My 5th comic con in 2019 & sharing a table

I attended Thought Bubble comic convention in November. The build up to this event is immense – it had been going on since the beginning of the year. Artists and creators had told me, ‘that’s the one!’, ‘it’s amazing’, ‘it’s the best one for sales because it’s all about the comic creators’ (rather than celebrities or or just comic sellers) and ‘you’re so lucky, I couldn’t get a table there!’. It had a lot to live up to.

I was really pleased when I received confirmation that I had an exhibitor table. However, this time I chose to have half a table. That meant I was sharing a table with another so I didn’t know what to expect. The artist I shared with contacted me before the convention to ask if I was bringing my own table cover or if it was OK to use his for the whole table. I didn’t mind using his cover at all.

I also had to book a place to stay over night. I booked myself into a B&B about a 30 minute drive from Harrowgate.

Fast-forward to the day. Thought Bubble provided free parking a 10 minute walk from the venue, but you could park right outside the venue to load and unload. I didn’t experience any issues. All was good.

It was great to meet the guy I was sharing a table with. As usual, everyone was so friendly and there was a positive atmosphere. Thought Bubble staff are great too. They greeted everyone with a smile and it looked like they were very happy to be there.

As well as The Brink comic books (issues 1 and 2) I also brought my greeting cards – Santa, Zombie man and Jason. I wanted to see people’s interest in them and get a little feedback.

As usual, children were drawn to my banner and comics. They also liked the greeting cards, however, their parents weren’t so keen. Kids love gruesome stuff, although I would say my cards are more child friendly.

The place was packed with people and the atmosphere remained positive for the whole two days. I noticed that more established creators appeared to do well in terms of attention and sales. Several were existing fans and it was nice to hear the excited conversations.

As a newbie, I didn’t do so well with sales. It felt like I received half the attention I received at other conventions due to the half table. Sales of my Santa greeting cards were higher than my comic. I also considered if my table gave out a mixed message having the comic and the greeting cards. I think that will be interesting to explore at future events.

Overall, I met some nice people, learnt more from other creators and won’t do a half table again. I also conclude that being a creator is a long term plan. Given the positive feedback I have received for the Brink comic, I believe with the creation of issue 3 and 4 I will see more success. I also believe my graphic novel will receive some attention when completed. I am looking forward to progressing through 2020.

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Steven Sweeney BSc(Hons), MSc

'The Brink' comic creator, author, Web developer and musician with 5 albums.