Maximizing the Space

Ohhh it's table display time again! And this time, I fear, I'm a little squashed. Whereas I usually luxuriate my products across a six foot table space, I've got two conventions coming up (Stumptown and TCAF) where I fear I'll have to contain my madness to just three feet.

Thus, it's time for some planning. I start out by drawing a 3' long (half of an average 6' table space) x 2' deep space on the floor with some easily removable tape (you can also do this on a large enough table, if the person you live with doesn't violently object). Sometimes I fold up the tablecloth I plan on using and place it inside, to see if it clashes terribly with my books. But if I've used the same table cloth consistently without any problems (besides the occasional ink stain), I can skip using it.

Then comes the tricky part. It's not just about fitting everything into the space as you lay it on a table ...


But making sure to create levels of height in order to stagger appearance, catch the eye, and also - yeah - cram in as much stuff as possible.


And since I have a lot of books, this gets a little crowded. I am a comics creator who has not one, but THREE ongoing series (Bonnie N. Collide, Gods & Undergrads, Lipstick & Malice), as well as autobiographical short stories (Boobage, Go For the Eyes, Mall Model, Middle School), and a new graphic novel (Glitter Kiss), I'm usually at a loss for how to compile and present everything. Do I age off some of my stories and stop bringing them along? Or do I condense them into cute packages?

Lately I've just been doing the latter, because I enjoy dabbling in packaging. But I've found presenting them in their packaging makes people reluctant to pick them up and unwrap them. So, the convenience of bundling them together becomes moot as I end up separating them anyway in order for people to flip through them.

What worries me the most about my gaggle of books, prints, cuffs, is that it doesn't seem very cohesive when viewed in a cluster like this. I can only do so much with uniform price stickers and labels. Plus there is something to be said for a good dosage of negative space.

Fellow comic exhibitors/craters/viewers of exhibit tables out there, what are you doing to conquer this problem? What do you like to see in a table? I think for now I'm going to keep incorporating some height (courtesy of these fine crates from Jo-Ann's) and fretting a little while longer.


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Ready, Set . . . CONVENTION

Here we go, here we go, on our way to Shangri-La! (Yes, that is a Clutch reference. Shout out to all the Marylanders out there.). I'm just all excited because it's about to be convention season all up in here!

Normally I kick off the season in March with Staple, but sadly I won't be at that beloved convention this year. Instead I'm flying out to the rainy, greeny Seattle for Emerald City Comicon. I've been DYING to go to Seattle since I realized I have a penchant for rainy weather and I first saw an episode of Frasier. I can't wait to see what this convention is all about. Going to a new convention is like getting to know a new friend - at first you're not quite sure how things will go. Will they be fun to be around? Comfortable? Respect your personal space? Full of energy? Smelly? All of these things are important going in. True, I've never had a really BAD con experience (although some have involved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, stage fright, and one cartoonist being forced to sing the opening score to Star Trek) and I always enjoy the chance to get to know a new one, but you neeeever know if they'll fit in to your lexicon of Cons You're In Love With.

But for now, it's prep time! First, I've finally gotten around to publishing my next two Bonnie N. Collide books - that's #5 and #6!

Now complete with tiny recaps in the beginning, so you'll have a hankering on what's happened so far. Or, you could just get the 2nd Bonnie N. Collide Triple Pack, compiling books #4 - #6 and read for yourself!

Speaking of triple packs, I've combined three of my autobiographical comics into this cute little number:

This cute little pack combines my books Middle School, When I Was A Mall Model, and Go For the Eyes in one sweet little set. I don't know what it is about streamlined packaging that really gets me, but I LOVE it. Therefore, I keep repackaging my books over and over. It's a thing with me.

For Emerald City I've also got some new prints lined up, and as per usual I'll be doing pencil and inked sketches at the show. I'll be at table E-11 in Artist Alley, as well as at the Oni Booth at some point signing some Glitter Kiss's. Come on out and say hello! And if you're a Rat City rollergirl, come on out and get a free sketch with purchase! :)

OH and this will all be available in my Store and Etsy Shop post-convention!

