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January 19, 2005
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January 19, 2005

A few more news bits.

First off, there's now a new shirt in the S*P Store, and it has Choo-Choo Bear. The Choo-Choo Heart shirt is available in both normal shirt and babydoll styles and, surprise surprise! Here in time for Valentine's Day (which I've been asked to inform my male readers by a few women IS still scheduled to occur and yes, still on February 14th - yes, I know. It's very saddening). For the people who've emailed me asking for a new Choo-Choo Shirt... well, it's there. TADA!

Secondly, while I will be at UBCon in Buffalo, New York in April, I will not be attending Ubercon in the future. A few people have asked and, no, I'm not a guest at Ubercon 5. I've contacted them and asked to have the info corrected and sure they'll get to it as soon as they can.

Speaking of cons, there's a few things about cons I've been meaning to say for a long, long time now. Some of you will care - others will not. I'd like to answer three questions and offer some "advice."

To the question I'm asked most often: "How come you never go to a con in my area?" Simple. No con in your area has asked me or, if they have, they've invited me but basically said, "Be a guest at our con! By the way, we're not helping you with travel costs or hotel expenses so you have to cover all of that on your own." Oddly, in the latter case, I'm never really excited about the invitation. I rarely go to cons on my own (in recent years, I went to a New York con to harass Pete Abrams and to Otakon to hang out with my little buddy, Mornee) because, normally, they're work (yes - cons are work). Mind you, I really love meeting readers. If I didn't, I wouldn't have gone to as many cons as I did in 2004 (six, I think), but unless I've been asked by the con staff to attend and, should they be over seventy miles away, put me (and if I need assistance with my table or what not, whoever I bring with me to help) up somewhere (NOT a staffer's couch). Over three hundred miles, I usually ask for help with travel expenses, as well as free admittance for myself and my help to the con (no, this is obviously NOT a no-brainer to some and has even been a breaking point in talks). That's it. No fee, no food allowance. No vendor table (if one's offered, I take it - but not if it's offered instead of being helped with expenses - no, it's not "just as good," either).

Second question I'm asked a lot about cons: "What do you do at cons?" Depends a lot on the type of con. If there's gaming, I try to run one or two. For example, at Dexcon, I ran two S*P Style D&D games and a World of Darkness parody Toon Game. If there's interest, I usually run a Q&A panel about S*P and webcomics in general. Sometimes I sell merchandise or art from the comic. If you have a blank Munchkin or Illuminati card, I'll design something on it for free (but my choice). I also do free "quick ass" sketches, providing you ask me while I'm at my table and NOT if you see me at a restaurant down the street trying to eat my dinner (you know who the fuck you are, bucko). Mainly, I just talk to people, answer questions - meet readers.

Which leads me to the third question: "Why do you go to cons?" Again, to meet readers. It's certainly not for financial gain. I know some webcartoonists who rake it in at cons. If that were the case for me, I wouldn't have had to dare people to give me money back in May. With the exception of JTAF, I've never come out "ahead" from any con but it's nice to meet the people who read my comic. I like getting emails or reading blog posts, but when I walk into a room for a panel and see people looking back at me as I answer questions about my comic, that's when all the numbers on the weblogs become people. It never stops being unreal, either.

... And the rest will wait for another time because everytime I've tried to write it, it breaks down into mindless ranting with no coherency. Maybe tomorrow. -R
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