I'll be posting my usual annual Comic-Con report shortly, but a few quick impressions:
- Apparently, the sales pattern I experienced was mirrored by many other exhibitors at the show: namely, as reported in The Beat, that sales were "disappointing for Friday and Saturday, as thousands of people stood in line to get into Hall H or get bags or just gawk at girls in skimpy costumes." (Saturday sales for me were quite strong, but not until very late in the day—the first part of the day was a complete wash!) Overall, I was satisfied by the sales at my booth, even though as I mentioned it was uneven throughout the show.
- For the first time ever, all 4-day passes and all single-day passes for the convention sold out in advance. As a result, the traditional "slow" days of the convention—Wednesday's preview night, Thursday, and Sunday—felt just as crowded as a Saturday. (Those days actually seemed MORE crowded). I can vouch for that personally—navigating the convention floor was truly a daunting experience.
- It was nice to learn that I'm not the only one trying to deal with what continues to be a challenging market for small independent comics. One colleague and prominent fellow publisher flatly told me that he thinks the traditional retailer model is dead. Though I'm not quite sure I agree with that entirely, I understand the reasons for such sentiment. Many people are hungry for a new distribution model that will enable more diverse work to be seen in the current environment.
(Stay tuned for a full report shortly!)