Jeremy at Edmonton Expo!

Jeremy at Edmonton Expo!

Wow, a little late on this one!

I’d like to thank Jeremy Thew on being not only a welcome presence at the TwoGargs table, but also to congratulate him on his first ever Canadian convention!

The general overview of Edmonton Expo was very pleasant.  Like its sister con, Calgary Expo, the myriad assortment of dealers, comics professionals and celebrity guests was like a smorgasbord of entertainment– something for everyone.  Artist’s Alley continues to be a thriving space for artists and comics people alike– the traffic is incredible compared to the tumbleweeds blowing down the Small Press area.

However, I must give you this advice:  Whether you’re an old pro at attending conventions or new to it, you really owe it to yourself to visit both Artist’s Alley AND Small Press.  These are the creators that you’ve never heard of mixed in with some more familiar names.  This is where you can find creator-owned comics and properties that are utterly original, off the beaten path of comicsdom — and please don’t take that to mean that you won’t find good, solid work you can resonate with.  It’s there.  Explore and you may just find the next super-comic.  Everyone starts somewhere– you could discover the next blazing star!

Sales were good! Not as good as Calgary, but given that the show is slightly smaller (though not for much longer, if it keeps growing the way it has been) and that the audience is largely the same, and that I didn’t have as much new stuff at the table as I would have liked, I would still call it a total success!

And yes, we’ll definitely be back next year!

Some caveats: The Sutton Place Hotel, which is right in the heart of downtown Edmonton, is an unqualified dive.  Upon our arrival we chanced to see the manager chasing a drunk out into the street after he’d pulled out a knife in the hotel lobby.  We missed this dramatic display by seconds.

The hotel also screwed up room reservations, number of beds, people in the room, issuing of parking passes, you name it– and not ONE WORD of apology.  In fact, it seemed as if each and every staff member was having their very first day on the job from the level of incompetence and lack of concern about making things right.  Topping that off is the fact that downtown Edmonton is a ghost town on the weekends, so if you’re trying to get a hot breakfast in you before going to sit all day at a dealer’s table, your choices are limited.  So next year– NO DOWNTOWN HOTELS!  And definitely avoid Sutton Place in particular.

The best thing, in my opinion, about conventions is the inspiration and the networking with other creators.  Nothing makes me want to create more than discussing ideas with others, or seeing what others have done.  It just fires me up.  Even as a fan who attended these things before I ever put pen to paper, I knew I wanted to join this mad circus, this creative mecca of nerditry and artistry.  I’m very happy to be here now, sharing the experience with all of you.

–Michael