If you are an independent comic writer or artist attending a comic convention to promote your latest project, your time is essentially spent acting as a salesman and publicist. The success of your weekend all hinders on a good looking trade stand and (perhaps more importantly) the perfect sales pitch. It’s not always easy to set yourself above the vast number of likeminded writers and artists who are all equally desperate to promote their work and grow their fledgling fan base. Harder still is the task of convincing those comic book enthusiasts you do speak to, that your work is as entertaining and enjoyable as the mainstream titles from the likes of Marvel and DC. Faced with the choice between the latest Batman or a relatively unknown comic that may never exceed issue one, most will inevitably choose the former over the latter. Which in some cases, is a really great shame.
Case in point… recently I attended the MCM Comic Convention at the Excel centre in London. Amidst the myriad of action figure stands, t-shirt counters, anime inspired cuddly toy merchants, cosplay accessory retailers, comic book vendors and video game demo areas, was the Comic Village. Here the aforementioned comic writers and artists patiently waited whilst swathes of comic and anime fans perused their work, thumbed through their selections and maybe purchased an issue or two. Along the endless rows of tables was as diverse a selection of individuals as you can imagine, each presenting ideas and concepts completely different from one another. From children’s book illustrators, to satirical magazine cartoonists, everybody had something exciting to shout about.