October 21, 2017
October 2, 2017
And Max, from our horror comic Gloaming, written by Michael McAdam and drawn by Kyle Burles, has something to say:
You’ll splish too.
August 22, 2017
Flame Con was held at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott in Brooklyn, NY on Aug 19 & 20, 2017.
WHAT. A. BLAST.
Being an LGBT-focussed comic con, Flame Con greeted me at the door with an immediate feeling of inclusivity, celebration and joy. The staff were all “superheroes”– they all had capes tied at the neck with velcro– meaning the capes could be shared with volunteers, making anyone associated with the con immediately visible and identifiable. Clever, fun and reassuring!
Steven, one of the people who directed us to the registration line had a rainbow beard. “Now I know I’m in the right place,” I said.
Billing itself as the “Largest LGBT Pop Culture Convention in New York”, it’s easy to believe– last year’s attendance boasted over 3, 400 people and this year was apparently larger, though no numbers were available at the time of this writing.
The greatest thing about this convention is also the most fundamental and basic: I never once had to explain myself, my comics, or the art prints at my table. Not once did someone flinch as they saw muscular men in speedos, or an A to Z of superhero groins. No one turned up their noses at Cyclops embracing Iceman, nor did they look uncertain as I described my LGBT superhero, Spectrum, or for that matter my tongue-in-cheek comic, Diaperman, where all the heroes and villains are fetishists. Heck, I didn’t even have to define “fetishist” to anyone.
In short: Everyone at Flame Con “got it.” All-inclusive. We Are Family. In The Club. That sort of thing. And the feeling– it’s amazing. It’s knowing you belong, knowing you’re doing something that appeals to people, hearing feedback on your work that’s very positive.
Speaking of which, I met gay comic icon Paul Charles, the Gay Comic Geek (Warning: Link NSFW) who read Spectrum and gave this amazing review!
I would describe my convention experience as a success: I sold out of Spectrum, and my now-famous Superhero A to Z groin posters. Other popular prints were Hogwarts Swim Team, and Jeremy’s female Gambit. Our comic Twilight Detective Agency also sold well!
Too, there was a Saturday Night shindig at a local bbq joint/bar where Exhibitors got in free after 9:30; It was called Camp Fire and there was a themed comic-and-pop-culture drag show which was fabulous (but when they did the Bette Midler number from Hocus Pocus– “I Put A Spell On You”— I was having none of it! I have secretly choreographed that number in my own living room for years, and I was not gonna let someone else do it (so I quietly did it in the corner of the bar for an audience of one, as Jeremy found my antics amusing).
I got to meet Greg Fox of Kyle’s Bed and Breakfast, a fantastic series of excellent graphic novels about a gay B&B; he was our table neighbour. We traded graphic novels and I read his stuff on the plane ride home (review to follow at another time).
Challenges for this show were: Travel, primarily. Schlepping the con gear and merchandise across the US Border is ALWAYS tiresome, troublesome, and downright inconsistent. On this particular trip I was told I wasn’t allowed to transport merchandise by air, though by ground was fine. They let me through anyway, but it’s just another inconsistency in the grand world of US Customs.
The second was cost: New York City is a spendy, spendy place. The hotel convention rate was $300 US a night, which was just not in the budget for Jeremy and I. We ended up staying further away, still in Brooklyn but at a nice little pseudo-B&B slash hostel called “J-Stel.” Three floors, each floor had a shared bathroom; air conditioned rooms (thank God). I didn’t mind it; I’d stay there again.
Warning: DO NOT TAKE A CITY CAB FROM THE AIRPORT TO DOWNTOWN. I used Uber (which is always wonderful, I love Uber) and paid $40– Jeremy took a cab and paid $197.00. Almost two hundred dollars! DO. NOT. USE. CITY. CABS. Period.
The con was extremely well-run, and well-organized; check-in took us maybe five minutes and they had time slots prepared for those folks that needed to use the loading dock so as to avoid congestion. It was wonderful. Also, the staff were always checking on the vendors, seeing if we needed anything, being around and being visible.
And the music– god yes, the music. They played fun, light, pop music from the 70’s and 80’s in the dealer’s room with various famous gay anthems and fun songs, which really brightened the room– and had me dancing and singing all weekend. What a way to improve the mood and interest of the crowd and potential buyers! Anytime I can groove to the Go-Go’s is a happy time indeed.
I want to support this convention and return next year, as it attracted an excellent calibre of creators and fans; it will take some consideration though, as the travel and costs are prohibitive. Definitely will require consideration. However, if you can get to New York, you owe it to yourself to experience this joy!
Life’s a rainbow,
May 16, 2017
Normally, I write about shows right after I do them– but in the case of Calgary Expo, I had to get ready for a week-long vacay to Orlando right afterwards, so I didn’t get a chance to register my thoughts until now!
