Fresh from the fantastic Calgary Horror Con, and I want to capture some of my thoughts on the show.
Firstly, it’s expanding– last year there were two dealer’s rooms, this year there were three! Celebrity guests included Doug Bradley and Ashley Laurence (from Hellraiser) and John Kassir (voice of the Cryptkeeper) as well as Zach Galligan (Billy from Gremlins) and others! Attendance was also up from last year, to the point where there was a line-up to get in as the show opened on Saturday.
The show seems to attract all types of fans: families, individuals of all ages; there’s no “set” demographic that I could really discern. I saw a family of four in full costume from four different movies, fans in their 60’s and 70’s browsing tables for curios and photos; girls and boys, women and men. It was lovely to see!
Traffic was steady and flow-through was good in our room on both days, with brief lunchtime lulls and a dwindling crowd in the last hour of Sunday.
I love Horror as a genre, though it’s never been as intrinsic to me as to my friend Kyle Burles, the artist on our shared Horror comic, Gloaming. The first year of the show, Kyle had a table by himself, and because it was slow he asked if I wanted to come down and set up some of my stuff and share a table with him; we had such a good time, I’ve come back every year.
Two Gargoyles Comics produces a rainbow of comic book genres- Superheroes, Comedy, LGBT, Noir, and Horror- and at first I thought of Horror-Con as a small supplement to a very specific audience, but I was in error. The fans are of course delighted by horror offerings but are interested in others as well!
This year, my comics seemed to fly off the rack. Gloaming 1 and 2 were very popular, of course, being the “Showcase” comic for this show (in fact, on Saturday afternoon I had sold out of Gloaming #1 and had to rush home to grab more inventory); but also there was interest in the Gargoyle Noir/Comedy Twilight Detective Agency, and half-Norse God half-Canadian superhero Thunder. Folks also enjoyed the cartoonish Diaperman (I actually sold out of his graphic novel at the show!) and there was also love for LGBT hero Spectrum. I sold 60% of my 4-day Calgary Expo numbers of comics at this show– to a whole different audience, which made the show amazingly worthwhile!
It’s worth noting that for the first time ever (and we’ve been doing shows together for eleven years), my comics sales exceeded Kyle’s print sales, and his sales are always incredible! Perhaps this was the year for fans to broaden their horizons? Who knows? It’s frustrating for all creators/vendors to try to anticipate the market, because it seems we never can, but I will appreciate success where I find it and that’s for sure!
According to its own website, Calgary Horror Con is “The first and largest convention in Canada dedicated to Horror,” and this seems to be corroborated by actor Dick Warlock (Halloween) who, in his CBC News interview, said “The crowd has been tremendous… this show is as good or as big as any I’ve ever been to.”