First off, let’s talk about C2E2. C2E2 was a blast! From a personal level, it was amazing to see a lot of people from the comic book industry showcasing their work. We were very, VERY fortunate that our booth was right behind Brian Wood, whom you may know as the writer of The Massive, X-Men and Star Wars comic books. Needless to say, I was a bit of a fanboy and I had my copy of The Massive #1 signed by him. We also met Stephen Bryant and Kiley Beecher, two amazing illustrators, of whom I now am the proud owner of some of their prints (says Nick smugly as he polishes his knuckles on his shirt)! We also attended the Comics Experience meetup (of which I am a member and alumni) hosted by Andy Schmidt, where we also met Joshua Hale Fialkov, author of I, Vampire, The Last of the Greats, Doctor Who and other comic series, as well as several other Comics Experience members. The meetup was several things at once: sobering, encouraging, enthusiastic, a little daunting, but all in all: fun. It’s always comforting and refreshing to hear from those trying to break into the comic book industry, those who have self-published and seasoned industry professionals and realize that all of us share similar hopes, dreams and fears and no one really considers themselves to have “made it”.
Before I forget: PICTURES!
Now, from a business standpoint, Torchbearer did surprisingly well at C2E2. While our floor presence at C2E2 was substantially than at NYCC, and at the same time shared with the lovely Enrica of Red Stylo Press, we exceeded our initial sales estimates of 50 issues to sell by a significant factor.
We’re still happy about this.
More important than even turning a profit (which, with each con, we seem to be getting closer towards this goal) is the fact that there is a larger number of people now who are aware of Torchbearer and (hopefully) will become fans of the series!
For those fans who met us at NYCC, we found that we really couldn’t replicate the pitch we used at NYCC. For those who barely remember it, it went a little like this:
Hi! (waves hand). Would you like to hear about our comic book? (or, depending on how busy the table is) Come on over and have a look. (waits until person arrives at table).(cue hand signals and appropriate tone of voice) What will you do when corporations start buying up planet, star systems, entire galaxies? What are you going to do? I’ll tell you what you’re going to do! You’re going to join the Torchbearers and fight with the rebellion!!
Corny? Sure. Did it work in NYCC? Yes. Why it works will be a subject for another blog post next month(after Torchbearer 3 comes out), but what’s important is that in Chicago this did not work. I think it’s because the audience wasn’t receptive to the command-like expressions and what could be perceived as forceful nature of pitch. While in New York it may have been interpreted as assertiveness in Chicago it seems to have been seen as cockiness. After a couple of failed pitches, we modified it to be less assertive and more inclusive of the individual. Here’s how our pitch changed in Chicago:
Hi! (waves hand). Would you like to hear about our comic book? (or, depending on how busy the table is) Come on over and have a look. (waits until person arrives at table).(cue hand signals and appropriate tone of voice for Chicago) Our basic premise is: “What will you do when corporations start buying up planet, star systems, entire galaxies? I think you and I we both agree (or, if it’s a group: I think we all agree here) that we’re going to join the Torchbearers and fight with the revolution.
It’s just as corny and it was still delivered with an assertive-like tone, but we found far more success with this variant of our pitch. Why? That’s a good question, one to which I’ll have to wait for another con before I feel comfortable even addressing it.
Oh, it’s time for more pictures?? OK
I think it’s safe to say C2E2 will become part of our regular list of cons to attend.
… Now, what’s next again?
Oh, that’s right! Signings!
This Saturday, as part of Free Comic Book Day, we will be signing copies of Torchbearer #1 at Manhattan Comics! If you’ve already got a signed copy of Torchbearer #1, I’d encourage you to bring a friend and convince him to get a copy (wink, wink). Or, you could just join us and chat about comics in general (or that new Iron Man movie that’ll be out by then). That’s cool too. We’ll be there this Saturday between 7pm – 8pm.
Oh, did I mention we’re giving posters away? We’re giving posters away too.
Now, onto Torchbearer. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with issue 3. We have inks in place, including a cover page. We are now in the coloring stage. Once that’s complete, it’s onto lettering, which won’t take long and then just converting the issues to the corresponding marketplace formats. I, once again, would like to thank you all for your patience. We really are trying to do our best considering the circumstances and we, as fans, do understand how frustrating this can be. So again: thanks.
I think that’s it for now.
See you all on Saturday!