To sum up — people great, sales dismal.
Bad news first–sales were down something like 50% for me. Table sales were really weak, art show was so-so, although a lot of my long-time collectors and buddies came through there, and I am terribly grateful for it. (Did win a ribbon in the art show, though, as one of the GoH choices from Jim Martin. I was very flattered.)
Book sales went well, sold out FAST, pin sales seemed okay, stuff like the Steampunk Butterfly wouldn’t stay on the table, but Kevin and I were noticing was that there weren’t any of the BIG sales. I think the most anybody dropped on straight merchandise was $30. Generally you get a couple people who come in and drop $60-100, but not this time, which is an interesting shift in the sales dynamic. (And we had those at A-kon, so this is really the first I’ve seen of that shift.)
Probable culprit is the economy, of course–people were spending okay at the last AC, but maybe it’s finally sunk in long term. And I have less new art this year than usual, given that I’ve been working like a dog on Dragonbreath instead of general art, and Digger 5 came out at this con, which means my fans may have been buying that instead. Which might all be factors…but a fair number of other artists who are pretty reliable at the cons were also getting depressed sales, so it wasn’t just me.
Ah, well. Some days you get the bear…
That aside, as always, it was a fun convention. Love the people, great to see everybody, lot of fans I’ve known forever and who are always wonderful to see again, great to hang out with the other artists and compare notes. Drank heavily, was sent booze by the Furry Illuminati, met new people, signed lots of books. Some very sweet gifts from people, including a spectacular knitted Cthulhu with accessories, a stuffed wombat in a fez, and a tiny squash-god phalloi. There’s a reason I love this con. Kevin was his usual indispensible self, and while Jennie did not make enough to make a return financially feasible, she claims to have had a very good time.
A few lovely moments: “Oh god! I love your art! I am so embarassed that the first time I’m meeting you, I’m wearing a giant pig suit!” (That was Luve, whose art is awesome, and who I was delighted to see, pig suit and all. The moment, however, was one of those wonderful little gems of experience that one treasures forever.)
“You can’t die now! There’ll still be people who show up at your funeral going “Wait–Blotch is dead? But why are there two caskets?” (Blotch is a two-woman team who does a lot of work with Sofawolf. Apparently much the fandom is still really confused as to their numbers and gender.)
“That oryx has a nice ass….God, I wish that was the first time I’d ever uttered that line.”
“Kevin, I need you to bring Bandaids. Or the duct tape and a napkin. I don’t want to lose my place in the art checkout line. Yes. Yes. Mistakes were made. A cinderblock attacked me. What? No, I said something rude about its mother. Have I mentioned that you’re awesome…?”
So a good time was had by all.