Well, another Fan Expo has come and gone, and having taken Monday to recuperate, I’m ready to put my thoughts down for this year.
It was good, but not great. I worked a lot, and saw loads of people, but it wasn’t quite as good as last year financially. There were a few surprises as to what sold, and there was one book that I wasn’t expecting to do as well as it did which shocked pretty much every retailer I spoke to.
Here’s my breakdown of the days:
Friday August 22nd
Ugh. The less said about this day the better. I was in training for work in Kitchener on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (more about that some other day), so I left Kitchener around 4pm on Friday. Kitchener is about an hour away from Toronto. I arrived downtown at 6:15 (two hours and fifteen minutes later).
I checked into my hotel and then went to find parking. Little did I know there was a Jays game, a Cirque Du Soleil type event at the ACC, and the convention, meaning that there were no parking spaces. I parked back at my hotel and walked over to the convention center with two bags of T-Shirts and a bag of comics…about 80lbs overall.
I arrived at the convention at about quarter to eight. Pete Erin and Gus were manning the booth, and I got there in time to relieve them a little bit.
That was a buttload of stress for an hour’s worth of the show, next year I’m coming early on the Friday morning so I can relax a little. Pete and Gus who had been downtown since nine looked cool as cucumbers!
When the totals were added up, we were about on par with last year (which is what I expected). The shocker was that of the 15 copies of Brian Bolland’s Killing Joke we brought, we were down to 8!
After the show Pete, Erin, Gus and I met up with Liam and his brother over at Canyon Creek where I had the stupendous pork chop…mmmm, pork chop.
Saturday August 23rd.
I woke up early, did some emailing, and drove over to the convention center with some comics to bring in. When the crowds started arriving they came in droves. Ten minutes into the second day we sold out of Killing Joke hardcovers. What was even more surprising was that of the 20 Watchmen TPB’s, we were down to a half dozen or so by the end of the second day.
I didn’t get much of a chance to wander the show floor, but I did get out of the booth a couple of times. Liam took me over to the Heavy Metal booth where I picked up 7 volumes of The Keeper of the Maser for $5.00 each (regularly $15 each). That was pretty much all the money I spent on Saturday though.
Our day 2 tally was pretty much the same as day 1.
After the show I met up with Char, and we went out for dinner in the Beach before catching Tropic Thunder (review coming soon).
Sunday August 24th
Sunday I had a chance to wander around a little bit. I saw Dale Eaglesham and his wife Louise and picked up a great Starman page from them. Wandered the show with Liam, picked up a book, but that was pretty much it. I got a couple of gifts for the kids, and then called it a show.
Packing up is a total pain in the rear, but it went fairly quickly, and by 1:30am I was back in London.
In the end we were down about 15% over last year, mostly because Sunday was quite a bit lighter than last year. Dollar books didn’t sell as well as they did last year despite the fact that our dollar selection is better this year than ever before.
I personally didn’t spend as much as I did last year (when I bought two terrific Dale Eaglesham pages), there were a couple of pages of Dexter Vine’s art I wanted, but there were too many people at his booth, and other than that I didn’t see a whole lot that appealed to me.
I don’t understand how some people can sell stuff as cheap as they do. I picked up a couple of hardcovers from a dealer for the same as my cost…except when I buy them through the distributor I pay shipping and GST, so I actually SAVED money over buying them off my own distributor!
Then there’s other guys that I’m not sure how they succeed.
The gaming aspect of the convention is really light. There weren’t any game dealers other than a Zellers booth, and there were no RPG dealers to speak of.
In terms of comic dealers, I counted fewer than 12, and of those, a couple of them were online like us (though not to the sophistication of our setup), a few were brick and mortar, but most were exclusively show dealers.
It was so nice to see you again, Brian! We enjoyed meeting your little boxed friend, too… 😉 Thanks again for the t-shirt, it’s already been worn once!