When we last left our hero, he had been invited to be a guest at Dutch X-mas con!
That’s about as much as I told you…because that’s about as much as I knew. Initially, there isn’t too much I have to know. I’ve been doing this awhile and whether I’m at a con in Ohio or Bangladesh I’m pretty much just showing up with my wares, and charm and bringing joy into people’s lives…and blowing out of town before they grow weary of my “acerbic wit”.
I’m never really sure what to explain when big things like this pop up/what you’re going to find interesting. I suppose I’ll just bring you along with what goes into planning.
The first thing to do, before you agree to any show, is check it out. Go on the website/social media pages, look at previous pictures- is it in a good sized building? Is is a good crowd? Do people seem to be enjoying themselves? find out what the area is like- is it near colleges? is it in a nicely populated city? that sort of thing. That doesn’t determine a good or bad show but, all things being equal, you want a show in a bigger city with young people around. And you want a venue that is well known
I looked over their website and social media and it is not amateur hour by any stretch of the imagination. They have a lot of followers, they promote a lot, and the pictures all show a solid, professional, fun event. They keep everything up to date and keep their followers informed/updated several times a week. and they get a lot of interaction from their followers. See for yourself-
THAT is a lot of fan interaction…I can’t read Dutch, so I don’t know what they are saying , but there aren’t any emoticons of turds, so I’d call that a good sign.
So…that’s all awesome.
It’s in a good-sized city with a young population. So, that’s awesome.
BUT….there is no “but”… this all looks awesome.
It all looks very well done , and as fun as any U.S. show. Right down to girls dressed like Harley Quinn.
If I didn’t know better and you just showed me these pics, I’d assume it was a show in the U.S. where is the “Dutch-ness”?
..shame on me. Forget I said that. I’m a guest, I have to be respectable and dignified.
How do you say “hello ladies, I’m a famous illustrator” In Dutch? For real this time, because the translation you gave me in Greek for the Athens Comic-con got me punched in the mouth…and that woman’s holding a weapon.
“Ache, this is for dummkopfs”
Looking through the pics, I noticed they have a bunch of t-shirt vendors. When I went to Greece there weren’t any, and no one was much interested in them. I assumed that maybe T-shirts were somewhat passe in Europe. Maybe not.
Anyhoo, more picks of their spring show is here
The bottom line is this show is not screwing around. Professional and fun. I’ll have to bring my A game to make sure I am contributing to the whole thing properly.
They have the Panels times figured out and promoted already
and a floorplan laid out and promoted already…
So yeah…these people aren’t f*cking around.
I’m letting them figure out the flights and what not, because left to my own devices I’d end up renting a camel and sleeping in a bus station.
Which leaves me to – what to bring/how best to help make it a good show.
I offered to do a discussion panel explaining some story telling techniques. They took me up on that, so I’ll just need to figure out if I should bring jpeg files to have blown up/projected, or giant blown up pages. Since I live above a print shop, blowing stuff up won’t be much of a hassle.
It is an X-mas con and they have a few Krampus things going on, so bringing Krampus prints is a no brainer. It always tough to guess when going to a show you’ve never been to how well original artwork will go over, but even if people aren’t looking to own it, they usually like seeing what the originals look like, so I’ll bring that.
I’ll try to put together an exclusive print or book. I’m waiting to hear back to see if I am allowed to put their logo on it. Then bring that.
And of course bring some books, stuff to draw with…and…I’ll probably think of something else.
Not sure about the display itself yet. My banner is…no small choir to transport. I’ll have to see what the luggage restrictions are and probably make that decision a day or so before I leave.
As for my visit itself…
The common questions are “Oh are you going to see this or that? Are you going to visit blah blah blah landmark?”
The common answer is “probably not”
First off, there isn’t a lot of time between show hours and you are usually pretty worn out after ten hours of meeting people and converting new fans. Second, I don’t have much interest in that stuff. Some people travel, and to them it is about seeing things, and getting pictures in front of landmarks and that’s cool. But…that’s not really my thing.
When I went to Athens, I didn’t see much of the city, I wandered around a little between the hotel and the convention…in non tourist type places. Keeping my head down, being dressed like an average Greek and not saying much, I was able to just blend in a get the feel of the place. I found a street that had three model airplane stores on it. Like…models that you build and paint. I don’t think I’ve been to three of those in my whole life in the U.S. much less seen three right next to each other. I got to see a lot of anti E.U. graffiti, watched shop owners open up their stores for business and sweep up and close them down at night. Walked around in a marketplace with fresh seafood and stuff. Went to a church Sunday morning and saw the families together. At the convention I met more Greeks in three days than any American had met all year. It was pretty great. Because THAT is Greece…the people, the parts of the city that keep it all running. The landmarks are fine, but to me they are the frosting, not the cake.
Think about your own city. If you had someone from another country come in and you showed them…the stadium and the museum and some famous statue…what did they learn or experience that they couldn’t see on wikepedia? Not much. And they didn’t get to know what your city is like. If you took them on the city bus to a local pizza place and then a grocery store and then a goodwill, and then the 7-11 they’d have a much better idea of what living in your hometown is like.
SO…I’ll probably not visit any place you’d ask me about. Before I leave I’ll google map it and figure out 1-where the U.S. Consulate is and figure out how long it would take me to run there while being pursued. 2-where the art supply store is. 3-if there are any second-hand stores nearby.
I love x-mas tree ornaments and am a very discerning collector of them ( a snob). I have a vintage white tree that is basically plastic coated metal wires twisted into branches with lights built-in and it takes an ornament with a particular charm to earn a place on it. So, I’ll be looking for that, and a nativity set. I don’t have one yet because…I’ve seen nothing that quit works with the tree. Perhaps it has been waiting for me in the Netherlands. OR maybe they’ll just have all the same crap we have in our second-hand stores…cheap Chinese made ornaments, stacks of Montavani records and boxes of used glasses for people with prescriptions that no other living person could use. I intend to find out.
Clothes will be the only dilemma. It will be winter in a climate very similar to Milwaukee, so I have plenty of jackets to choose from. The problem is they are all very very American looking. It’ll be tough to look like an average citizen of the Netherlands wearing a biker jacket, or a Vietnam era U.S. army jacket. Then again, since I’m not six feet tall and blonde, the notion of blending in might be out the window anyway. It was easy for me to blend in, in Athens, because it was just after the riots…all I had to do was wear my normal scowl and give the police the stink eye when I walked past one and no one thought anything of me.
So…that’s were I’m at for not. I’ll keep you posted.
Oh, and I’ll probably need a converter for the electricity, I better do that now or I’ll forget.
If you are from the Netherlands and want to know more about who the hell I am…here’s my online portfolio
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