Comic Conventions Part 3 – How do I set up my table?

Welcome to Part 3 of Comic Conventions, the ongoing series where I look at different facets of having a table at events for your comic creations and art.

In part 3, we are looking at table set-up.  We are fortunate to have a few guest comic creators share with us their table set-ups for different events, and we’ll quickly break each down to what worked best for them, and what I thought the best aspect of each table was..

If you haven’t read Part 1, I suggest you go and read it first. It gives advice on how to determine if you’re ready for a table at an event, and a short list of what you may need to take.

I have rated these set-ups */10 on 3 important things:

  • Ease of transport and set-up – the ease of which you can transport your gear and stock to your table, and how much set-up you have to do. The easier the transport and simpler the set-up, the higher the score.
  • Clear and easy to read signage – Signage is important, not only so people know the price and not ask you all the time, but so you are clear on what is what price also. It gives customers confidence in your work. The better the signage without squinting or asking for a price, the higher the score.
  • Branding – It gives consistency across your entire stock. Packaging, art style, and colours used in your table all contribute to branding. The more even your table looks, the higher the score.
  • A bonus point is added to give kudos to something the table holder has done differently and that really stands out.

 

 

First we have our guest table holder Pauldo of Destroy Your Head Comics, and his series, Machineland! This was his set-up for Supanova. He has also been at Comic Street and ZICS.

There are multiple things I love about this set-up.

First is the simplicity in his prints on the back wall. It’s signed with prices, easy to read, and the crisp white of the prints clash wonderfully with the blue of the wall. The art design is all similar to it’s neighbour, so you know this is Pauldo’s style. It’s not crowded and easy to view.

Having a look at his table, it’s a simple layout which is clear, signed, and uncluttered. He has a space for everything, including his drawing area for commissions, which is also clearly signed on his table. The prints on the back wall give a clear example of his commission style. He has a business card holder for people to take a card and contact him when the convention is over.

Overall, I give this a 10/10 for ease of transportation and set-up, a 10/10 for clear and easy to read signage, and 10/10 for branding. Going outside of the box with t-shirts receives a +1 bonus to the overall total.

 

 

Next up, we have Laura, who is a wonderful and friendly illustrator, and sells her wares on her Etsy Store – Laurdione Designs. Laura has had tables at ZICS and Comic Street.

What stands out most about this set-up, is the height used. Laura has a display that rises vertically to display her wares clearly.  She has branded her packaging well and all with a uniform colour to represent her style.

The clear separation of colour to black and white is used well, and signage is used to clearly display prices. She has her business cards on display as well, and makes use of a acrylic frame stand to advertise she also has A4 prints available despite them not being on display.

The use of a container for her badges is also well utilized, I have found people enjoy “digging” for their favourite character, words, or even colour.

Overall, I give this a 8/10 for ease of transportation and set-up (Due to the large display stand), a 8.5/10 for clear and easy to read signage, and 10/10 for branding. The fact this set-up was only on a half table (90cm) receives a +1 bonus for imagination and pre-planning.

 

 

Stuart from Holthar Press  has had tables at many events, including Supanova, Oz Comic Con, and the local Brisbane scene including ZICS and Comic Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see on the left, Stuart has utilized the back wall to showcase his original art and his comic covers. It is clearly signed, and easy to look at. The pink on the prints on the wall are post-it notes to cover questionable content, this protects little eyes while still being able to be displayed. I like this idea, because while kids are a whole big part of comic conventions, there are adults too which like these kinds of prints.

His table is simple and easy to look at, and well signed – it invites conversation with the creator as nothing is in the way physically. He has an A3 display folder out for people to peruse and purchase his original prints.

In the right photo, you can see he has expanded to include more comics and has gone vertical with brochure holders from places like Officeworks. He has included printouts on his table to explain the content of each series he has produced. The featured pile between the stands showcases his latest release, and is a good use of space to separate the newest content from the older content.

For the left hand set-up, I give this a 10/10 for ease of transportation and set-up, a 10/10 for clear and easy to read signage, and 9/10 for branding. The “Support Aussie Creators” signage receives a +1 bonus.

For the right hand set-up, I give this a 10/10 for ease of transportation and set-up, a 10/10 for clear and easy to read signage, and 9/10 for branding.

 

 

Nick and J.W. Paterson are a mighty team of comic creators, and regularly table together. Here they are at Comic Street. (They have also been to Supanova and ZICS).

As you can see, height is used to advertise the latest releases over the older content by way of wooden easels. These are easy enough to get from art supply stores, and a great use of space saving. They have business cards available for those who wish to follow on social media and purchase after the event.

What I like most about this table set-up, is the fact they are advertising commissions by actually having the supplies out ready to use, with a sign and examples of what you get for what you pay.

Off to the right hand side, you can see another artist’s wares – a lot of the time, artists will share tables to split costs, or sell their wares if they are not able to make it. Honey, the artist that is responsible for Wilder (the best cute comic I’ve seen for a while), was not able to make it for the majority of the day, and was able to ask Nick and Logan to sell her wares until she arrived.

Overall, I give this a 10/10 for ease of transportation and set-up, a 8/10 for clear and easy to read signage, and 8/10 for branding. Including another artist on the table receives a +1 bonus to the total.

 

 

Tom Caffrey Art has been around for a number of years, and is a staple at Brisbane events. He has tabled at Supanova, ZICS, BCAP and Comic Street.

In this setup, we can see the use of height to distinguish from other tables around him. The frame stand on the right seperates the table from my wares, and the comic stand on the left creates a nice little dip between for his latest release.

The table infront is used for display books of both A3 and A4 prints, aswell as postcards which were a new addition to his wares. Later on in the event, he rearranged this to include a high stack of one of his books that drew attention from passers by.

Tom has made nice use of the corner wall to display his prints to people coming from that direction, and the sign up the top is from a different event in which they supplied signs for each table holder.

On the wall, you can see bigger prints on the outside, and the smaller prints in the middle, aswell as a sign for commissions. I like the fact he has laminated his prints that go on the wall for protection and continued use.

Overall, I give this a 7/10 for ease of transportation and set-up (Due to the large frame stand and various stands and setup), a 7/10 for clear and easy to read signage, and 8/10 for branding. Including height on the table receives a +1 bonus to the total.

 

If you would like to see more of what these artists create, please click below.  They have kindly donated these pics for me to pick apart and score, so please visit their pages and show some support.

Pauldo – Destroy Your Head Comics

Laura – Laurdione Designs 

Stuart – Holthar Press

Nick – World of Nick

J.W. –Floating Disc

Tom – Tom Caffrey Art

 

What do you think are some “must-have” items for your table set-up?

What would you score each table set-up pictured here?

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