A WORD FROM OUR FOUNDER
I'm not a team player.
Way way way back went i first attended the San Diego Comic book convention i was the "guest" of cold cut distribution. "guest meant that they bought up a big section of tables, overcharged the publishers for the tables and took 5% of all the dough.
Being new and not really having the means to set up at a show that size just yet, i took what i knew was a crappy deal. But let me be clear that i have no problem with them overcharging or taking a cut, everybody has to make a buck...they had table space, i needed it...that's capitalism.
the parts of the deal that i found disagreeable where the non-capitalistic aspects. they wanted us to all act as a team, which i have no problem with as long as we aren't all the quarterback. see they had 6 or seven comic book publishers and they wanted us to all be treated equally, have equal pick of the tables, equal billing on the advertisements. you can see where my giant ego found this to be unsettling. Why should some jerk off who is scared to talk to people have the best spot? he is just going to sit and stare into his sketchbook the whole time letting people with precious dollars walk right by, thereby costing us all money....where as if I or some other outspoken type character has the table on the corner he will draw attention, bring people over to the section, and when he's done twisting their arm they are still in the isle so the other people can get their shot...instead of them halfway down the convention hall because the guy on the corner table was shy and let them pass.
same logic goes with advertising...the biggest name/biggest seller should get top billing. there is zero sense in 6 guys no one ever heard of getting getting the same attention on an add with someone people would actually come to the show to see.
now like i said this was many years ago so i wasn't even arguing that I should be on the end and I should have top billing. i wanted the guy with the biggest name and the most sales to get the best table and biggest font in the advertising so he would attract all of his fans and i could pick them off. If they had Stan lee there i would want Stan lee to get top billing so i could benefit from all his readers stopping by... there is no reaosn for Stan Lee's name to be listed alphabetically behind joe blow...am i making sense? of course the NEXT year nearly selling more comic book than all of them combined was demanding i got top billing and the best spot.
the most ridiculous loser like part of their plan for this "indy island" as they called it or actually "cold cut distributions indy island" was that we would all use the same cash register...run by their helpers...at the largest comic book convention in the world they expected ONE cash register to be able to keep up with the sales of 7 publishers! well...i suppose it could have kept up with six...but often we at Arsenic Lullaby have enough trouble keeping up with the cash intake at our table when there are three of us...never mind sending them to a single cash register run by some hippy numbskull who may or may not remember WHO'S MONEY HE IS COLLECTING. so we simply told them ...uhm...no we'll handle our own cash.
their final hair brained idea was that they would collect all the cash at the end of the show...divy it up and pay us all in 30 days after they did all the math...uhm again...no. I saw no need for me to collect the hard earned cash from my readers...hand it to them and wait for a check for a month when i could just take the cash and deposit it that day. In fact we had a hard enough time getting them to send us the dough they collected from thier credit card machine (we didn't have out own credit card machine so we DID send credit card customers to their "register"). also i do remember the second year we dealt with them my editor actually followed the cold cut guy to his hotel to collect a check because he "didn't bring his checkbook with him to the show"...which is pretty odd since they where purchasing a lot of book from vendors...with checks. the last time we ever dealt with them was a few years ago...i needed booth space and they needed cash. and as i set up my big ass ten by ten banner they began objecting because it was blocking their palm tree. the palm tree was the symbol of their "indy island" my contention was that the only reason anyone would be looking for indy island would be to find me so why not eliminate the middle man and just have a huge banner that said "arsenic Lullaby"? ...my point is they where pretty shady which i can respect but also pretty dopey which i don't respect, and i just found out recently they went out of business and someone bought them out. so this is yet another entity that told my i was full of crap that has come and gone and and i am still here
I bring all this up because I'll be in a somewhat similar situation in New York, I'll be the guest of Angry drunk graphics and again i'll be in a section of other "indy" publishers of varying worth. and some of you will ask "why bother? just do it yourself like you do everywhere else" well two reasons-ONE i've never been at this show and don't know what to expect and TWO-angry drunk graphics is spearheaded by a really sharp guy named Steve. I already shared space with him at Wizard World Philly and i knwo the guy knows what time it is. there is a world of difference between how angry drunk graphics is run and how Cold cuts' booth was. Like i Said Steve is sharp and does a hell of a job getting everyone on the same page, promoting things, getting in good with the Convention promoters, and just all around having his head screwed on right.
AND...he does a fine comic book. I began this blog with me bitching as a reminder that if i don't like someone you hear about it, I don't plug anyone else unless i feel they warrant the plug. I am honest to a fault in my refusal to put my stamp of approval on anything that isn't top notch and/or mine. Angry Drunk Graphics publishes a bunch of mini -comics by Steve. To be honest i gave them a read out of obligation and because Steve has a good sense of humor...how bad could they be right? I read them and laughed out loud several times. I read everyone he gave me and after each one i though to myself "hey...that was fucking funny. i mean well done funny." It is like the first time i watched a season of south park, i expected to sit through a bunch of second grade humor and fart jokes and dirty words that where passed off as punch lines but instead was treated to well crafted clever jokes. Steve's book are deceptively clever. they are so unassuming in their delivery that even when you are laughing you aren't sure what about them is making you laugh. by that i mean the premise, the dialogue, the punch line and the artwork all come together with just the right chemistry. He makes it look easy. and maybe for him it...which would really piss me off. It has the trifecta, you like the story you like the characters, you like the drawing. it's hard to pull off all three, and it's even harder to do that while looking like you don't give a shit...how can i sum it up? Steve's book have the balls to make you laugh out loud but still hold up to the scrutiny of a second reading.
so long story short, go to www.arngrydrunkgraphics.com pick up some of Steves books. Then come see us at New York Comic con. i can't vouch for anyone other than Steve and I but what more do you need? i'm sure any of you can attest to the fact that leaving a comic book convention these days with two different sets of books that don't suck is a good days work. and who knows...Steve picked all they guys at our section so there might be some other diamonds in the rough as well. And i can gaurentee out booth will be the most fun.
...boy all that being a team player and positive outlooking has given me the heebee jeebees...i gotta do something to get comfortable in my own skin...i know , THIS should do it.