Wednesday, March 26, 2008

At Long Last, a Post!! My Thing 2008 Report...

And so, it's all over. Our very first table at The Web & Minicomix Thing, selling our very first proper issue of Crazypants! What can I say? It was great fun, in spite of all the hard work and deprivation we had to suffer (or should that be depravation?).

After a mad rush to finish the issue, and a couple of sleep-deficient nights, Raj knocked on my front door at 6:30 am. Despite setting my alarm, I was so frazzled that I was still asleep in my bed. Luckily I had prepared my vittals the night before, and soon we were driving out of the wonderful town of sunny Swindon. (Well, it was by turns rainy/sleety/crappy!)

Down the M4 we went, engaging in all manner of witty banter. Arguments ensued about music, cheese and The Royal Family! Singing and joking to allay the sheer terror of our imminent debut, we eventually wound up in Chiswick. Dragging our precious cargo of comic greatness behind us, we yomped to my favouritely named tube station - Turnham Green.
It was brass monkeys, but the camaraderie of our joint anxiety staved off the cold. After getting funny looks from the other passengers on the Tube (we were talking and joking after all, which seems to be a big no-no! Eyes front, stony face seems to be the default setting of your average Tube passenger.), we had to change at Tower Hill. I joked to Raj, “Shall we go to the Tower of London instead?”. The nerves were starting! So, on to Mile End and we resurfaced into the wet and cold for the final walk to the Thing! Half way down the Mile End Road, I made to turn tail and run but thought better of it. After all, we had come this far. There was no turning back now!

Due to my oversleeping/tardiness, we arrived with barely 15 minutes to spare for setting up our table. Luckily we had perspex dispensing apparatus which made it easier. So easy in fact that Raj sat on his butt eating Easter eggs while I arranged the table!!! I would however have my revenge later by chastising Raj for his slovenly presentation skills!

So there we were. Ready to go and attempt to sell the products of our toil. We had a fairly well sited table, and the guys on the table next to us were also taking a table for the first time, which was reassuring (Hi, Capes & Drapes!)

Anyway, we hunkered down and waited, and waited, and waited, and after about an hour and a half, punters began to materialise. We started to worry, as people were looking but not buying. As the morning wore on, things began to busy up a bit. We got many interesting comments and questions, and the free Over-Reacto comics started to fly off the table. The free chocolate eggs went down well too-it was Easter after all!-Eventually we sold a copy of our first issue! Buoyed up by this, we set about actively selling the thing! The badges started to attract interest, which pleased me, as Raj was slightly dubious about them at the outset. But gracious man that he is, he admitted that they were a good idea after all. They seemed to sell well to the ladies for some reason?!
The comic sold in the end, and some people even asked for them to be signed, which was vaguely embarrassing, as we're sooo modest!

We both had a bit of a chance to have a mooch about, and my bestest purchases were a couple of Roger Langridge collections, which he kindly signed and did a little sketch in!
Thanks Roger!!! (I think Raj got those too!).

All in all, it was a good experience that taught us a lot. Next time we will be more aware of our strengths and our weaknesses and will tailor our table accordingly.

We met old friends, made new friends and got that sweet, sweet taste of the feeling that makes people produce small-press comics for the pure simple joy of being creative.