As much as I love exhibiting at conventions and meeting new and old fans and industry professionals, conventions are exhausting. Loading everything in and out of the show, the hustle of promoting and selling, giving one Chadhiyana pitch after another so that I feel like a broken record, even though the person in front of me is hearing it for the first time. It takes its toll after a few days have passed, and I always feel ready to sleep for days at the close of the show. (Again, don’t mistake me, I love doing conventions.) However, this past weekend I got to experience something a little different than the typical mix of stress and exhilaration of a large comic convention: the Crazy 8 Cartoon Festival.
The Crazy 8 Cartoon Festival was held this past Saturday and it was a free-admission show highlighting various cartoon (classic and modern) showings and events at various venues in the Village (New York City). By the invitation of Sean Von Gorman (of Toe Tag Riot and The Secret Adventures of Houdini fame), I was exhibiting my work and comics at the Marlton Hotel for a mini-Comic Con featuring a just a few writers and artists. It was different than the typical sort of show I’ve done in the past (being low-key and relaxed), and I was glad for the change having just come off the New York Comic Con the previous weekend (by far the biggest convention of all those I attend).
We were placed in a small, but quaint dining area of the hotel with tables to display our work, and food and drinks served compliments of the hotel (both for the exhibitors and patrons). There was a mix of natural lighting (from the sky lights above) and soft lighting from the area’s lights. The whole thing had a feeling of comfort and familiarity not felt at the bigger shows I’ve done. I felt very much relaxed–almost as though I could just kick back and enjoy the evening quietly.
A steady stream of people came through, and there seemed to be genuine interest in the work of the exhibitors. Indeed, sales were quite good for the mere three hours we exhibited for, and I even got the chance to network a bit and do an interview with a student from NYC. Not to mention, it was nice to see both Sean (I missed him at NYCC) and Amy Chu (Girls Night Out) again–the latter whom I haven’t seen since a Secret Adventures of Houdini event some years before.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to see the rest of the festival, but I do hope they do it again next year and that it continues to grow (this was the first year for the Crazy 8 Cartoon Festival). It was a great little show to be a part of, and honestly, I hope to do more shows similar to this. Again, I do love doing the big shows, but it was such a pleasant change of pace. My thanks to Sean Von Gorman for inviting me to be a part of this. It was fun, exciting and classy.
Indeed, my plans for next year are still to do Boston and New York Comic Cons (again, Baltimore will not be possible in 2015 because of a wedding I have the weekend of the show–I’m in the wedding party), but I’m planning to branch out and do some other shows for the first time as well. I have a few fliers I was given for some in the Spring, and there’s always the chance I’ll do MoCCA again, but I hope there will be opportunities for these small shows as well.
If you have any suggestions or recommendations for shows I might want to try out (especially in the New York-New Jersey area) please leave them in the comments section below. I look forward to checking them out.
Thanks again, Sean, and to everyone who came by and supported our work this past weekend. It’s always greatly appreciated.