Here’s my follow up on Wizard World Chicago Comic Con.

As it was my first ever Wizard World event, I was not entirely sure what to expect.

First, it was tremendously easier to get in and out of then C2E2.  I just pulled up to the dock on the side, loaded my crap on the cart and rolled in.  They had a parking pass for $43 for the entire weekend with In and Out privileges (a big deal).  Thus, there were no huge lines anywhere to get in or out for vendors.  And there were over 400 artists in Artist Alley as well.

The big “con” to this con was it was mainly an autograph event.  Huge names in the movies/TV were there, but they were all UP FRONT and there was NO motivation for folks to walk the through the floor, especially all the way back to Artist Alley.  With C2E2 they had guests along the sides, forcing people to walk the entire floor, and thus we had more visibility.

The other disappointment was that there were THREE tables on my left empty, and one on my right.  I stuck out like a sore thumb, which may be good, but there was no reason for anyone to walk on my side of the aisle.  I really had to work people to come over.  So my sales were way down compared to C2E2.

I had an 8’ table and clearly divided the Cookbook from 1977.  Lorraine was to one side of the table with my books and prints.  I sat by the cookbook display and drew commissions.  I had out Darkwing Duck, Invader Zim, Hagar the Horrible and Yakko from the Animaniacs.  This appealed to a wide range of folks and really helped draw people in.  If they had kids, I did not mention my comic, if they were adults, they got the pitch for both the cookbook and the comic.

That went well, and I did sell well once I actually had people in the aisle.  So, you can mix adult content with kid friendly stuff if it is arranged properly.

The difference for this convention was I added in 8×10 color prints for $5 of my extras I have done over the past year.  I took out the backgrounds and printed just the characters.  Big seller was Lorraine as Baroness from GI Joe.  My Scooby Do take off got a lot of attention, but no buyers.  Snots.  Anyway, the 25 sheet of Kodak Glossy Photo paper was less then $10 and I already have a photo printer from HP and the prints look great.  Several people asked me where I had them printed and I was happy to say I did it myself.

If I had the traffic I did at C2E2, this would have been a great show.  But since the aisle was half empty, no one came down and that sucked.  I have complained to the show organizers, but I am sure it will fall on deaf ears.  I did tell them that as long as they continued to keep the big stars up front (unlike C2E2) that I would not be returning.

Key Points:
•    I noted that DC, Marvel or other big name comic publishers were NOT at this con.  A comic con without DC or Marvel?  Something’s not right.
•    Several people did comment that the show had improved due to pressure from C2E2.
•    Every artist I spoke with who had been to C2E2 said they had done much better at C2E2.

Wake up Wizard World: C2E2 is eating up your audience!

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