The Circuit 2012

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Featuring Tom Neely’s masculine appendages. No, not that one. The other one.

It’s still early into winter, but soon the season will open up, offering the promise of legions of thronging fans, steam-warmed hot dogs and room-temperature sodas. I’m not talking baseball. I’m talking convention season. The seeds planted last year in hastily dashed-off web forms or emails are now beginning to yield their abundant supply of alternate comics markets and hungry would-be-readers.

Kinda. Turned down by TCAF, which is kinda okay. As much as I’d like to go to Toronto and see the show and all my Canadian friends, it’s a very expensive proposition. I suspect that my material wasn’t up to their artistic standards. Unsurprising. I’m not really into this to make art, but to instead tell stories and entertain people. Or it could be that they were just slammed with potential exhibitors who are very eager to participate in comics markets that are not the Direct Market. So that opens up a hole in early May and loosens up the travel budget (or rather, un-tightens it since the money wasn’t actually spent.)

Looks like the first show I’ll be doing this year will be the transplanted-to-Anaheim Wonder-Con in mid-March. Oh, and if you’re interested, I don’t see Wonder-Con doing anything but staying in SoCal. Not that I’m particularly happy with that. I’m not. I dislike the venue and dislike the appalling lack of choice of things to do in the immediate vicinity of the convention center once the show closes. People who are used to having San Francisco at their fingertips after the doors close are going to be disappointed or taking a car to anywhere that isn’t Downtown Disney.

But honestly, you don’t move a show some four hundred miles just for a year or three. And SDCC, I’m sure, would love to have another show. SDCC itself can’t service the demand and hasn’t been able to for a couple years. This is not to say that the organization does a poor job. They don’t. It’s a task beyond imagining. The fact that the show is as big as it is and hasn’t imploded over the years of explosive growth (1998-2004 by my reckoning) is impressive. My suspicion is that Wonder-Con will stay in Anaheim and maybe someone will open up a SF-based show again, and maybe it’ll even be the SDCC organization. But not for awhile.

So it’ll be interesting, Wonder-Con in Anaheim. Hopefully this will put to rest the annual flurry of “SDCC really has to move” rumors. Probably not, though. At least I’ll be able to do the show fairly cheap by staying with friends. Worst part will be getting around in Orange County while I’m there. That can get expensive. Wonder what the crowds will look like? Or the physical setup. Remember, I’ve had the best show of my life at a Wonder-Con and the worst show of my life (in terms of outlay versus return) at Wonder-Con the following year. It’s all about the location.

After that is ECCC, though I signed up an hour after they had to switch over to a waiting list. I’d say it might be 50-50. ECCC has become a big stop on the west coast part of the circuit. Might get lucky, but that’s not something you want to depend on. So if anyone reading has an alley space at ECCC, I’m more than happy to cough up half the cost to sub-let some space from you. Hit me on the Twitter @highway_62

Tough choice between Monsterpalooza and C2E2 on the same weekends in March. One is a relatively cheap show (that being Monsterpalooza in LA) and the other expensive, but I’ve only had okay shows at Monsterpalooza and C2E2 is totally unknown, though should be on the order of ECCC if not bigger. Better nail that down, if the world hasn’t done it for me already.

Then Stumptown, where I’ll be showing for the first time since 2010 (and about the time THE THIRSTY should be out in stores). I always like this show, like to hang with friends, like to see the Periscope crew, grab a schnitzelwich and visit Floating World and Cosmic Monkey. Usually my most eagerly-anticipated show of the year. And since I’m confirmed with Stumptown, I’ll actually, y’know, plan for it. Should get a chance to see a lot of the artists who are working on THE LAND WILL KNOW as well. Good times.

Don’t ask me about Heroes. I think I’m going to be in Alaska right before it and don’t think I can hack the back to back trips. Dunno. I might do something stupid.

I’d love to say I’m exhibiting at SDCC. I doubt it. I’ll register as a pro and might even go this year. Didn’t last year and didn’t really miss it too much.

Oh, and there’s a lovely conflict for the second weekend of October. APE which is a super cheap and decent show or NYCC which is incredibly spendy and an unknown in terms of return/sales. They’re both on the same weekend. Bleh.

I’m missing a few there. Phoenix, may go. Baltimore, may go. SPX is apparently filled up already, or else I just mis-heard. Somehow I get the feeling that I’d run into the whole “not artcomix” thing and get passed over. Baltimore is far more likely (and doing both would basically require a week-long stay back east.)

Bring on the airport food and perpetual fatigue…

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