This is the second day of me sitting inside a giant concrete box running a little store while hundreds of costumed people walk by. It is an experience that is both fun and exhausting. Every time we attend we’re performing an experiment on how to swing the balance more toward the fun side of the equation. This time we’ve gone smaller than in prior years. We only have one table and we’re placed in Artist’s Alley next to other creators who will help cross promote and who help us keep our energy from flagging. So far we are greatly enjoying the reduced pressure.
Last night we went out to dinner with several writers who have worked for DC, Marvel, My Little Pony, and other well-known comic properties. It was fascinating to hear behind the scenes stories and learn about how things work with licensed properties. But one of the most interesting things was that as we walked back to the hotel, at 9pm, all of them were listing off the work they still had to do before bed. Like us they’ll spend ten hours today standing behind tables, selling things, and talking to people. Howard will be working at the booth when he’s not talking. This is the part that is not always obvious to young people who long to work in comics. All of these creative folks work hard, without stopping or resting very much.
I am among those who are not resting this weekend. In addition to the show hours, I’ve also been commuting home to provide at least a little bit of structure to my kids. They’re teenagers and mostly can manage themselves without intervention, but the will forget to go to bed unless I remind them. And they’re not particularly good about getting themselves up for school in the morning. So I went home to make sure those two things happened. Also to re-stock some grocery items. And to pick up additional books that we hope to sell at the table today. Fortunately Howard has a hotel room, so only one of us had to commute. I didn’t have to worry about Howard being anxious over commute traffic and parking.
This show has already given me some gifts that I could not have had otherwise. I was able to re-connect with a dear friend whom I haven’t seen in years. I’ve also had my annual catch-up conversation with several friends I only see at SLCC events. Thursday was pretty quiet. Today the hall will fill up more. Saturday the true crowds will descend. Time to get to work.