and start out early the next morning.
6:30 AM came too early and I was really, really tired, but a quick trip to Chick-Fil-A took care of that and a chicken biscuit and a cup of coffee later, I was ready to go. We got to the show about 9:00 AM and set up for the opening at 10. Sales were a little slow Saturday but Betsy managed to sell an entire set of her sketch cards, and we sold a few more buttons as well. Also everyone that stopped by the table took a free flyer, some business cars, and a piece of candy. (PRO TIP: Have candy at your booth. People like candy…) We were set up outside one of the main panel rooms so we got to watch the costume contest, and listen in to Nerd Karaoke which was a lot of fun. I also got to get a picture of a really good Lando Calrissian who is also on twitter for those interested.
Honestly I don’t think we would have survived Saturday if it wasn’t for my dad who was there to get us some delicious lunch from the hotel restaurant and check in on us, keep us motivated, and just generally remind us that we were doing something we’ve always dreamed of doing.
It was another great day and we were excited and nervous about Sunday, which we were hoping would be our biggest day for sales. One of the coolest things was that my good friend Kevin actually made the drive from Kentucky to hang out with us and see all the people dressed up in costume. He had never been to a convention before so it was really a new experience for him. I hope he had fun.
Sunday came even earlier as the dealer room opened at 9:00 AM. Betsy and I were both pretty tired but set up quickly as there were already people lined up in the hallway, either hardcore geeks who were ready to see some cool stuff, or people who were still in party mode from the night before. (For you party people, GMX is WELL KNOWN for it’s awesome room parties, even sponsoring a “room party contest” which gets pretty epic turnout) Before the main vendor doors even opened we had sold a few buttons, a set of sketch cards, and OH MY GOD I SOLD MY FIRST COMIC BOOK! That’s right kids, a gentleman came to the table, flipped through the book, and requested a sketched copy from me. I did a sketch of Chuck wearing a shirt with the classic Battlestar Galactica logo and reminding the world that “Starbuck is not a damn chick!” “So says me…” and he loved it, and even posed for a picture.
This really set the tone for the rest of the day. We sold more sketch cards, and after lunch my good friend Evan Schoenberg (who’s an Apple software demigod who you probably already know from twitter) and his wife Jade showed up to hang out with us. Jade wondered why Evan, Couch (the real Couch), and myself were in the comic but she and Betsy were not, so Evan remidied this by purchasing a con original comic called “Trouble Ticket sells out” in which the last panel features the person who bought the comic. You’ll see that Thursday. I also got a chance to meet Scott Sava who draws The Dreamland Chronicles. Scott is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and a truly amazing illustrator. He actually lives close by so I hope that I get the chance to hang out with him sometime soon and talk shop because he’s pretty awesome.
So now I want to talk about the single most awesome thing from the convention. We heard that the crew behind the amazing webseries Marble Hornets would be there, which made us SUPER excited. We’re huge fans of the series and love a good scare, which Slenderman really provides in spades… I had drawn a Slenderman sketch card which I just had to give to them, along with some copies of my comic. They were really awesome and receptive and just incredible people to talk to. Joseph, Tim, and Troy have built something truly amazing with Marble Hornets and I think they deserve every little piece of fame they get. My wife drew an amazing Slenderman piece that she’s planning to make a print out of…
…and they signed the original for her, and gave us a signed copy of season one of the series. They even posed for a picture with us which really just sealed the deal on how awesome this convention was.
Honestly at this point it’s almost sad just writing this article because I’m already thinking about how much I miss this show. I can’t wait to come back next year, and for those of you who want to see more Trouble Ticket and/or FRUIT! then don’t worry because we’ll be at SEVERAL more cons in 2012. This experience was an eye opener and we’re going to work very hard to make it a full time job.
In closing, GMX is a fantastic show which will become one of the biggest cons in the Southeast USA one day, everyone there was awesome, and we’re really excited to be on a path to becoming full time cartoonists.
See you Thursday with an all new comic.
Betsy outsold me like 2-1, so I thought I’d post a picture of her being all smug at the table outselling me and stuff…