Comic Conventions – Part 2 – Where should I look for events?

Hello, we meet again! My name is Kay, and I’m the author of this on-going blog series about helping beginners , and vets, into the world of Artist’s Alley at comic conventions.

So, where DO I want to sell my comics and art?

As I mentioned in the previous post, there are many events that you can apply for, and this post will cover some of the more common events, like conventions, markets, and local comic events. It is important to know what is available out there, and what is appropriate to apply for.

The blog post will cover the following four events, and give some information on each:

  • National comic conventions
  • Local comic events
  • Markets
  • Online

NATIONAL COMIC CONVENTIONS

     

Supanova and Oz Comic-Con are both large national events, and the application process can be quite strict (especially for OCC). These are the two events you really need to know your work is up to scratch, you have a table-friend with you, and you can network hard. While competition is fierce, and disappointment and rejection will happen, you can be prepared for it.

Oz Comic-Con is held in most major Australian capitals, and has a strict application. The work shown is extremely professional, and currently, I have not tabled at this event. If you get in, fantastic! Network with others around you and do the best you can possibly do. If you don’t get in, attend as a ticket holder – there are great panels from Australian and international artists that will help you on your journey to being the artist that you want to be.

Supanova is also held in most major Australian capitals, and has a great indie and local flavour to the artist’s alley. Applications so far have been simple – fill out your details, pay, and get a table. For comic creators, I recommend being in the Indie Press Zone. This is the cheapest booth available for comic artists, but you must have at least one comic on your table. If you book your table at least 3 months in advance, you receive an early bird discount which can be around $50 off your table price, in some cases $100. You will need to check the website for that information. When you go to set up your table at bump-in, you will need to pick up your info pack. This will contain your wristbands for entry for the weekend, information in general, and lunch order forms. (This is where you could pack your food for a cheaper and healthier alternative as mentioned in the previous post). They do bring lunches around so you don’t have to leave your table and line up, but you’re on your own for toilet breaks and shopping time.

 

LOCAL COMIC EVENTS

Sometimes it can be a hassle trying to track down local events that you can sell your wares at that are just for comic artists. Every capital city has a few, and sometimes regional areas have their own also.

There are too many to list in detail, so I’ll list the ones I am aware of Australia wide, then list some points I have found overall.

 

NATIONAL:

Free Comic Book Day (Nation wide – contact your local comic shop to see if they are organising an event, or if you could organise one for local artists)

 

QUEENSLAND:

Toowoomba Comic Con

Z.I.C.S – Zine and Indie Comic

Comic Street AU

Sugar City Con

 

NEW SOUTH WALES:

         

Comic Gong

Central Coast Commic Convention

Smash!

Comic CON-Versation

Bezerka Con

PopCon

MCA Zine Fair (not affiliated with MCA Studios)

Sydney Sci-Fi and Pop Culture Fair

Other Worlds Zine Fair

Kings Comics Zine Fair

 

VICTORIA:

     

Festival of the Photocopier

Homecooked Comics Festival

Continuum

AMC Expo

 

CANBERRA:

ACAF (A.C.T)

Conflux

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

AVCON (SA)

Flinders Street Market

Halloween Comic Con

 

TASMANIA:

   

Her Majesty’s Favourite Really Great Graphical Festival (Tasmania)

El Grande Small Press Hobart Zine & Art Fair

AI Con

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

SwanCon

Chaos Pop! Culture Convention

 

HANDY INFORMATION FOR LOCAL EVENTS

  • Local events may need you to bring your own tables, chairs and gazebo.
  • Ensure that you pay when you are invoiced or you may miss out on a table, even though you have booked it.
  • Don’t be upset if you do miss out on a table – there are lots of other artists out there that could be applying to the same events you are, and there just aren’t enough tables. You could contact the organizers and ask to be put on a wait list should someone cancel their booking. Be patient and you’ll get there.
  • Some events have organisation teams that you might be able to volunteer for.
  • Some local comic events may not have food or drink on site, so bring your own.
  • Remember your float.
  • When you pay for your table is a good time to start networking and find out other artists that may be going to the event that you know, or can develop a relationship with.
  • When you pay for your table is also a good time to start advertising your presence at the event. Use social media to reach your fans.

