I have to admit, I was plenty burned out on traveling when I left for the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival last week. I was in a financial sinkhole, and I was itching to draw again to find out whether I really was a hack, as I was beginning to suspect.
I headed out Thursday afternoon, and made it as far as Brady's Leap, Ohio, before settling in for the night. In the morning a crescent moon greeted me.
Sunrise over Western Pennsylvania.
Whistling along to "Yours Is No Disgrace."
Got lost briefly on the New Jersey Turnpike and then made my approach to NYC via the Staten Island bridges. Above: the Goethals Bridge.
God Bless America™.
I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
Made it to Julia's place, where I had a stand-off with her baby squirrel, Jack.
Next morning went to the venue and set up, it felt good. Above: Spit and a Half table, BCGF 2012.
The crowd was insane all day. At one point it was so hot and humid that the books on my table were curling.
Got to say hello to my hero, Matt Groening. Aw Shucks.
(Photo by Robin McConnell)
Tom Spurgeon visits.
(Photo by Robin McConnell)
The festival was incredibly busy, with people at the table non-stop... At 6 PM Box Brown covered me for five minutes so I could go pee and hurriedly buy the Michael McMillan release from Picturebox.
After the show, I was frantically running around trying to pick up books from people for the distro. As I was walking downstairs, I noticed this dude... "Is that...?" and on the way back up he looked at me like "Is that...? It was. It was Aaron Cometbus, and we made plans to go get tamales for dinner.
Aaron and I have only met in person a few times, but we were like old friends. It was nice talking to a guy who knew the ups and downs of the zine life so intimately. We had a good chat and rambled over to my car, where we said so long.
I got back to Julia's and this is what I had to put up with.
Jack sat down on the chair, and I sat down on the couch to add up the day's haul. I was stunned to find I had only netted $140, and that was not subtracting the tolls. A wave of dread washed over me. I laid on the couch wondering where I went wrong in life, and then I fell asleep.
NEXT: Brooklyn, DAY TWO
PS: I want to be clear: mentioning my low financial take shouldn't imply the show wasn't great -- it was! There was a great turnout, strong programming, and steady sales all day long. I'm chalking it up to a few things: I usually schedule several revenue-generating stops when traveling to the east coast, to dilute the cost of getting there, and I didn't do that this time; I traveled alone, so had no one to share gas costs with; most of my sales are distro sales, which means I'm only taking home 40% of the revenue; and I sell my own comics for $3.00. C'est la guerre...