Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wonder Northwest 2011- wrap up

         Wow!! What a fun weekend. What was going to be a one day opportunity to table at this year's inaugural Wonder Northwest (a celebration of all things geek) turned out to be a two day extravaganza of gaming, costumes, comics, figures, toys, and general nerdy greatness. While packing my things from a very successful first day, Billy from Billy Galaxy approached me and asked if I'd like to drop in the next morning because he had suspicions that tables in the "artists alley" area might not be all full. I packed out my gear for the day and kept it close to the door for the next morning. After having a few beers at the Lovecraft themed bar in inner SE with my fellow drink and draw buddy Alan on Saturday evening, I showed up the next morning lagging a little but able to unpack and once more offer my wares to the attendees for the second day in a row.
          Let me just start by saying that if this was what the show was like in its first year, it's only going to get better next year, and the year after. I had a great time hanging with the other artist neighbors I was privileged to table next to. I sold a good number of posters, sketch cards, and Neo-Trash Comix. I was surprised and impressed. The staff was great, attentive, and organized, overall the whole show went off without a hitch. Traffic wise it was lighter than most expected, but its also the shows first year...I mean you can't just start something up and expect it to instantly be San Diego Comic Con, or Emerald City...you gotta build to that.
           Highlights of the weekend included the guy who came by the table and had me draw a robot on a comic backing board, only to return a few minutes later asking for a paid Deadpool sketch. He complimented me enormously by comparing my style to that of Skottie Young, a great comic artist in my eyes and a new found influence on my work. If you haven't gone out and picked up his work on any of the OZ books from Marvel you are doing yourself a major disservice, it's loose and amazing. Not to mention after meeting him at this years Emerald City show, he's also a hella nice guy and easily approachable for a prolific comic creator.
            I can't point out highlights without mentioning the guy from Hawaii who came by the table twice to buy four of my prints. He said that he and his friends had been in town for a few days, and he was looking all over for "cool stuff" to bring back to the islands for his friends to enjoy.  Until he stopped at my table, his search in the Portland area had been a bust. So color me humbled by the fact that my stuff was what he was looking for for his friends, and if you're reading this man, "Thanks for the enthusiasm and for coming back for more!"
            ...Another of the great conversations came on the tail end of the weekend, in fact the last sale of the show. Two younger girls, who were working the show at a vendors booth, came by the table and slowed considerably when taking in the sketch cards laid out all over the table. They were hooked, and had a hard time deciding on just the right ones for themselves. One of them also showed a great amount of interest in my Air Jellies print as well. She was saddened to realize they were $10 a piece, and had to wander to an ATM to get more cash for the purchase. Needless to say, I felt a little bad for making them have to go on another mission just to get money for one of my prints. To make it up for their effort, I threw in one of the many sketch cards I did over the weekend as a freebie. Yeah, I know I'm a big softie, but they were pleased as punch, and I figured what better way to wrap up the show than a small act of kindness.
           Yeah, it was a fun time. I hope to participate in next years show. Billy has set up something that this town has needed for a while, a well done, well organized show that embraces all things geek. Not just comics, we're talkin' video games you haven't played since you were little, She-Ra, He-Man, Star Wars figures, all in their original boxes. A veritable cornucopia of collectibles, and an equally enthusiastic crowd of vendors and participants made this a weekend that has brightened the outlook for this creator. You can put on a good show, and not have it in a concrete bomb shelter suffused with nerd stink. Beware Portland Comic Show, beware Rose City Comic Con (if you ever actually are able to put on a show) cause Billy and his crew have upped the bar. It's like I told my friend Sean Harrington (the guy who's recommendation happened to get my images on the badges and the cover of the program. Thanks Sean!!), the first one in this town to do this right wins, hands down...Now the rest of you gotta up your game...cause this babies gonna grow to something good...count on it...

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