 

 

MARKETS

 

There are a number of markets that you could visit and take your wares to. I have done two markets in my time, Ipswich Handmade Markets and the markets at Toowoomba Comic Con. There are also markets you could contact to see if having a table there is a possibility for independent artists.

The Handmade Markets were quite successful, as families visit these places, and mostly only baby or female items are on display. Having prints or comics tend to keep the men and kids quite happy, and glad to see something besides frills and lace. Of course, you’ll need to specifically ask the organisers of the event if you can bring your comics and prints, as not all markets do.

Toowoomba Comic Con had a market outside the event, which like Ipswich, was quite successful. We were the only table to have comics and independent art, so were quite popular.

 

HANDY INFORMATION FOR MARKETS

  • If you have a regional event, it is certainly worth asking about. Share a table with some friends so you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
  • Look up local markets in your area, and do some research on if you can table there. Perhaps share with some friends to cut costs.
  • Local events may need you to bring your own tables, chairs and gazebo.
  • Ensure that you pay when you are invoiced or you may miss out on a table, even though you have booked it.
  • If you do need to set up your own site, remember to take sunscreen.
  • Some local events may not have food or drink on site, so bring your own.
  • Remember your float 
  • Call the market first before you apply to see if you qualify for a table.

 

ONLINE:

 

Lastly, online sales can be very popular for people who can’t come to the events you’re attending, or live too far away to personally visit. There are a number of ways you can sell your wares online, and I’ll list the pros and cons for each.

 

etsy.com

This is an online hand-made marketplace that has an amazing amount of zines for sale, and I see no problem with selling comics through this site either. Each listing only costs 20 cents, and will stay online for sale for 4 months. However, you are responsible for posting the items and calculating the postage correctly. Etsy.com also has imported manufactured goods, which may encroach on your products for sale should they have a tag you are also using.

 

eBay.com.au

This is the online site for everything that can be sold online. Fan art is humungous on eBay, and your wares may get bogged down if you use tags the fan-art posters use. Like Etsy.com, you can sell world-wide, but need to calculate postage correctly.

 

bigcartel.com

Big Cartel is used by artists to reach out to the world. I have not personally used it, so I will stick with facts. You can sign up for free, and receive 5 free monthly listings. There are 5 free photos per listing, and many other features, but you get more features for the paid monthly fee starting from $9.95.

 

mcastudios.com.au

Yes, this site does sell indie comics! It works on a consignment basis. The creator (you), sends the business at least 5 copies of each title that you wish to sell online. You provide a short description of the title for advertising, how many you send, and the price you wish to sell at, and I do the rest on my end.

Firstly, an image is needed for the title, which goes online with your description, price and quantity.

When someone purchases your comic(s), the buyer will have paid postage. The parcel goes to the post office, and gets sent off.

Yes, I do keep a commission of 10% per item sold (from January 30, 2017), and that money goes to upkeep of the website, advertising, and increasing awareness of the business so you sell your titles faster and to a wider audience.

You can download the form here, and send it, with your publications to the address listed on the form.

Currently, MCA Studios has over 15 different series in stock, and is growing. Why not download the form and send in your publications for online sale today!

 

AFTER ALL THAT

I hope you have found the information to find the best way to market your books and art, and looking at the different information has given you some insight into what each type of event entails, so you can be prepared.

If you have any event that is not listed here, please email me at k.aspden@mcastudios.com.au and let me know so I can keep this list updated.

If you know of any independent comic creator that is looking for an online store option to sell their publications, please put them in contact with me so we can chat about what their needs are.

 

(All links are working as of date of publication, and dates on pictures may not be indicative of future events. MCA Studios suggests contacting the organizers of the event you wish to table at to confirm details.)

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