Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Heroes Con Bound!

I found this drawing yesterday in a box in the trunk of my car. It's from a month or so ago when I did a mid-sized show in Kansas City. In all honesty, the show didn't go very well for me, so few people stopped by to talk and even less wanted to pay for a sketch. Whenever a show is slow like this I like to break out the tools and do a warm-up sketch. It usually attracts interest and often requests for drawings. Not this time, though. I don't think anyone stopped to watch or talk the entire time I worked on this. Woe is me.
Getting sketch commissions at shows is an important part of attending shows (from the pocket book point of view--I always love meeting the comic fans, of course). There aren't too many ways to make money at these shows (books, prints, etc. come with a higher overhead than ink and paper) and every bit helps. I'm always afraid that when I talk about money I sound like a capitalist mercenary. But the truth is that between travel, hotels, and often table fees, I'd be happy to just break even. I like to think I'm fairly reasonable at the shows, I charge $25-35 (depending on the show) for convention sketches (like the one above) and I put my time into them. All my drawings are inked with a brush and then toned with an ink wash.
Speaking of commissions, I will, hopefully, be staying really busy doing these drawings this weekend when I attend the Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. I've been wanting to go to this show for the past few years as I've heard it is one of the best shows in the country. I've heard nothing but good things about the show runners and all the people who attend. I wanted to make it last year but I was too late in trying to secure a table--they seemed to go fast. Please, if you're in the area, stop by and say hi to me--I'd love the company!
If you want that Batman above, I will have it at the show this weekend.


Jamie S. Rich said...

You should try being a writer at cons. People are always like, "You coming to my small town in the middle of nowhere for the con at the Holiday Inn?" Yeah, you gonna pay me for that?

brian hurtt said...

I had actually meant to make that comment myself. As difficult as it can be to break even at a show, writers have it so much harder. For all my whining I definitely have an easier time with it. My heart goes out to you.

p.s. on that note, will I see you at San Diego this year?

Anonymous said...

I think the quality of your sketches for the price paid makes them one of the best values at any show. I'd be very surprised if more people didn't pick up on that at a show the size of Heroes, especially if they get a look at what you're turning out.

Anonymous said...

I have to second Shane, as you've done two of the best sketches I own. I'm a huge fan of your stuff and I hope to see you at the Mo-Kan Comics Conspiracy.

Michael Cho said...

makes no sense to me why you weren't able to sell that sketch. That thing is a STEAL at $25-$35. To me, its worth at least $75-$100 to buy a piece that nice by you.

j. said...

That Batman sketch is terrific. And I agree with Mike, a steal at that price.

That said...I have to inquire: were you wearing a button up shirt un-buttoned to the third button down? It's an old trick but always attracts the right kind of attention.

Also, try eating a sandwich at your table. Breaking for lunch is always a surefire way to attract a sketch-needing fan. The messier the sandwich the better. Make sure you have napkins.

Always sit beside an artist with a line-up and engage his/her fans in intelligent comic book related conversations. They inevitably stray to your table and sometimes even buy drawings. Plus the people standing at your table attracts more people to come see what all the standing is about.

Take cookies and offer them to people in exchange for standing in front of your table. They must stay for at least ten minutes or until two more people join.

I hope one or more of my helpful tips helps you have a funner time at Heroes Con.

Seriously, have fun in Charlotte.


Matt Schuler said...

Love the Batman sketch, and would've bought it but the thing is I have never met you, nor have I been to a convention that you have been to.

I just enjoyed DAMNED and lurk on your blog to find all this wonderful work that you post.


brian hurtt said...

I live by the third button rule. Maybe that's the problem.

Y'know, I've tried that "engaging the popular artist's line" bit. Just never worked for me. That was part of the problem in Kansas City, Herb Trimpe line was wrapping around in front of my table completely blocking my from anyone's line of view. Apparently none of the 70's Marvel fans connected with my B&W comic about gangsters and demons.

p.s. am I gonna see you in San Diego this year?

brian hurtt said...

Thanks, everyone, for the reassuring words. I hope this post didn't come off as me fishing for compliments or validation.

Ugh...I look so fat in these pants...

brian hurtt said...

Thanks for popping in and posting, Matt. I'm glad to hear you likes the Damned. Spread the word!