Monday, September 13, 2021

The Return of the Con

Hey everyone! Mary here, and it'll be a quick one from me tonight because I have to pack... for a convention!!! After a year and a half of Zoom panels and virtual portals, in-person cons are finally back, and it is WEIRD.

I'm heading off to Gen Con in Indianapolis, a con I've been exhibiting at since 2015, and I have no idea what to expect. Will there be any attendees? Will those who come be in a book-buying mood? Or even just the mood to talk to a stranger about the stuff they've written? Will they be shopping, or did the 'rona recession take its toll?

At least this won't be my very first con back. That was AwesomeCon in DC, a few weeks back. I was so unprepared, I didn't even have any signage. Part of it was because I'd been so burned by all the cancellations of 2020 and the first half of 2021 that I didn't expect it to actually happen. About 2 days before I was supposed to drive down, I was like "oh, I should probably pack books or something." I had to relearn how to use my Square app, re-rehearse all my elevator pitches. I didn't have any new swag... I was just handing out whatever bookmarks or cards I had left over from cons past.

It went pretty well nonetheless... surprisingly well, actually. Sales-wise, I did pretty decently. And I had fun debuting my new cosplay, as Silk from the Spider-verse. Sadly, very few people recognized me (an annoying number of Spider-Men and Spider-Gwens looked at me like "who??"). Funnily enough, Silk's relatively unknown status is a bit of a running joke in the comics, so huzzah for getting into character?

Anyway, I figure as long as I have books and a way to take payment, I can improv the rest. At least with Gen Con, I have enough stuff left over from cons past to be in decent shape (the "Sci-Fi Gals" banner I use while exhibiting with Brave New Girls co-editor Paige Daniels didn't make sense for AwesomeCon, where I was solo... just one gal). And if no one shows up, or no one's in a book-buying mood... well, at least it's better than being locked down again.

Wish me luck.

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