SPX 2013 in the Rear View Mirror, Part III: The Recap.
Note: There are a lot of words in this post! It’s probably TL;DR. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
This was my first year tabling SPX but my second year making the pilgrimage. Last year, I came as an attendee all the way from Providence on the train with my friend Anita. We were starstruck, inspired, and left with light wallets and big dreams for future projects.
This year, I was determined to attend SPX as an exhibitor and fought through Tablegeddon, emerging victorious with my very own half-table in the back corner. Walking into the huge room in the Marriott on Saturday morning was amazing. The room was SO BIG. I did my set-up and was pleased to find that on the other half of the table were Rio (coincidentally also from North Carolina) and Morgan. And someone gave me a vegan cookie. A homemade vegan cookie!
Anyway, sales were good. Many people seemed to recognize me from this blog (both cool and weird) and picked up Eik. Most people were strangers to my work but were kind/foolish enough to buy some of my wares anyway. Most popular were Eik, Talking Shit (probably for its lewd cover & title), and the pronoun patches I brought as a sort of afterthought. I’m not very good at salesmanship - I prefer to let people look over things themselves after a brief “hey, how’s it going?” When I’m looking at other people’s comics, I hate it when the people behind the table try to talk to me too much. If I was good at talking to people, I wouldn’t be making comics! (Just kidding. Sort of.)
I was parked behind the table for 90% of the time, which was a bit of a bummer. Since I didn’t have a non-exhibitor friend to “mind the store” and talk to people while I zoomed around buying and trading, my forays into the meat of the floor were pretty limited. Being chained to the table without a doubt worth it though, and many cartoonists I’d hoped to meet were nice enough to come talk to me or trade, saving me the trouble of leaving.
Following the closing cheers, my table (and friends) went out for food and vegetated in front of some hotel television before moseying down to the Ignatz afterparty. I felt like a dunce when I arrived for not planning to (discreetly) BYOB since the cheapest beer was $8! I heard it got pretty exciting as the night went on, but between the steep prices, general fatigue, and the 30 minute metro ride and 15 minute walk I had between me and the apartment I was crashing at…I didn’t stay for too long. Next time…
Sunday was similar to the day before, but on easy-mode. The day started a bit later (I wonder why…hmmm) and I had a few minutes to go by the Tumblr meet-up and trade/shoot the shit with other exhibitors and a few attendees. Some were vaguely familiar, others were complete strangers, but everyone was very nice. Sales seemed slow but picked up steeply during the last couple hours, and, to my surprise, I earned a few bucks more than the previous day. It was all over too soon, and before I knew it I was lugging a big cardboard box onto the red line as the sun went down.
All-in-all, it was a very positive experience for me. I admit, I was concerned with the size of SPX this year, but from my end it didn’t seem to be a problem…except that I wish I could have had more time to look through the tables and talk to people. I look forward to next year and I’m frantically planning some new projects while my inspiration-adrenaline-rush from SPX continues…
Thanks everyone for a great show!