Chicago, Chicago, not a toddler town.

We're back. That had to have been one of the worst trips I've ever taken. It's no one's fault, just a crappy string of things that happened. It was like every stand-up comedian's routine was played out for us in the 4 days we were there. I don't even want to recap, there was so much.

I'll talk about the convention a little, but only just. It wasn't much better than the travel.

I printed 100 books thinking that in previous years I'd done a minibook, black and white, kinko's special and sold maybe 15 books. This year, I'll have a fully realized script, color cover, professional printing...nothing. Zip. I sold one book at the convention. Mrs. A says I sold three, but I must have been away for the other two.

But shit, I'm arguing over two books. Out of 100. I sold a few online to some of my buddies at Penciljack, and traded books with PJers at the con, but strangers buying my book? One. I sold one piece of art, did two requests and sold one sketch. All this is the paying stuff. I think I drew about 40 pictures the whole time, other people's sketch books, just stuff to keep busy, but sales were freakin sad.

I'm off major conventions. I'm off them until I'm at the signing end of a huge line or have a fan base that would facilitate paying for my trip with the sales of the books. Other than that, there's no reason for me to go.

And here's why:

The numbers haven't come in yet, but I know when I was there two years ago, there were 65,000 people in attendance. That may break down differently for visitors or merchants, but leave it at "fuck-load of people."

The problem is, everyone is there to get noticed. It's like a young writers convetion with no publishers and only writers all hoping to make some kind of break or get some notariety or make some money, but only having other writers around doing the same thing. So, you end up buying some book because you support the small guy, but you as another writer are not the small guy's target.

I met some of my online people and that was nice, but the whole event was tainted by the fact that I'd spent a ton of money to go sit in a loud, crowded, weirdly lit cavern surrounded by questionable people for three days, doing nothing but draw for my own amusement.

So I'm off big cons. I'm not there to get signatures, or go to panels by people I don't know with 3,000 of my closest friends, or by books and toys and shirts. I want people to read my book and aside from maybe 10 people, 9 of which I gave the thing to in exchange for their book, no one has or will.

Maybe I'll write something when I'm not having to rebuild a webserver that's been down for who knows how long.

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