Friday, June 05, 2015

Free Comic Book Day 2015

So last year, I missed out on tabling at Nashville's Free Comic Book Day event held at Rick's Comic City.  I wasn't really happy with last year's demographic spread (there was none, it was almost all guys in their 40's), so I swore that I'd make it this year, despite the fact that Free Comic Book Day was only a week before TCAF, and I had a lot of prepping to do.

We arrived at Rick's around 10AM, and there was a HUGE line outside the door.  Rick's has two storefronts for FCBD- the actual storefront and a karate studio that they rent out to give local comic artists a space to sell in on FCBD, which is incredibly nice.  We checked in at the front desk and set up fairly fast.  I had a rather pared down setup- charms, some mini comics, 7" Kara.  I was prepared to take commissions, and I had MTAC mail in commissions with me for pick-up.  I wasn't really sure what to expect, as it seemed like the crowd last year weren't really in a buying mood (often the case at free events), but we prepared for business anyway.

I shared a table with the brothers who run JABE-con, two super good natured (and talented!) guys who were also artists.  When things got slow, they pulled out their horns and played vidoegame tunes, which would've been delightful if it weren't in my ear.  They were really understanding when I explained that due to hearing loss, the music was causing me some issues, and I'd be more than happy to share a table with them in the future, and I'll definitely consider tabling at JABE-con when it comes around again next year.

The demographic spread was much improved over last year, it was almost an even mix of men and women behind the tables, with an age spread from 20's-40's.  I've done a number of anime events in the Nashville area, so it was really nice to do an event that attracted a different set of artists.  I didn't really take the opportunity to get up from behind my table during the show, which I do regret, as I would've liked to have bought things from my fellow artists, but this seems to be my eternal regret.  My headstone will read "Did not get up from her table enough".

Joseph, however, DID get up, and he took lots of photos for us!

Sales went much better than expected- I was there from 10- around 5, when the crowd seemed to slow down and many of my fellow artists had already packed up and left, and I made $118.  Although I was prepared to fill commissions, nobody took me up on it, so I ended up doodling Crystal Gems all day, which was fine by me.  I did have one family from MTAC come pick up their watercolor commission, which was nice, as I prefer delivering my watercolors safely when I can, rather than relying on the postal service.  Joseph conducted a couple interviews with his new camcorder- one with Janet K Lee and the other with Sam Payne.   You guys should watch these new interviews- Joseph's come up with a whole new opening, and they're really fantastic!

The back two rooms of the karate studio were as stuffed with boxed comics as the main room, but fortunately, no artists were hidden back there.

If you have a Free Comic Book Day event in your area, I STRONGLY recommmend trying it!  Tables should be free to artists, and are usually distributed first come, first serve, so make sure you show up early.  I recommend having a few inexpensive items on your table, as Free Comic Book Day tends to be a family event, and make sure you have lots of business cards.  If you've worked hard to establish yourself in your local area, make sure you promote where you'll be ahead of time, to help bring in customers!

And above is the Free Comic Book Day Haul, with free comics mixed in with comics purchased from other artists. 

Free Comic Book Day 2015 was a great event, and I'd really like to thank Rick's Comic City for hosting it!  If you live in the Nashville area, and you like comics, I highly recommend Rick's over the other comic shops in the area.  The staff has always been amazingly helpful to me, and the selection is great, even for a picky comic reader like me.