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Selling Comics, Big Easy Style

I'm currently reporting from a blank room full of piles of my belongings, hunkered down on two boxes of comics inventory. That's right, I'm all moved into my new home! Woo! Now, my next challenge is locating all of my stuff. And/or finding places to put them that make sense. At least my cats have come out of their litterbox, where they spent moving day smooshed together in mutual horror at the new enviornment and all the crashing around of the movers. It was the cutest truce I've ever seen in Kitty Land before.

Anyway, I wanted to take a minute to recap about my super great weekend trip to Wizard World New Orleans last week and share all the fun commissions I got to draw (if you follow me on Tumblr or Instagram, you were already inundated with these during the con!) Since I seldom do big shows I wasn't sure what to expect. Plus, being in New Orleans my table helpers/manservants were sure to be scarce at the very best (the lure of bloody mary's and the French Quarter is not something I would begrudge them succumbing to). WWNOLA was a nice, spacious con. It wasn't so choked with people that you had trouble getting around, yet there was a constant stream of attendees. Everyone I spoke to was incredibly enthusiastic and supportive about comics. Once again, as with other big shows like Baltimore Comic Con, I was pleased to see so many families there. Especially families who dressed up as teams of superheroes. I love the potential embarrassment of family superhero costumes, but honestly a lot of them were really pulling it off. Normally I don't get too jazzed about celebrity appearances either, but I have to say that walking in behind Kevin Sorbo and having Michael Madsen in my line of sight for most of the convention was pretty sweet. I wandered by the Walking Dead actors too, but sadly didn't get to glimpse any of the Star Trek folks. But hey - Patrick Stewart will be at Emerald Comic Con, so maybe I'll get another chance!

On to the drawings!

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Mad Guns, Right?

Sorry everyone, but there won't be any Bonnie updates this week, since I'm trudging through my MOVING NIGHTMARE. Rookie House-Buying Tip: Don't schedule your move into your new house the weekend you get back from a wonderful comic convention in New Orleans. Just saying. But I'm pretending that my arm muscles have grown exponentially from all the graphic novels I've been hauling. MAD GUNS on these arms. Wait, are arm guns the biceps or the forearms?

Hopefully I'll be all hooked back up by the end of the weekend, but if not I might have some delirious blog posts from my phone. Thanks for bearing with me!

P.S. I finally saw The Dark Knight Rises, and Bane's voice was as deliciously theatrical and Sean Connery-esque as I'd been promised. Loved it! I mean, you have to figure he better EMOTE with that voice since there's shit all over his face. Am I right? Also, I did like Catwoman, but I'll post more later on that. In the meantime ... at Wizard World New Orleans I did this pencil sketch of Pepper Potts for a lovely woman in an Iron Man dress who didn't get to pick it up - please email me and let me know if this is yours!

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Table Display in Action

So after all that careful measuring and planning .... I discovered that I actually had 4' x 2' of room to play with for my display, instead of 2' x 2'. Which worked out perfectly, since I had too much stuff for my puny 2' x 2' space anyway. Hooray for inaccurate planning! Here's the finished display at this year's Stumptown:

It worked out really well - and I was able to keep switching things around and adjusting as the con went on.

I used these new book holders that came in different sizes and weren't as unwieldy as ones I've bought in the past:

To get my signs hanging up over the top of the books, I used a couple of things - photo cubes (with my logo added to the inside):

And wire holders to sit on the photo cubes and hold my name and website signs:

I had to tape everything down with masking tape and add some cardboard to the back of the signs to keep them from flopping over, but in the end - success! They even withstood the steady draft of the air conditioning that pelted us throughout the convention.

And now - Lipstick & Malice Triple Pack is available in my Etsy store, woot!