Experiencing the Expo
Finally, after a stretch of days of catching up on much needed rest, life has returned back to our semblance of normal. Gone are the weeks of 3am or later work nights, the To-Do lists that filled up the entire whiteboard, and the stress of scrambling to meet deadlines. We literally picked up the books and character prints the day before the Expo, something we intend to avoid in the future!
As for the experience of attending the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, it was spectacular. The intoxicating environment was nothing short of pure jubilation and excitement. Constantly smiling and enjoying the excitement of the Expo, there wasn’t a frown or unhappy person within the Stampede grounds. Well, except for an angry mother trying to contain her five children, but we will let that one slide.
Our corner booth looked spectacular once it was all setup. Rivalling lots of the large company booths in appearance, we received a plethora of wows and positive comments. The character prints done by Director Clark ended up creating a speed trap. Catching the eyes of many people, all slowed their frenetic pace as they gazed or stopped to inspect the characters closer. A large number of people were surprised that we were the creator and artist, originally believing we were just a couple of individuals paid to peddle someone else’s goods.
Although sales were lower than expected, we knew such a scenario was likely going in. We intend to build the H3 slowly and methodically, firmly believing that the quality of work and attention details will pay dividends as we attend more shows and return year after year. Just hopefully we aren’t 80 years old when it all finally catches traction! If that’s the case, Mr. Clark will probably be going to old-man-jail for beating me with his cane after an ‘I told you so’ type moment.
Regardless, even if it doesn’t pay the bills, the true payoff was the positive feedback we received from those that walked past and the excitement of those who took a chance on something new. One young woman we met had bought the very first book at the original signing in Lloydminster. So enthusiastic toward the old book, she didn’t hesitate a moment on buying the revised version. And upon discovering she could buy prints of the characters two days later, she bought every last one. A second lady had returned later in the Expo to let us know how much she was enjoying the book and her difficulty in putting the book down. Those are the types of fans that make our work so exciting and rewarding. Mr. Clark’s personal highlight was noticing one guy dressed as the ‘Psycho’ from Borderlands stopping amidst the crowd as his eyes caught our booth, removing his mask and mouthing, “Holy s***!” …and perhaps finding a Batman bathrobe. And yes, I’ll admit, it was the steal of the weekend!
Despite the percentile rarity of people trying something new or unfamiliar, we thoroughly enjoyed the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. We are already booking for our return next year (obviously as that is when we will be releasing An Immortal War) and are looking forward to Edmonton and Saskatoon in the fall! We thank all that took an opportunity to delve into the world we created and hope you all enjoy it as much as we do and had making it.
Finally, and long overdue, we wanted to give a shout out to some of the help we had the past months. The first goes to Christine of Manley Mann Media for all the editing work she had done as well as accommodating our ridiculous schedule. The second goes to Houghton Boston of Saskatoon who printed our renewed books with a level of quality and care we didn’t anticipate. Seriously, the books are stunningly beautiful! Everyone should check it out, and no, that’s not just a greasy sales pitch…
Also, a big thank you goes to Jim, Vanessa, and the rest of the crew of Reid Signs who did our printing for the booth. A large part of our success and amazing appearance was the work they had done to translate our murals and popup banners to look as spectacular as the digitals. The Printing Place of Red Deer also did a fantastic job on the character prints and business cards; we certainly can’t wait to see the next batch of characters.
Although many have tried to tell us to take some time off, after six months of nothing but work, we are going to forge ahead. Maybe not until 3am (8am the Monday before The Print Place opened to simply get the final character printed in time), but continue onward. Director Clark has some beautiful and complex characters to colour and An Immortal War has to be prepped for a trip to PEI to Manley Mann Media. There is much work to be done and not an ounce of momentum to be wasted. Website revamp is next on the endless list!
Stay tuned for all the continuing progression to come to H3 Studios!