Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Well that escalated quickly.

Let me give you a rundown of the past couple of weeks, real quick.

I work every day except Saturday and do a double on Wednesday. I’m not complaining about it, because those two extra shifts each week are my choice and I could pretty easily make a few cuts in my budget and do without them, but I just don’t want to. All the extra money I make goes into a savings account in case I someday decide that I hate my job and want to quit, leave the country for a while and go on an awesome adventure to Norway, visiting Viking museums and then venturing down through Europe. Sounds like something I’ve been thinking about, doesn’t it? It also gives me a little capital to make stuff and things for events like Craft Lake City and Salt Lake Comic Con.

Anyway, the month of August was pretty hectic as it was trying to get ready for Craft Lake City and as soon as that was over I had a couple of breathing weeks to do things like clean my apartment, wash my car and catch up on sleep. But it wasn’t too much of a vacation, because I worked pretty much every day.

The last week of August, I worked Wednesday day and night, worked Thursday, went to a wedding Thursday night, worked Friday, went straight to Tamerlane practice, then went directly to my brother and his wife’s “Announce the Sex” party for their new baby (it’s a boy). The next day, I woke up, had a tattoo appointment, a baby shower/diaper party for a different baby, then the Tamerlane/Mick Morris benefit show. I waited tables all day Sunday and all day Monday (Labor Day), worked Tuesday then went home to get all my Old News Records stuff organized. Wednesday morning I went to work until 5, drove immediately from work to the Salt Palace to meet Casey and unload all the tables and racks for Salt Lake Comic Con. We left, I drove to my parent’s house and spent the whole night pulling out and organizing the comics I was going to sell that weekend. I left my parent’s a little after midnight and headed home.

The next morning, I picked up Casey from his house at 6:45 AM. We drove to The Park CafĂ©, had breakfast and then picked up a U-Haul at 8. We made our way out to Spidey’s house in Draper, stopping at Office Max along the way. We loaded Spidey’s comics, drove back to U-Haul to exchange the truck because the “check engine” light came on, and moved everything from one truck to the other. Casey and Spidey headed to Casey’s house and the toy store to grab all his stuff and I went to my parent’s house and started bringing everything outside. About 11:30, Casey and Spidey showed up at my parent’s house and we loaded all my stuff into the truck. The two of them headed down to the Salt Palace and I headed out to Midvale to pick up my more “Long Live Sloan” shirts and the new tank tops I designed for the show. We got everything set up and the doors opened at 3 PM for people holding VIP passes.

From there it was pure chaos. Well, controlled chaos was more like it. No one really knew what to expect from a first year event like Salt Lake Comic Con, but the bar was set pretty high with all the tickets they’d sold already. Casey, Spidey and I were ready and excited. We’d had plans of vending at San Diego Comic Con and Emerald City in Seattle, but never actually made it so we wanted to bring our best effort to this – whatever it was going to end up being.

People started swarming our booth, checking things out and looking through all of the stuff we decided to sell because we felt bad storing it at our parent’s houses. We had a pretty great system going and we were all ready for the night. Casey thought he was going to leave in the middle of things to go to the gym, but once he saw how busy and crazy things were getting in the hall, he changed his mind.

The rest of Thursday was packed, and Friday and Saturday were both the same, too. It was an awesome weekend and our Old News Records/Grudge City Comics (yeah, that’s what we’re calling it from here on out) shop did really well. We were pretty tightly confined to a 10x10 space and every once in a while things got pretty cozy in there, but it was all worth it.

We sold a lot of comics last weekend and I mean A LOT. Casey and Spidey brought more books Friday and Saturday and I had to bring a second round on Saturday. There were surprisingly few booths actually selling comics at the show, which I thought was kind of weird, but I guess it makes sense.

The other, actual brick and mortar shops in Salt Lake all had a presence, but Dr. Volt’s mostly focused on gaming stuff, Black Cat brought mostly quarter and dollar books and I have no idea what Night Flight had. Blast from the Past Comics, which was next to us, brought a lot of older comics that were worth some serious money. There was another shop from California that came by our booth every morning to pillage through our stuff and, I’m sure, turn around, mark it up and sell it at their booth. After I figured out what they were doing the first day, I stopped letting them go through the new stuff I brought. I hid it under the table while they looked through the boxes and told them that I hadn’t brought anything else. It was for no real reason other than spite. They just hovered around like vultures waiting to look through things while we were trying to get our booth set up and organized. I just started ignoring them instead of telling them to get lost like I really wanted.

But since we were selling most everything for about a dollar a book, people kept coming back over and over again. I even heard one guy say, “Oh this is the booth they were talking about.” I had no idea who was talking about us or what they were saying, but I was thrilled that people were talking and that word was getting out.

Between doing Craft Lake City two days and vending at Salt Lake Comic Con for three, it’s made sitting behind a computer writing IVR (Interactive Voice Response) copy and wireless Internet tips really, really hard.

All in all, it was a lot of fun and I’m very much looking forward to next year. There are already some wheels in motion for how we can do things better and how we can expand our little operation. Thanks to everyone that stopped by to say hi, actually bought some stuff or just wanted to look through our comics. You guys made it all worth it.

Now that it’s all over and I don’t have any other vending shows coming up, I’ll be updating the ONR store and probably doing a little spotlight on some of the stuff I had this summer – most notably Mike Farfel’s novel Tulip. I’ll have a little write-up on Filler Issue 2, the HP tank top and the new mini-comic that Candace and I finally got printed on Friday night of the convention.

If you missed out, you really missed out. It was an awesome time from start to finish and I can’t wait until next year. You should probably start planning your cosplay costumes now. And if you can top the Princess Leia, I'll be impressed.

Also, if you actually know the Princess Leia, send her my way. I'll be her stuck-up, half-wittet, scruffy-looking nerf herder any day.

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