I think all of you know, this year, I have been trying to gear up more and do more conventions to promote the webcomic. I decided to test the waters by picking all sorts of conventions to attend, to see where Casually Kayla actually fits in. I have tried anime conventions, alternative press conventions, and sci fi conventions, just to name a few. I must say, they have all been different animals and they all have their own cons and pros. I seem to be running into a problem though. The question I have been trying to answer from the start, where does Casually Kayla fit in or does it even fit in? Maybe I don’t fit in.
I must say, the conventions so far have been depressing; Not because of lack of sales or anything like that, but just because the attitudes of people. I think the most depressing part of it for me, is that no one seems to want anything new. They seem to want stuff that is already done and has saturated the mainstream. This makes it very hard for an indie artist or anyone just starting out.
My first con of the year was an alternative press. Not too bad. I set up my stuff, but everyone would come to my table and say, ” Oh man, that’s totally anime.” Now, I don’t think my style is anime… Not at all in my mind, but everyone seems to think it is. I was told that I would make a killing at an anime convention and that maybe, the alternative press was not for me. Hearing this was okay, since I had an anime convention the next month. So I left with those words, for the next convention.
Anime. I set up my table at the anime convention and waited for my big influx of people. Nothing. I was told that, no one would buy my stuff because they had no idea who the characters were. I advised anyone who said that, to pick up one of my books and find out who the characters were. If they were appealing, find out about them. No such luck. I was told that if it wasn’t Pokemon or Naruto, I might as well give it up. All this while the booth next to me is selling product hand over fist because they have made keychains with the Pokemon ip. I am definitely not a Naruto or a Pokemon– so maybe, I didn’t fit in there either. So where do I fit in?
All that said, I have a bad taste in my mouth about conventions and maybe it’s just because I’m not attending the right conventions, but it doesn’t seem like anyone wants to even entertain the idea of something new out there. I take most of my products with me, but I’m on the fence now, if I should make products with other artist’s ip ( ie pokemon, etc). I really don’t want too because I don’t want to make money off something someone else has come up with and has already done. I want MY stuff to get out there and for people to want MY stuff. So, do I swallow my pride and do fan art and fan art products or do I stand my ground and sell MY stuff?
So, what is an indie webcomic artist to do? Continue to attend conventions and get rude remarks/comments, unless you do fan art stuff or just stop and try to promote online. This is what I’m struggling with at this very moment.
I really do wish, people would give indie stuff a chance. It might be something you are really into after you give it a try…. Don’t just stay with what you know…