I arrived in Dayton Friday, met a fellow F&W author, then headed to Akron to our hotel. An old friend met us there and I did the tourist thing in Cleveland. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum and A Christmas Story House. It was fun, and I only spent $22 and change on souvenirs.
Saturday, I woke up early and we headed to Camp Zwissler before going to Garretsville for Summer Fest. I didn’t know it, but that’s deep in Amish country, and we had to pass about a dozen tractors on the road. We didn’t sell many copies at Summer Fest, but I met the other F&W authors and supported them by getting a couple of paperbacks signed, and I signed one or two as well. After a few hours and several photos of the boardwalk area, we went back to Danielle’s house, then to dinner before I called it a night.
Sunday was the Akron Comic Con, and my roommate and I were the first two there. We found the Firefly & Wisp table, and met our neighbor, Chris Yambar, author of Spells and several Simpsons comics. He had some comic 3-packs that he was signing and selling for $5 each, so once the rest of the gang arrived with books, we traded a signed copy of Thorn of Death with Chris for his Spells 3-pack. I felt a little bad about getting the trade from one of Danielle’s copies, so I bought one and called the other my contributor’s copy. hehe
For several hours, I signed some books, traded with some other artists, and personally sold some copies of Thorn of Death. I’d make a damn good pitch man! Of course, it helped that the patrons were wearing zombie t-shirts, or Batman costumes. I wore a button-up shirt with a Batman patch on the front pocket. The only picture I snapped Sunday was of a guy in a Penguin costume. At first I thought he was Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, which would’ve been perfect considering that the movie opened Friday!
Speaking of attire… Danielle had told me last week to pack nice clothes for the con. I went wearing slacks, the button-up over a t-shirt, socks, and loafers… Chris Yambar and several of the other guests were in shorts and t-shirts. I jokingly gave Danielle a hard time. “Shorts and a t-shirt, Danielle! I could’ve worn shorts and a t-shirt!” It was really hot in there. All of us were sweating, which is why a couple of us left early.
I got some cool artwork while there while handing out signed bookmarks with all my info on them. I had taken 48 bookmarks (12 of each style) and came home with only 11. Not bad! The artists I met and received art from were Tommy Flick (I bought a signed Hagar The Horrible drawing for $1), AJ Sabino, Phil Fried, and Todd Beistel. There was one more, but sadly I did not get his card.
The best artwork I received was from Todd Beistel. He was doing zombie portraits, so I gave him my “zombie editor” bookmark and sold him a copy of Thorn of Death before it sold out. I also bought a print for $10, because 10% of those prints’ proceeds go to providing poor kids with their first comics… kind of like First Book. Also… the one I got was AWESOME. I HAD to have it. It’s a mock-up of the “Rise” character posters for The Dark Knight Rises… this one’s of Bat-Mite. The caption at the bottom reads, “The Dark Mite Rises.” I love it. He signed the back of it for me.
Later, I went back to his table for one of his “8-bit style” Yuri: Gypsy Hunter magnets, and when I paid for it, he handed me Yuri #1 to read. He was selling them for $3 each, but since I’d already bought $13 worth of merchandise from him, he let me take it on the condition that I would email him with what I thought. I told him I’d read it on the bus ride home, and I did. I emailed him about an hour ago and told him that I had really enjoyed it, but it left me wanting more. Had I known how addictive the storytelling is, I would’ve bought #2, as well. Since I didn’t have #2, I read the three Spells comics on the bus, as well. They were very funny, and made me want to check out some of Chris Yambar’s other titles.
I also bought a couple of graphic novels from the comics vendors there. I picked up Lone Wolf & Cub and The Man With No Name: Holliday in the Sun. The back of the latter book provided no plot info, but my sister is a HUGE Doc Holliday fan, so I was convinced Blondie and Tuco would run into Doc at some point. I got it for her, and read that on the bus, too. Sadly, it was a different Holliday, so I decided not to give it to my sister. I did, however, let my dad borrow it. He enjoyed The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, to which the book is both a prequel and a sequel. I’m not sure if he’s read it, or if he will… but it’s worth a shot!
After we’d had enough of sweating my roommate and I went back to the hotel and stayed in until it was time to leave for my bus in Dayton. I wasn’t looking forward to leaving, as it was a longer trip coming home than it had been going. I had a 4.5-hour layover in Atlanta from 3:15 to 7:45 in the morning. It SUCKED, but I told some new acquaintances about my books and the Akron con. It wasn’t too bad.
I returned home (FINALLY) at 10am yesterday and had to sort through all my stuff. I didn’t go to sleep until about 11 last night, and slept until 10am or so today. I think I’m starting to get back to Roy-normal. I’m already excited for the next F&W con, though! Bring it on.