"I Thought It Would Be Zombies..." Comic Creation Update #28; The Baltimore Comic-Con 2019 Event Recap!steemCreated with Sketch.

in #comics4 months ago

A major milestone has been achieved as this past weekend I attended the Baltimore Comic-Con and exhibited my creator owned independent comic book, “I Thought It Would Be Zombies…” for the first time.

I went into the show with zero expectations, so disappointment was not much of an option; but even if it had been, the weekend was truly very fun and rewarding on a number of levels.

The weeks leading up to the convention were brutal as I struggled to prepare. I averaged about 60 hours each week on “I Thought It Would Be Zombies…” in addition to the 40 at my day job. The weekend before Baltimore I woke up on Sunday morning and set to work at 10 AM, working through 24 hours straight until 10 AM on Monday morning; in order to get the comic off to the printer before heading to work at 11:00! Naturally I crashed hard that evening, but the following day it was back to pulling a near all-nighter; getting to sleep at 7:00 AM to catch a quick nap before my day job shift, as I worked to prepare the promotional materials like the banner and postcards. One of the highlights of the convention just may have been two nights of solid sleep in a cushy hotel bed! Blissful!

I picked up the postcards and banner on my way home from work at 8 PM on Thursday evening, packed and prepped, and grabbed 4 hours sleep to get on the road at about 8 AM on Friday for the 2+ hour drive to the Baltimore Convention Center. Running on a mixture of excitement, adrenaline, and Dr. Pepper, I hauled my gear in and quickly set up my table for the first guests arriving at 12:30 that afternoon.


My home for the weekend, Artist Alley A97...

The most important element was the comic book of course! But in addition to that I included free takeaway postcards, an iPad on hand for signup to my email list, the very first page of character designs I ever completed of the primary characters, my business cards, and a vintage SoundBurger record player which is a prop in the comic book and makes a great visual and conversation piece on a table!


Issue #1, limited to 100 signed and numbered copies...


Marketing materials (Steem listed on the postcards and banner of course!)


A couple inspirational conversation starters...

I was located at Artist Alley table A97, near the back right corner of the pretty expansive exhibit hall. Foot traffic was pretty steady throughout the weekend with Saturday afternoon being the busiest. By circumstance, that Saturday also featured the Baltimore Running Festival which included a marathon and a half marathon with the finish line right outside the convention center! Several vendors who exhibit regularly at the show remarked this was a bit of a down year for them and felt it definitely had an impact. Roads were closed and traffic getting to and from the convention center was a nightmare until early Saturday afternoon. I was so happy to be at a hotel across the street and not have to deal with that hassle.


Light traffic in my little section of the alley, late Sunday afternoon as I was shopping about!

I’m always entertained by the culture clash out in the streets when these disparate events happen alongside each other. The hotel lobby and surrounding restaurants were a mixture of runners and geeks… and it was usually pretty clear which was which!

Dave arrived a few hours into the day on Friday and helped me man the table all weekend long. He’s a great friend and support as well as the basis of one of the main characters in the comic!


Myself and Dave!

On Saturday he even went as far as to cosplay “himself” based off the initial concept art I’d cooked up! Dave doesn’t actually get his magical SoundBurger for a couple issues yet… but it was great fun to see him strap that on his belt!


Original Dave concept art which Dave based his outfit off!

Sarah also made it to the show for the first half of Saturday. She couldn’t stay the full day because she needed to return home and take care of her dog Bonnie (and the rest of her pack!) Yep. My art imitates life and there’s little Sarah cares more for than Bonnie. I kinda conveyed that in the comic…


Dave & Sarah


Sarah looking after Bonnie!

I brought along a few hastily scrounged together materials to do a bit of sketching during downtime. Trading card sized sketch cards are a fairly popular commodity nowadays and something I thought I could manage, prior to moving into the world of full commissions and sketch covers in the future.


Sketch card samples I did on Friday and early Saturday... Sarah, Julie, & the Ogre-Troll

I cranked out a few samples of some of my characters, and then on late Saturday and Sunday actually got a few requests. One for Dave of course… as well as items like quick portraits of a family member or semi obscure X-Men characters like Quentin Quire. I was just charging $10 each for these as I experiment in the area and get a feel for the market.


My first commissions in progress!

Over the course of the show I sold 5 sketch cards and approximately 40 comics, collected a handful of emails, met some cool people, had some great conversations, and hung out with friends! I’ll probably do a second post from my “fan” perspective. With Dave covering the table I was able to break away for at least an hour here and there and do a bit of shopping and sightseeing at the con!


Don't think too hard Dave!

This weekend was a huge inspiration to keep at it, and do everything better. I’ve already begun improvements to the first issue of “I Thought It Would Be Zombies…” in anticipation of a wider release to come, and jotted down a number of notes on ideas and items to help elevate my table and convention game for more shows in 2020.

A big thanks to everyone on Steem who have been a big support so far, and to all my hyper supportive friends. I wouldn't be doing this without all of you!