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is, and continues to be, the best show I’ve ever done. This show is the example to follow for any trade show in this genre; the organization, the execution, the follow-up: other shows should really take note.
CCEE attracted roughly 95,000 people this year, slightly down from last year’s 103,500 but this show has an amazing turnout every year. This means traffic, more people seeing our work and a constant influx of potential new fans– fabulous.
One of the things I love is that, upon renewal, my table is in the same spot every year in Artist’s Alley, which means it has become a “regular spot” for fans of Two Gargoyles Comics to find me! That’s extremely helpful in a show this size– it’s large in there, and navigating back to a table after the initial look-see of the whole floor can be challenging. Kudos, CCEE.
Also, the organizing staff are really involved: Mary-Ann, the lady in charge of Artist’s Alley (and half a million other things) had a contact number printed on the back of our Exhibitor’s badges so we could contact her to resolve any issues, which was super convenient (like when another vendor started snagging people from the middle of the alley and lining them up in front of their table, blocking other vendors. That’s a no-no, folks)!
There was a moment of self-doubt (welcome to the mind of the indie comic creator!) when sales seemed dismal on Thursday and Friday– two days of slowness had me worried. I shouldn’t have, because sales picked up on Saturday and especially Sunday! It put me back on track to do as well as I had last year which, while not necessarily showing growth, is at least stable– and factoring in the lower attendance, I’d say that’s not bad at all!
Annoyances: Folks taking pictures of prints instead of buying a print. Jeremy had the most hilarious “Trump – Truly Outrageous” print this year, and if all the people that stopped to take a photo of it had bought it, it would have paid for his entire trip to Calgary. It’s hard to begrudge fans their admiration of one’s work, but when all that interest generates no cash sales, it’s kind of like “working for exposure”– something no artist ever wants to do. It’s a hard game to play– one wants people talking about one’s work, certainly! But if no one is buying it, then one is soon OUT of work.
This year, I felt more social media-savvy than before. Crossposting to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr simultaneously helps keep my audience engaged, and thanks to Mike Rieger telling me about a neat-o app called IFTTT, I was able to push ONE button and then get back to engaging in the real world instead of trying to juggle being on my phone vs. being present and “in the moment” with people who were walking by my table. It’s definitely something I feel takes some practice to master, which is one of the reasons why I love having Jeremy man the table with me- there is always someone to talk to who can help you with any questions you may have if I happen to be momentarily tapping away on my phone.
I made more of an effort to connect with other indie creators this time around; Chapterhouse Comics is rapidly becoming, in my opinion, the go-to folks for Canadian comics- Richard Comely’s Captain Canuck, Canada’s flagship hero’s presence is its crown jewel; I also spoke with Andrew Thomas of Auric of the Great White North and informed him that he is my archnemesis; his publishing, social and regular media, and Kickstartering game is way above mine and is therefore worthy of emulation (my archnemesis-ness is solely based on my jealousy of his awesomeness).
Although the physical rigours of the show itself are tiring, the inspiration of being surrounded by other creators is worth the price of admission; admiring their work, getting inspired to try new things both in my own work and in practical applications like upgrading my table display, realizing I need to put together a press package– (seriously, the Calgary Metro News did an entire article about Calgary creators AND I WAS NOT IN IT. That’s on me. It’s not enough to create stuff and then show up to represent it– you’ve got to let people know you exist. Still smacking my head for this one).
After all this glorious immersion in pop culture (during which I celebrated my birthday!), it was time for a vacation– so a couple of friends and I split to Orlando for a week to enjoy Universal Studios and Disney, which we did, most wholeheartedly to the point of blissful exhaustion. Now I’m back home, recuperating from the vacation but all the more recharged in my resolve to increase the awesomeness level of Two Gargoyles!
With your help, I know we can get the recognition increase that great comics like Thunder, Spectrum, Gloaming, Twilight Detective Agency and Diaperman deserve!
Onwards and upwards,
April 3, 2017
I was recently asked to be a guest, for the second time, on the fantastic Gargoyles Reawakening Podcast. Hosts Lisa and Karell are fantastic ladies, and asking myself and artist Mike Rieger to play off each other as guests just makes everything much more fun (for us, anyway!)
We discuss the Season 1 episode, “Deadly Force,” and talk about story elements and fandom and whatever else comes into our minds. And you can actually SEE us as well as hear us, thanks to the magic of Skype. Give us a listen, and if you enjoy, please subscribe to the podcast!
Follow them on :
♦ Website : http://www.gargoylesreawakening.com
♦ Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/26043…
♦ Deviantart : http://gargoylesreawakening.deviantar…
♦ Tumblr : http://www.gargoylesreawakening.tumbl…
♦ Email : email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
And as an added bonus, here is myself (Michael McAdam) and Mike Rieger doing a promo spot at last year’s Edmonton Expo!