May. 31st, 2009

teirandragon: (Default)
So, as you can guess I and Furplanet went to A-kon this weekend.

Problem is... well I don't know. by the pure numbers Sales wise, the con stunk.

As in, that was the worst sales weekend we've ever had at a convention so far. Below even Oklacon last year, where I spent the weekend in a dealer's den located in the back woods of Oklahoma populated by the same number of kangaroos as dealers. (One is the loneliness number...) No offense to the folks who put on Oklacon, it was a very nice con, but the backwoods of Oklahoma is not what anyone woudl describe as a "shopping" experience.

This is not to say I didn't enjoy A-kon, it was a over all fun experience. I got to see some nice cos-players as they were shuffled by my table while standing in line for the dealer's den to open. I got the chance to sit and talk with my friends for several long hours without interruption and no set agenda, and that was actually really nice.


I have to say, the merchant scene at the con was not very good. Perhaps I'm not used to Anime convention dealers rooms, or at least what they have become in the last five years since I went to Anime cons with any regularity. There were some booths there that were freaking brick and mortar gaming or Anime stores, which must have closed down for the weekend, marked up all their merchandise, and carted it into the convention center to sell to the attendees.

There were many many booths selling exactly the same thing, but at wildly different prices from each other. In fact, the only constant about the prices were that they were a significant mark up from anywhere else you could buy the merchandise being sold. And I'm not talking about specialty buttons or limited run T-shirts. that kind of convention swap I expect to cost much more then the price it cost to make. That is stuff you can only buy at cons really.

I'm talking mass market board games, role playing books, the Manga currently available in Barnes and Noble, or the DVD's you can order in a hundred different places online or just get from Netflix. I took one major pass through the dealer's room on Friday and called it quits as far as buying anythign major went. I ended up buying only some board games on Sunday, when magically all the prices fell back to their normal retail prices.

I hear from folks more into the Anime con scene that this is a very normal practice. That Sunday is when the dealers stop gouging the customer and start selling it at "discount" aka the normal price, hoping not the take the stuff home with them. Wouldn't it just be better to price things reasonably to begin with?

It's a recession people! A Bad one. Things are not going good out there. People, especially young people who love anime, do not have much money! don;t mark stuff up mark it down! That's how you drive sales.

Then, add in the fact that there were just so MANY dealers tables... 150 in the artist alley where we were alone. And the Dealer's den was even bigger then us...

The net effect was that everybody had very little money and that it would buy even less then it would have before. It made sales take a nose dive and I'm not sure what to think about that.

Was the con a bust becuase it's an anime con? I don't think so. I think there were plenty of furs there intrested in our stuff. I met and talked to most of them at length. But unlike a normal conversation at a con booth that ended in a sale, they generally too a business card and promised to check us out online.

I guess the real upside was that we got to introduce a whole group of new people to furry, including a lot of artists. We might be seeing some new comics and books come out of the visit hopefully.

That was rather a cruel trick on my part really. there were a lot of folks not used to seeing furs at the con. I don't know why, Radio Comix has been there for 20 years I think, Daria magrain was there, the folks from Happy Jackal were there. There were plenty of furries at A-kon before Furplanet showed up. But I got asked a lot of questions and a lot of people were unsure about us. That's where the cruel part comes in.

My usual answer to the question "Umm... is it all animal people? Don't you have any regular Anime?" Was basically to say, "Well no actually, I don't. None of my current artists draw that. Do you have a comic I could publish?" This was also what i said when ever someone asked for a straight or additioanl clean comics.

I got several rather shocked looks, and several mumbled answers of "Um yes, but it's not finished..." to which I replied, "Well I can't publish it until you're done drawing! Here's my card. Email me." It was quite fun to turn the fact that I didn't have exactly what they wanted back on them and say, "Well I'd love to publish that. Know anybody with a comic?"

The only thing I feel particularly bad about is that the email on the back of those cards was not my own, but my mate's. I hope he doesn't hate me for the coming flood.

And so well... I'm just not sure what to think about Akon this year. I mean on the one hand sales are sales. Every comic we sell is a good thing, more royalties for the artists, more readers for the sequels. Part of me would love to sell that much every weekend. And the convention was fun.

I had fun there anyway, but... just not sure if it was worth the cost of a weekend this close to AC.
teirandragon: (Default)
So, normally that massive post would be enough to fill folks in on what I spent my weekend doing.

But, I would be horribly remiss if I did not congratulate my friends Sarah and Chris on their magnificently fun wedding, which I went to on Saturday. Yes, I totally skipped out on Mark, leaving him at the table all day Saturday to go to a very fun and very touching wedding.

There aren't really words to do a good wedding justice.

If you've ever seen two people who are truly in love exchange beautiful vows, articulating things that became true so long ago that neither person professing their love could live without the other anyway.... it's a moment to be watched and savored. i've seen it twice now, once this Saturday and once at Mark's sister Sara's wedding. Both were beautiful, and I'll never forget.


Chris and Sarah, it was fabulous to be there, and I'm sure you will both have as much fun and happiness as a married couple as you have the last ten years together.

Congratulations.



Oh, heh, and I caught the garter. Watch out Texas!

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