Unshelved comic strip for 7/13/2005

Comic Con Diary: Tuesday Night/Wednesday Morning

I am going to attempt to blog Comic Con from my limited perspective. Not only am I an exhibitor and thus spend most of my time at the booth, but I am actually spending most of my time Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning at a nearby technical conference (Gene will be manning the booth with his lovely wife). Still, I will be dropping by and gathering intelligence from my cohorts.

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning are all about setup. I flew in to San Diego Tuesday afternoon and braved I5 traffic to retrieve the books I had sent to a friend. I got to the exhibit hall with half an hour to spare, but that was enough to unload the books and the shirts I brought with me in duffels. Gene drove down with his family and will show up this afternoon with another load of shirts and our sacred (and hopefully better-functioning) credit card machine.

Setup is my favorite part of a conference. Okay, that's not true. My favorite part is when fans jump up and down and scream my name while simultaneously handing me large wads of cash. But my second favorite part is setup, perhaps because there is so much potential in the air. Everyone is optimistic, excited, anxious. At ComicCon especially. When the attendees come in the young creators selling a few dozen $.75 ashcans will quickly be distinguished from the industry superstars selling thousands of plush toys. But during setup everyone is (mostly) equal. And so it's a great time to wander around and meet people.

Because the show doesn't start until tonight most people haven't even started setting up yet. I'll try to drop by at 2pm when I can pick up my Pro badge, and see who's showed up. I did scope out the webcomics area, home of Penny Arcade, Dumbrella, Keenspace, PVP, et al. This year I made the tough decision of instead choosing the Independent Publisher's Pavilion, reasoning that our audience maps closer to Terry Moore's than Penny Arcade's. But I will probably second-guess myself a few dozen times before the show is over. The simple truth is that our fans skew older than most webcomics, perhaps because Gene and I are older than most webcomic creators. I just have to remind myself that thick crowds of people who likely won't like our strip are less valuable than a smaller number of people who likely will.

This Unshelved strip

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