It’s already been a big year for Blackhole Comics with Proton #0 being released, but that wasn’t enough so we decided to take the show on the road to Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC! Nick Flair, JJ Murphy, and Anderson Carman held down the Blackhole table selling copies of Proton #0, prints, and other cool things! How did it go? Here is the story of our totally awesome adventure!
It started with a 4 and a half hour drive from Richmond to Charlotte for myself (Nick Flair), JJ Murphy, and my lovely girlfriend Brittany! There was almost constant comic talk the entire way there. What’s big right now, what we wanted to happen versus what we thought would happen at the show, and what we’d get from the experience were all topics of conversation. In summation, we wanted to walk away with a renewed confidence, a mistake or two to learn from, and no copies of Proton.
We arrived around 9:45am where we met up with Anderson, and set up out table. JJ and Anderson both had their 11×17 binders full of full of awesome artwork, as well as a few prints. Anderson brought his sketch book, and mini comic, as well as, a series of custom bookmarks he made! They featured characters from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Star Wars, and had cool icons on the reverse side that represented the character or franchise. They were a major hit!!!
JJ was doing commissions, and had a few original pieces of art available. We had a bit of a slow start on Friday, but then a Harley Quinn Cosplayer saw a Graphitist original of her name sake, and had to have it! It was the first of several pieces of original art JJ sold! The confidence boost was strong and almost instantly noticeable! We then decided to hit up the ‘Drink and Draw’ event that night, where artists draw original pieces and they’re auctioned off for charity!
Anderson put up a couple of pieces, and JJ knocked out the new Batman design! I took the opportunity to do a little drawing myself, drawing a Proton pic I forgot to get a picture of and starting an Amp piece, and even Brittany got in on the action! I had some crayons, so she channeled her inner colorist to enhance JJ’s Proton picture! Drawing with a beer under the summer night sky of Charlotte next to a beautifully lit fountain with comic talk a flutter all around was truly a perfect end to the first day!
As for me and my Proton comic, we did pretty darn good in my opinion. After several hours of our slow start, I was pretty concerned. I didn’t want to go home with all 70 copies! Then I sold the first one to a random passer-by who thought the cover was pretty cool! It was big for me because it was the book that caught his eye, not that he was a friend, or someone who I had to talk into buying it. He just saw it and liked it. It was a great feeling!
Here’s the face I made when I sold the first copy!
The real bread and butter came Sunday though. The last day of the convention. I still had a lot of copies, and I really wanted to get them into the hands of potential fans! I decided to offer up a heck of a bargain on the last day; I offered people Proton #0 for $1.00 or for free. The goal was to move books, and this was an effective way of doing it for sure. The thing that surprised me though, and really made me happy, was that most everyone who came up PAID THE DOLLAR!!! I thought that said a lot about the crowd at Heroes Con. When offered the choice between getting something awesome for free, or supporting a small press comic creator, they chose to support me. It was a warm feeling.
Another warm feeling came from a someone I didn’t expect at all though. If you’ve ready Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra, you know those two guys have talent. I know this, because I pick up that book in collected editions every time it drops. Einstein, chainsaws, aliens. That’s all you need to know. So I walked by the “Hickman” table with Nick Pitarra and Ryan Bodenhiem (From the Dying and the Dead, also pretty awesome in its young run), and was like ” Hey you guys are awesome! Here, have a copy of my comic!”
These guys are pro’s on the comic scene. They create books with arguably the hottest writer in all of comics right now. I just liked the idea of them reading my book. Nick Pitarra started joking with me, “Is it really a two dollar book, or is this like the thirty-eight dollar Con variant?” I laughed, and confirmed the book was only two dollars. So what did he do? HE GAVE ME TWO DOLLARS!?! I was like “I’m not pushing my book on you man, I just wanted to give you a copy!” He then told me to shut up, and take his two dollars. That was a huge sign of respect in my eyes, and probably my favorite part of the weekend. I’m keeping those two dollars as a memento.
As I offered copies of Proton to other artists and vendors, they all responded in a similar fashion. People wanted to trade me their comic for mine, prints, or buttons! It was a really cool feeling of community the way it went down. Maybe it’s a silly thing for me to be really excited about that, but I don’t care. It was awesome!
On the return trip, JJ and I again talked comics the entire way home. All four and a half hours of it. What we did right, what we could have done better, and what we want to do next. This Blackhole Comics thing is just getting started, and the plan is for it to get bigger and better. Keep an eye out for what’s on the horizon!
Thanks Heroes Con for reminding us the World is Ours to Make!!!