What's in the future? For now I'm catching up on sleep, household chores, reading some comics, playing some video games, and watching some movies. I've also begun moving ahead on the start of issue #2 alongside revisions to issue #1. I've been working on updating my websites and social media as well as setting up an online storefront. The Fundition campaign will continue to run to assist in the full print run and wide release of "I Thought It Would Be Zombies...", and I'm in the beginning planning stages for a more traditional KickStarter campaign to be launched in January. With luck and a bit of effort I can keep plugging away on all these initiatives and keep you all a bit better updated about the progress as well!

Thanks so much for reading and following this project, and all the support you've given in the past and what is to come!

- Bryan "the Imp" Imhoff

This is an official Fundition campaign update post to help fund the publication of the independent comic "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..." meaning your votes alone can help you earn rewards like a free copy of the comic and more! For more information check out https://fundition.io/ and the prior update articles for "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..."!


@bryan-imhoff | @spottyproduction | @exploreunlimited

@steem-comic-con | @creatingcomics


Looks like you did well! Good job!

Thanks! It'll be a bit yet until I'm a convention veteran like yourself! I'm pretty sure Baltimore was the one place I ever met you, like 15+ years ago!

So glad it went well!

What’s your schedule for sending copies to Steemian backers?

It’ll be a little while yet as I’m going to keep running the campaign. I wasn’t yet able to achieve my goal of a full ~2000 copy print run, didn’t manufacture sketch cover versions, etc.

I’m planning a complimentary KickStarter for January 20th which if all goes well would result in everyone together getting fulfillment in the spring. Early Steem supporters will receive more for their buck than before with multiple editions and some stuff I won’t make available elsewhere.

I’ll release the digital version to Steem supporters first as soon as it’s ready. I’d love a bit of feedback from them for an inaugural letters column! That should occur by the new year.

Too cool you had cosplayers out and table looking awesome, art looking sharp as fuck, love seeing this post! I want a physical copy of that con comic! If any are left throw up some on https://gethaven.app/ and I will buy tonight

Absolutely awesome to see your progress Bryan! Passion and resistance always will pay out in some form. A comic release is something I also would love to do myself in future:)

Ooh. Haven looks interesting, I’ll be checking it out more for sure... I’ll hold a copy for you & the handful of already high tier Fundition supporters for sure. You’re already the premier Bryan Imhoff collector in the world... can’t have you falling behind!

I finally got around to creating an account on the fundition.io website. Are there other ways to get a copy of the book in the meantime?

Hey thanks! And don’t worry, even if you’ve never signed in through Fundition it’ll still tabulate your voting activity and such for possible rewards.

I’ll be launching an online storefront soon for anyone interested. This preview issue was a bit of a “rough cut” so there’ll be more ample opportunities to check it out in the beginning of 2020 as well. That’s when I’ll have the final version and proceed with a KickStarter, digital release, and larger print run!

This sounds great! I am so proud of you! You did it, and finished on time.

Thanks so much, especially for all the support along the way. "Finished" is a relative term! I grew to consider this a "rough cut". I got it out the door for the convention, but I'm glad I only printed 100 copies and I'm making quite a few revisions before I print more!

You still put in a lot of work so it totally counts.

Thanks for the update. I'm glad the convention went so well.

40 comics sold, that's quite an achievement! I still can't believe you went as high as 60 hours per week on the project! As much as I love drawing, my brain would melt at that insane level of engagement! You must be exhausted now. You have to take some rest. You earned it!

I hope to finally read the first draft of the story when it's available digitally. These characters and the world you created look more and more interesting!

I'm looking forward to getting "I Thought It Would Be Zombies..." to more folks to read. I'm just starting to get back to work now, after a bit of a rest, albeit with a long stretch of days at the "day job" being the result of taking some time off for the convention!

60 hours was nuts, especially since some of it came in 18 to 24 hour marathon sessions on days off and the final deadline rush to send the issue off to the printer. Throughout the year I'd probably been averaging 8-12 hours a week. I'm hoping this experience gets me to settle into a happy medium and realize I can steadily grind 20-25 hours a week at the drafting table on top of my regular work.

20-25 is already quite a lot. With my current schedule, I'm currently at 3 hours of drawing per week. More or less half an hour per day. Ridiculously low, I know!

Soon I'll be taking the train instead of the car. This new line opens in December in my area. So that will 3 hours of drawing per day! This is gonna be a great push for me. And the opportunity to finish Shades Of Men in the best conditions!

I hope one day, we can just visualize the page in our mind and create that layer in Photoshop directly. We spend way too much time on those adventures. I guess it's part of the fun!

The struggle is real! I hope that train commute really works out well!

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Cool to see you promoting Steem to the comic fans and having those guys portray the characters is just amazing. Wish I could have been there.

BTW Is it worth trying to get all the Steem comics into the creativecoin tribe? We need alternatives to the Steemit site where it's easier to find creative works.

This is so cool!!! Damn I’m sure you are absolutely exhausted but what an exciting experience! The comic looks kick ass and thanks so much for promoting Steem while you are at it ❤️

Thanks for checking it out! It was a great experience and I managed some rest after, but the punishment for taking a few days off from the day job is that now I’ve gotta work 8 straight! 😬 A much less satisfying exhaustion... but such is life until I can make the creative stuff full time! 🤞