I’m back from the Minneapolis Indie Xpo, and in keeping with tradition here at Mike Dawson Comics, I have almost no pictures to show for it. I’m going to post what little I’ve got, and assume that some of the other cartoonists who were there this weekend will pick up some of the slack.
I’m thinking about one event in particular, where a group of us all went over to Zak Sally’s studio to see his printing press. That woulda’ been a good time to take out my iPhone. But, I never got it together. I saw other folks snapping photos though, so I’m sure the event will get covered elsewhere.
Here’s what I have!
This is a photo taken from my point of view at the airport gate in New York with a box of Troop 142′s sitting in my lap. See, another thing I never get on the ball about is shipping my books to the show ahead of time. So, my solution is to always stuff a large suitcase with as many books as possible, and just bring the bare minimum’s worth of other items, such as say, clothes and toothpaste and that sort of stuff.
With MIX and also APE, my suitcase weighed about 80lbs. Different airlines have different rules about baggage. I flew Virgin America out to APE, and the nice lady at the check-in desk gave me a break on my heavy bags, and just charged me a $25 additional bag fee. I flew Delta to MIX this past weekend, and their approach to luggage is to charge you 25 bucks just to bring anything at all. When I heaved my suitcase onto the scales at Delta, they basically said I could pay $100 in a heavy-baggage fine, or lighten up the suitcase. Thus, the photo of me sitting with a box of Troop 142 graphic novels on my lap, treating it as a carry-on item.
I guess truthfully, once I was on the plane it wasn’t so bad, because I just shoved it in the overhead, but it was definitely a pain as I waited in the loooooong security line…
The above three pictures were taken at the Friday night show pre-party. In picture one, that’s Jim Rugg and Dustin Harbin, in picture two we have AdHouse head-honcho Chris Pitzer and his lovely wife, and in picture three we see Grimalkin Press publisher, Jordan Shiveley, and rival comics podcaster and cartoonist, Rina Ayuyang. Well composed photos, one and all.
I never really sell full pages of original art, but this year I’ve been bringing a little Apple-Jacks binder filled with small images and scraps from comics. You can see, there are panels from my Ace-Face book there, as well as odds and ends from Troop 142. I think a couple of those visible there are panels that did not actually make it into the book.
Anyway, it’s nice to have a little something for people to pick through, and a way for me to make a few extra dollars, but my word of advice is to not use an Apple-Jacks binder to display such stuff, but rather to invest in an actual real-binder thing with plastic sleeves that can be turned and easily flipped through. It’s just tough for people to pick through the pile when it’s all stacked all higgedly-piggedly like I have it here. It might be a passive-aggressive I-don’t-really-want-to-sell-original-art thing on my part, because not selling much of it is surely the outcome!
Julia Wertz gave me an elephant cookie! That is some heavily applied frosting right there…
View from my Table 1: That’s Top Shelf’s own Brett Warnock talking with cartoonist and upstart publisher, Tom Kaczynski.
View from my Table 2: Tom is giving Kevin Huizenga the hard sell.
Tom K. is a Minneapolis native, and generously allowed me, Kevin, and fellow Secret Acres artist Eamon Espey (not pictured) to crash at his place. There were a number of other groups of cartooning friends also staying nearby, so the evenings were these great gatherings of funny, interesting people. I think one of my favorite things about MIX being a smaller show, was that it was easy to talk to all the people you wanted to talk to, and actually feel like you had a good amount of time together, as opposed to a show like SPX or MoCCA, where it feels like you barely spend four or five minutes in conversation with people you really enjoy talking to, and even then realize after the fact that there were a ton of people you didn’t even say “hello” to at all. MIX was a much better pace, socially. I mean, that’s from my point of view. Maybe all those other cartoonists are going to write con-reports that say stuff like “one downside to MIX being so small is that it was impossible to get away from notorious comics-chatterbox, Mike Dawson”. We’ll see.
I ate some of the cookie! Yes, that sure is some generously applied frosting, indeed.
This food truck outside had the most delicious vegetarian curry, which I ate for lunch both days. It was pretty much the perfect savory food to eat after consuming ten pounds of sugary elephant cookie frosting…
And finally, here’s a photo of the live TCJ Talkies podcast I recorded on Sunday morning. It was a spotlight on cartoonists Noah Van Sciver and MariNaomi. I think it went well. I listened back to the audio recording, and I think a combination of my nerves and the chilliness of the Soap Factory at 10AM (note the woolly Jets cap atop my head) made me a little manic, so we moved through an hour’s worth of questions at a clip which kept the panel under 45 minutes, but I think that was alright. There were a lot of laughs, and I think some interesting back and forth between Noah and Mari. I think it went well, and will of course eventually post the audio recording.
So, that’s really all I have. It was a great weekend. I sold a lot of comics, and came away from it amped up to get back to work, which is always the best outcome you can ask for. Here’s hoping MIX comes back in 2012!