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You see, being an artist, let me be more specific, being a comic book artist means that you’re probably not bringing in 6 figures a year. So, in order to cover the costs of attending shows like this, you create convention sketches for customers.

And I have to hand it to the Wizard conventions; they attract those customers who LOVE convention sketches.

I was swamped all weekend creating sketch after sketch of lovely ladies and manly men. I WAS SWAMPED!!! Just imagine if you will, a not-so-well-known-small-press-artist sitting at her booth, surrounded by much more famous artists, and SHE was busy ALL weekend.

Let’s all hear it -YAY FOR ME!

And I wasn’t the only one. I spoke to many of my fellow small press artist friends, and they all said the same thing. They had a fantastic weekend financially because they were creating sketches all three days. You have no idea how big a deal that is. It really can be hard at this stage in our careers. Creating a comic and publishing it ourselves is, most of the time, a quick way to becoming really broke, so when you are at a show, and you are received by customers who will, without question, PAY you good money to draw something especially for them, it’s wonderful!

I’ve been to shows where the customers just don’t understand why you won’t take an hour out of your day to make something for them for free. It just doesn’t happen at these Wizard cons. So, a big thank-you to those who attended Philly and supported ALL the artists in the alley, not just the famous ones. You made us feel wanted AND you enabled us to buy a dinner that didn’t start with "Combo # 1".

So, Friday was great and I was really looking forward to Saturday.

Then I did something really stupid.

I always show up early at the shows so I can walk around and say hello to fellow dealers and buy something before the show actually opens. So, I went to the washroom and continued to walk around for another 10 minutes before I realized I left my bright yellow money pouch in the washroom stall. I ran full speed through the convention to the washroom and when I got there, I found my money pouch shoved in the garbage can, emptied of all the cash I had made the day before, plus my float. I had around 200.00 and it was all gone. I punched the wall, cried for a few minutes and went and filed a police report. And you know what the most disturbing thing about this is? It happened before the show opened and only exhibitors had access to this washroom so it was one of my fellow female artists or dealers that stole my money.

So here is my open letter to the person who felt it was OK to do this to me -

Dear "beep"

If I ever find out who you are, I will "beep beep beep" you until you beg for mercy. I will post your "beeping" picture all over the net and let the rest of the comic world know what a "beep" you really are. I hope all your hair falls out and your eyelashes poke holes in your own eyes. Screw you, you "beep beep beeeping beep beeeeeeep" .

Now back to our regularly scheduled con report.

Once the show opened, the place filled up pretty quickly. I was just a few tables away from one of the artists I mentioned before, Joseph Michael Linsner. There aren’t a lot of people in my life who I can say I adore, but I DO adore JML. He is one of the classiest, kindest people I have met. Even though he’s extremely well known and very talented, he doesn’t let that get to him. He treats his customers, even the weird ones that swear they really are DAWN, with a dazzling smile and a generosity that is rare in all aspects of our lives. I’ve mentioned my list of comic book heroes that have inspired me before, well, put Linsner on that list, he deserves it!

As Saturday continued, I learned of some interesting developments in the comic world. Two guys that I grew up with, the brothers Kubert, Andy and Adam have signed a three year deal with DC. For myself and a lot of other fans my age, it’s going to be weird seeing these guys over there. Oh, if you haven’t seen it, Adam did a great t-shirt of Ben Grimm. I believe it’s the cover of FF #14, just a huge shot of the Thing’s face. I wish they made baby doll Ts with these images but nooooo, Graffiti Designs still hasn’t figured out that women who read comics do indeed wear related clothing...

In other news, Joe Quesada announced that Jean Grey died.... again.

So, on to Sunday. I managed to get to my table without having anything stolen this time, which is always a bonus. Before the show opened, I went on my usual Sunday morning search for Transformers items that I must have. While I am probably the biggest female fan of the original 80's cartoon, aka G1 for those in the know, I’m a pretty picky collector. One of the things I really like is the Transformers busts that Hard Hero has been putting out. They are really nice! And I saw something this weekend that is a must have - Cyclonus! ACK! It was lovely! I believe Jason Ray has sculpted all of the busts and kudos to him for doing a fantastic job. Unfortunately, I couldn’t beat the guy down off of the $50.00 price tag. I will be looking again at Wizard World Chicago, so if you see a great price for this little Decepticon, come and get me at my table!

The rest of Sunday was slower than Saturday, as it always is, but still quite steady. I took the time to walk around in the industry section to see what new and exciting items were coming out. To be honest, the only thing I saw that I said "WOW" to (besides the Cyclonus bust) was a great little invention called a "Shockini". Basically, these are little blank action figures, approx. 4 inches tall which you can do whatever you want to. The little kit I grabbed came with stickers and different arms that I could put on it, mix and match, etc etc. But, instead of any of those things, I sat down, took out my trusty sharpie and created my first Rummblestrips action figure.

Crash! That’s right! Crash appears to be a bit off balance in this pic, either that or she’s dancing. Only she knows. I plan on buying some more of these for sure. They’re available over at www.shockertoys.com. Tell them I sent you so they’ll send me free stuff.

And that concludes my Wizard Philly 2005 con report. As promised, there was no singing or dancing, just lot of informative information that will keep you informed about the info you find important.

For the record, and I AM keeping score, I only received two indecent proposals this weekend. One of them insisted that I ask my husband if he likes to swing... the other did something else that will never be mentioned, EVER!

sigh

Welcome to Philly.

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