Ipswich Comic-Con, my first comic con of 2018. Did you attend? To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect but there was an indication that it may be busy with hundreds of attendees. I had earlier noticed that Unleashed Events that the 500 advanced tickets had already sold out and their Facebook page highlighted that 5000 people had registered to attend. The only other Comic-Con I’ve been to outside of London is Thought Bubble in Leeds. After my first time as an exhibitor at 2018’s London Super Comic Con, I was looking forward to getting behind a table to share and talk up my own first self-published comic CATAPULTED.
I arrived at the venue nice and early, well early enough to stuff my face with a McDonald’s breakfast before setting up. I have a simple setup allowing me to be ready in 10 mins. Parking was painless with exhibitor parking right by the entrance making it easy to carry luggage to the main halls. This is a luxury that’s not always available in London and if it is, it’s usually at a substantial cost. After setting up, the doors opened at 10 am to advance ticket holders. General ticket holders were admitted at 11 am and boy did the crowds arrive. The queues were mounting outside to gain entry with many people queuing for an hour or more. With the encouraging numbers, I engaged with and chatted with those passing by, sharing art and my comic CATAPULTED.
There were some great cosplayers and I really appreciate the time and effort they had clearly gone to with their costumes and I took many photos.
Before I knew it, CATAPULTED was selling well. I even had a very sweet fan of the comic bring the copy she bought last year to be signed, which I was only too happy to do.
Some attendees even bought multiple copies for friends and family which was wonderful. Almost everyone that bought a comic also signed up for my newsletter. It helped me appreciate that cons are beneficial for creators. At the end of the day, when the con had finished, I couldn’t wait to send out a newsletter to all those that I had met and it spurred me on to think about ensuring updates are made to my website with new articles/content that I can share by means of the newsletter.
I was surprised that there weren’t more comic creators or even exhibitors selling issues of comics. I could be wrong as I only got to walk in the morning while everyone was setting up, but it seemed like there were no other tables selling comics. There were a few other artists in the room I was in but there were no other independent comic creators selling their comics. However, this was good news for me as it meant that comic lovers could find something at my table.
CATAPULTED sold so well, that by the end of the day, I only had one copy left. However, by the time I had traveled home and checked my email, I had received an online order (I think from someone that had attended the con but not picked up a copy), meaning that CATAPULTED has now sold out! Both the first print and second print are all gone (first print has a greenish cat on the front and is completely black and white, second print has a grey cat on the front and has additional greyscale shading on the interior pages). This means that if you have either copy, you have one of a limited number of copies in circulation. I won’t be reprinting the comic as a single issue as I want to focus on the remaining issues and push forward with a Kickstarter for a trade paperback to wrap up CATAPULTED.
The successful turn out at Ipswich Comic Con will hopefully encourage additional events in this area in the future.