Baltimore Comic Con
October 28-30, 2022
Baltimore Convention Center
I reserved my table for Baltimore back in January 2020, so it felt strange finally getting to the event almost three years after the fact. I split the table with my good friend Lindsay, who recently launched Skeltonizer Designs. I’m really grateful I was able to turn the weekend into an excursion with a friend. We had some great food and wine. We had some important conversations about relationships and art. We both worked on some really cool creative stuff during our downtime. It was also great getting to see some familiar faces for the first time in a few years. That being said, I don’t think conventions have fully recovered from COVID yet. Saturday was busy but Friday and Sunday were very light on foot traffic. On top of that, I’ve been rethinking my own identity as a writer selling books. With each show I have done this year, I’ve been realizing the need to change up my tabling game. Baltimore helped solidify that. I took some notes on things that I would like to change. I’ve always struggled with the idea of being my own salesperson. It’s not that I want to give up. I just think there are ways I could be working smarter and not harder. Taking a solid year off of shows should go a long way.
• By far, the biggest highlight was getting to spend the weekend hanging out, catching up, and being creative with Lindsay.
• I got to hear all about Lindsay’s epic story about playing tennis with Iron Maiden and then getting backstage passes to their DC show just the other week.
• Lindsay and I rewatched The Giner Reloaded, a movie my friends and I made back in 2005 that I haven’t watched in some ten years. It has some fantastic one-liners that I had forgotten about. XOXO, The Robots.
• I did some important writing on a short story I’ve been kicking around for too long. I hope I can have a draft of it done soon.
• Lindsay drew a fun, creepy monster face in her downtime.
• Tabling next to writer/editor Greg Lockard, whose book Liebestrassi has been on my to-read list forever.
• Joe Corallo stopped by to say hello on Saturday.
• I picked up a copy of The Night Eaters by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. I hadn’t realized they’d started a new series together. Monstress is one of my favorite ongoing series, so I can’t wait to see what they did here.
• Crab pretzels are apparently a thing in Baltimore, and they are delicious. It combines my love of seafood and freshly made pretzels, so it should be no surprise that I loved it.
• Sales weren’t great. Probably the worst I’ve done at a show since my first year tabling if I’m being completely honest. But I’m not mad about it. I think there was a time when that would have really fucked with my ego, so I’m taking it as a net positive that I feel fine. You win some, you lose some. How you learn from the losses is what really counts, and that’s the part I feel hopeful about.
Would I go back?
I have to say no. At least, not in the same capacity. I think I need to renegotiate my approach to conventions in general, and I plan on taking a year off to do just that. But I have some thoughts regarding this convention specifically.
For starters, I don’t think Baltimore Comic-Con has, nor has it ever had, enough draw to justify a three-day show. If we are being honest, most conventions don’t. If vendors are going to be required to be there on a Friday, it should be because Saturday and Sunday are damn near sold out. I know that cons have not completely rebounded post-COVID and that plays a part in this, but this was also an issue before the pandemic. The vast majority of shows I have been to would be fine only doing only one day, maybe two. Massive shows like NYCC, SDCC, and Emerald City can do three and four-day shows because they pack the house on each of those days, but most other conventions don’t bring in the numbers to justify them. I don’t see this changing anytime soon, but I can safely say that I will not be avoiding 3-day shows when I’m ready to table again.
Obligatory Convention Selfie