Just got back from 5 days at a comics festival in Munich. I always forget how invigorating it is for me to participate in these things and even though this was a very small venue spread over more days than Danish cons, there was a steady stream of people coming through.
It was great to meet new people and see a new city and also great to hang out with old studio mates in the adjacent biergarten. I didn’t get hangovers or the con fatigue that usually hits me around day three, where I can’t stand people any more and least of all my self. Maybe it was because I took some time off from the show to work from my hotel room, or maybe it was because I didn’t really have many expectations from the whole thing.
Here are a few lessons learned:
- I have a fan or two in Germany! One guy showed up with a copy of The Devil’s Concubine (purchased on Amazon) for me to sign. Others wanted to buy the books I had with me, but I was so focused on traveling light that I only had a few copies to show. Which brings me to the next point:
- Bring books to sell! It was stupid of me to not have brought at least a few copies of Thomas Alsop in English. After all, we had a booth at the show. I could also have printed some flyers or bookmarks or something with at least a web address on it. I found myself pitching my books to enthusiastic fans and then having to scribble the names of the books on the back of a business card for them to check out later. Missed opportunities aplenty. But:
- Sketch cards are a great sell! At least with what I was charging. I found a small pad with postcard-size pages and started doodling some of my favorite comics characters while I was sitting at the booth anyway. Turned out to be pretty popular with the guests. Several came back to buy more from me as I was making them. I took some photos of my drawings for my Instagram.
- Germans are really nice people! And most of the people I interacted with at the con spoke great English. I can carry basic conversations in German but my English is waaaaay better, so that was a huge advantage, unlike the French comics scene where akward silences and misunderstandings is the norm rather than the exception. The German hospitality and €3,50 pints of beer will certainly have me coming back for more.
I am now back in Copenhagen for podcast interviews, a s##tload of laundry and follow-up emails to interested publishers. Fingers crossed that one or more of my books will make it’s way to the German market. That would be sehr gut!