Sunday, November 7, 2010

New England Webcomics Weekend

On Saturday I went to New England Webcomics Weekend in Easthampton, MA, which is not quite a two hour drive.

Eastworks, the converted factory it took place in made me drool. Western Mass has a great knack for creatively reusing old factory buildings and adorning them with giant steel Futura letters. I could really love to live in an old factory.

There were a few different reasons I wanted to go to NEWW. Let's start out with that it was cheap and close. $6 for a day pass was not bad. I also wanted to get a chance to meet and buy crap from some of my favorite comics, i.e. Lucy Knisley and Erika Moen. These reasons are all pretty obvious. I also really liked the different panels being offered on Saturday, and then there is the part where I've never really gone to a con of sorts before. I'd like to go to MOCCAfest in the spring, and I had it in my head that I could get a table... but now based on the amount of work I have and the amount of people who might want to get a table with me, this seems unreasonable. At CCS this summer, Alec talked a bit about cons and trading, and sort of made it seem like standard good practice. I've bartered with people before when I've sold things at craft fairs (why yes you CAN have that mix tape for this book on the car-free lifestyle), but I knew it was going to take a bit to work up my courage to do it.

As I was standing by a table waiting to ask a girl who had a spread of 6 page, laser printed 24lb minicomics if she wanted to trade, a girl at the table next to her (with a septum ring and whose nametag said Spike) turned to me and said "which Emily are you? There are so many Emilys. What do you do?"

Clearly, Spike has never heard of Someday I Won't Suck. She isn't a twitter follower or facebook friend of mine, and I know it doesn't get a ton of traffic from outside of those sources.

I sort of stammer out about the blog I keep and I hand her the copy of Some Of Us one I've been waiting to try and trade with the other girl. She comments on my blog name, and after asking me my age she tells me she often thought that at 25 too. She flips through my minicomic, stops on the strip Red Plates, asks me if I use a brush and compliments me on my inking. She flips through the rest of it and then makes a sad face and says something about there not being many pages. I'm aware of the thinness of this. I probably made a total of three comics before I took that class in August, and when I was offered the opportunity to sell some stuff at Troy Night Out at the end of the summer, I decided to pull together what I had so I could actually get my name / work out there a little bit. I've been selling these minicomics for $1.50 because that covers the cost of making the copies and gives me back a little more. (Which will eventually cover the cost of the brush, t square, long arm stapler, etc). The first girl that I asked to trade seemed a little offended and then decided to, admitting that she'd never been asked that before. We lost our trading v card together. It was slightly awkward. After that I decided to undersell myself and think of my comics as worth $1, and offer to trade with other people selling comics for $1... and then I started offering a mix of cash and trade, which is the only way I can make up for my tiny tiny comic and still get the things I want AND get my comics into more hands. After the first awkward interaction, all my other offers to trade were well received.

I went to a few panels which were different combinations of hilarious and educating. I really appreciate NEWW because it is certainly more my scene than a DC / Marvel -centric comiccon. I mean, these were really the only people cosplaying.

During Tweet Me Harder, I really regretted not being able to tweet from my phone, but then I realized I didn't really have any idea what was going on anyhow.

Somehow we ended up discussing rhubarb and kale (how am I the only one familiar with these vegetables?) accordions, and the difference between Helvetica and Arial. All obscure subjects near and dear to my heart.

The inventor of the accordion? "It was somebody who was frustrated the piano was not a wind instrument."

Less ridiculous nuggets I jotted down:

Why do we still ink? Could just put your pencils up. It was a style born of necessity.

"Knowing how to use a brush makes me a better digital inker and a more versatile artist," - Meredith Gran

Spend as little money as you can to start. Once you develop your skill... THEN you'll understand why the expensive tools are worth it. Before that they're just toys.

Did you see the diary comic I made about it?

I took some footage. I'll throw it up on ChateauOfADeuce eventually.