Geez, what a week its been since my girlfriend and I have returned from spending the week down in Orlando, FL, for the 2011 MEGACON COMIC BOOK CONVENTION.
If I had to sum up the entire trip into only one word I would go with... Interesting. I say this not only because of the show, but because of everything that went on during the whole trip.
Nikki and I arrived Thursday afternoon, at a reasonable time, I think around 8pm or so, and went to check into our hotel room at the Coco Key Resort. Lets just say, it was a very cheesey place that pretty much has an indoor water park near the back. (Please note: The opinions I give about this place our strictly my own, but in my opinion DONT EVER STAY THERE!!!)Everything seemed fine at first but after opening the door to our room, it smelled like mold. It didnt really bother me that much, but since my gf is very sensitive to strong smells, it would not do. We went back up front and asked for a different room, in hopes that it was due to that fact that the first room was so close to the water park area that maybe that was why it smelled. Nope. Our second room seemed to smell the same way, but being the trooper my gf is we stayed the night. If I had to compare the smell to anything, it reminded me of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney world. The whole place just looked like it was an old hotel that just got updated with new things, but never cleaned properly. The next morning was not good. Poor Nikki had been up most of the night apparently because she could barely breathe. It didnt help either that she was already developing a cold on the start of the trip. I went to take a shower and Nikki noticed that the curtain to the shower and the vent in the bathroom both had mold on it. It sucked! After showering, really fast, we decided to check out of the hotel. The manager lady was very nice and you could tell that she delt with this on a daily basis b/c she didnt try to argue or get us to stay at all. Heres some proof:
By now it was Friday and only two hours before the start of the show. We decided to drive around for an hour looking for a new hotel room. After checking four or five places, that looked legit and not run down, we had to make the decision to look for a hotel after the show was over for the day.
We arrived at MegaCon around 11am. Which was good because we were under the impression that the show wouldnt start until 1pm. So we got our badges and found our table and it was almost 11:30am. Before we knew it someone came on the P.A. system and said that the doors would be opening in a few minutes. Apparently, we thought wrong, the show didnt start at 1pm on Friday, it started at 12pm! We scrambled around trying to make the table as presentable as possible. When the doors opened we were still unpacking. We had three different people over at the table trying to buy prints from us before we even had the back stand up completely. It was kinda crazy and chaotic at the same time, but I wont sit here and say that I didnt like it. It was very reassuring to know that the trip wasnt going to be bad. Also right off the bat I was commissioned to do a few pieces and in between working on those we managed to sell a good number of prints. We ended the day making more than we originally had imagined. Here are some pics from Friday:
That night we managed to find a nicer hotel, the WYNDAM. The inside was more adult oriented and even the room smelled clean and looked awesome. After getting our room, we went to a Japanese Steakhouse off the strip. I have to say it was the best Japanese Steakhouse I have EVER ate at! For the amount of money we spent, it would have cost at least twice as much to get the same amount anywhere else. Here are the few pics I managed to get when my camera phone wasnt being lame:
Saturday was a pretty good day for us. We did pretty well, but not as much as I had hoped for. There were tons and tons of people that day in comparision to Friday and I feel that that was probably the cause of the lack. Just watching the people you could tell that most of the crowds were just trying to do sweaps of all the tables just to see what was where and what was available. Again, not to sound ungreatful, it was def. a good day, but not what I had hoped for. Here are a few pics from the day:
Sunday was a lot slower than Saturday and probably as good as Friday. The crowds were still there, but not as chaotic, so people could actually view the tables again without worring about getting run over by someone else. I did a few more illustrations. Two sketch cards for these two girls that wanted me to draw there two main guy leads for their "comic", another really cool piece of BATMAN and DAREDEVIL together, and then a picture of Sonic and Knuckles. Though I really do like the way the Sonic piece came out, it was defiantely very random of the guy to choose for me to illustrate. Heres a few pics:
So, to summarize the show:
The upside - It was def. a good one. I feel I made some new fans while also hopefully made some interesting contacts. The show ended as fast as it came. We did really well for an out of town show. Def. the most Ive ever done for one out of town. The show def. held up its standards of bringing out great guests and good artists. Plus, they were, as every show I have attended with them, very organized, well placed and professional.
The downside - The BIG downfall would have to be that after expenses for the table, gas, hotel(s), food, supplies, printing, time, etc. I walked away breaking even. Which, in a market like this, thats not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesnt help either. Its been at least four years since Ive setup at MegaCon since this show and though I love how many costumes their were, I forgot how ANIME/MANGA oriented the show was/has really gotten. Not to say that stuff is bad, but it def. isnt my demograph that I am trying to reach with my art. Though many stopped by sharing their fellow love for horror or TMNT, it def. still had a lot of people there for the super-heroes. So if anything, it has made me want to try my hand at coming up with a few new pieces for upcoming shows that our actually super-hero stuff. Maybe a Spiderman/Venom piece or a Weapon-X piece would be fun. Who knows, I will say the trip was very fun and I might try it again next year depending on money or we might just go as an attendees.
I do want to thank my wonderful girlfriend, NIKKI, for putting up with me, helping with the prints, and for the managering. Im a lucky guy.
Next show on the list... not sure yet. Might try to go a day or so to Heroes, just to attend. I do know that I am set for setting up again at DragonCon so I'll DEF. be there for that one.
Hope all is well with everyone and thanx to everyone that came out, stopped by, bought some art, and/or introduced yourselves from FB. Check my FaceBook page later and I will be posting more pics than I did here.