Sequential Underground #28 – Small Shows vs. Big Shows

Sequential Underground

Dan, Shawn, Juan, and Nick talk about shows! Conventions, expos, festivals, fairs.

We’re talking about SMALL SHOWS (for example, PIX)…

…versus BIG SHOWS (for example, NYCC).

What makes a comic book show “small” or “big”? Is it scale? Is it theme?

What makes more sense for an indie comics creator? We discuss table cost, freebies, making personal connections, and tons more. Shows covered include: PIX, SPACE, Pittsburgh Comicon, SPX, NYCC, and more.

5 Responses to “Sequential Underground #28 – Small Shows vs. Big Shows”

  1. 1 Brian John Mitchell

    I think free comics are especially important for handing out to other creators at tables. I also hear good things about sending freebies to a con or taking freebies to a con without having a table. Also at a place like SPACE where it’s a multi-day event, the free stuff can really translate into sales the following day after they read the books they got.

    A friend of mine that did some big indie books in the 1980s told me that he showed up at San Diego & the publisher had hired a stripper dressed as one of his characters to sit at the booth with him. So maybe we should all do that. Or maybe Nick could hire a Sarah Palin impersonator?

    I’ve noticed some people only show at SPACE on the Saturday to avoid needing the hotel or people doing a table split with one person on the table Saturday & another on Sunday. Which I’m torn about because I usually chat with creators the Sunday afternoon & miss some folks. I guess really if you had the time & table coverage it would make sense at any show to go around talking to other vendors at the beginning of the show & at the end of the show. & of course at the end of the show you can look at people who did well & see what they were maybe doing right or wrong. The polite way I always ask about sales is asking, “Did you cover your table yet?”

    A thing with SPACE & it being in the hotel is it does end up with no unintentional traffic (the year I went in the Shriner Hall there was some spill over traffic from the events in the other side (which were a doll fair & a little miss pageant)) & from that point I think it being free instead of $5 to get in is no big issue. The thing with it actually being in a hotel I think is to help people who are flying in so they don’t need a rental car & that’s part of why Bob wanted to make sure it was a hotel with a restaurant inside as well.

  2. 2 Dan

    One thing I forgot to mention when dissecting big shows and their friendliness toward small press or indie creators is how and where organizers place indie/small press tables and how that affects sales, traffic, etc. Using Heroes Con and the Pittsburgh Comicon as examples, Heroes Con embraces and promotes independent work ( and has a dedicated area for those creators. Pittsburgh Comicon used to have an Artist Alley, but now it seems like they’ll group together the first bunch of artists/self-publishers who buy tables early and then place any subsequent indie creators haphazardly throughout the show floor, or even worse, you may have a table in the next room and no one will know you’re there.

  3. 3 nick marino

    @Brian: I’ve never had a free full comic at a con… only samples at regular shows, and I had a free comic at FCBD when I had a table at my local comic shop. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the FCBD book boosted my sales at that event, but it did create at ice breaker with a lot of potential customers.

    @Dan: Good point! HeroesCon is unique in that it’s the best of both worlds… IF you’re invited to be on Indie Island. Otherwise, you still have to buy an expensive table and sit outside the Island, which I imagine gives you no better or worse placement than any other show of its size.

  4. AudioShocker Shoutouts!

    Gello Apocalypse webcomics

  5. 4 Kenny / Riot.EXE

    I’ve only really been to Wizard World Chicago (now “Chicago Comic Con”) a few times, but every time I’ve went (which was always a one day outing) I would make it a point to visit the Artists Alley because I knew I could find the most new and interesting things there and supporting good up-and-coming talent is always a good thing. Plus, even with the presence of the more mainstream shit from like…Marvel, DC, and Image and the like, I don’t really pay much attention to those booths because I know I can find most of that shit anywhere, anytime. New original/underground shit I can really only find in Artists Alley at that given time.

  6. 5 nick marino


  1. 1 Nick Marino » Stick Cats #27
  2. 2 The Comics Podcast Network » Sequential Underground #28
  3. 3 Small Shows vs. Big Shows | Sequential Underground
  4. 4 The Comics Podcast Network » Sequential Underground #38
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