Saturday, August 18, 2007

Looking Forward to Baltimore

Once again this September we are going to Baltimore MD for the Diamond Retailer Summit. We will get there a couple of days in advance and spend one day going to the Baltimore Comic Con and one day playing tourists in D.C.

We didn't think we'd go this year because at first money was tight and flights were expensive. Then we got some money but were going to put it into the house we were buying. Then we lost that house deal but hotel rooms over that weekend (September 8,9) near the convention center were extremely hard to come by unless one wanted to pay over $200 per night. Finally, we lucked out, finding both affordable air fair and a hotel room under $200. Unfortunately the hotel isn't by the convention center, but it is easy to get there via the train, so it shouldn't bee to bad.

We went to the Baltimore CC last year and aside from getting ripped off by Mark Texeria it was a lot of fun. It is a good size convention but not so crowded that one can't get to talk to creators. Although some artist were very snobby, sitting at their table working on paid-for sketches with signs up that they were not to be bothered until their scheduled signing time for the day. But most were up-beat, friendly and accessible and it was fun to check it out.

This year they're having some cool guests like Joe Kubert, Amanda Conner, both Romita's and Louise Simonson. Plus a ton of other bigger name comic book creators, so it should be really neat to walk the floor.

Then there's the Diamond retailer summit after the convention. That is always a fun time, meeting up with comic book store owners that we've not seen since last year. Sharing the pains and victories of owning our own comic book stores. They give away door prizes as well as other freebies just for attending (that stores can then sell to recoup their costs of going). Complete set/autographed Strangers In Paradise Pocket Books is the one door prize I’d like to win. And the 1 per store - exclusive cover, The Mice Templar #1-A Mike Oeming Release will be nice, not so much to sell, but just because this sounds like a nifty comic.

The programs aren't all that exciting this year though. Only one I really want to go to: Location, Location Location: Opening a second store - When, Where, Why & How to Open an Additional Location or Upgrade Your Present Store; How Suppliers Could Help; etc. Speakers: Chris Powell Lone Star Comics, Gary Dills Phoenix Comics/Laughing Ogre.

The other one I might check out is: Satisfying Your Customers’ Yen for Manga - How to Add or expand Manga to Your Already Successful Specialty Retail Store’s Product Mix
Speakers: Chris Oarr from ADV Films, Dirk Wood from Dark Horse Comics, Fletcher Chufong from DC Comics, John Wagenski from Lost World of Wonders, Lisa Richards from Tokyopop and Christopher Boily from Viz Media. But it kind of just sounds like manga publishers pitching their books... so it will just depend on what I feel like at the moment.

The BEST part of the summit is when they have open the exhibit hall. They often have some great give-away stuff there, plus many of those creators from the convention stay the extra days to set up for this, making them even MORE accessible. Last year we saw Michael Turner sitting in his Aspen booth with NO LINE (he'd run out of free stuff) just casually doing some art. This year some of the guests will be Garth Ennis, Terry Moore, and Andy Runton - the three I'd really like to meet, plus several others.

Now that we've made the decision to book the rooms, flights, and spots at the summit, we're getting excited for it! Sure, it is a work-related vacation, but last year we really had a fun time and we can't wait to do it again.

1 comment:

Sleestak said...

Don't forget your kevlar!