Monday, 4 November 2013

London MCM and other things

Just over a week ago so Team Scannon attend our first MCM convention in London as exhibitors. We had an idea that this was predominantly a Manga convention so weren't 100% sure how our comic would be received. We had been told it was a great convention for sales by our Small Press brothers responsible for the Moon comic (Brilliant. If you haven't read it yet, I really insist that you do. Absolute genius.) but we had yet to find out for ourselves.

We're here somewhere... Off to the right.

This con saw Jim, Kris and myself going up there on what almost felt like our own. Normally at these conventions we have... like, a crew of us I guess. We have the guys from Stiffs and the Pride there normally as part of our regular team. In fact, at the last convention we worked (Cardiff - see my previous blog entry) we even had Gavin Mitchell's (Stiffs, Pride, Aces Weekly and upcoming Out 2 Sea) girlfriend, Emily, working on our table with us. With Kris off on his own table as a "Guest" (Oh the famous bastard) this was especially handy, as it meant that if Jim or I ever needed to go to the loo, get a drink etc, there was always two people manning the table. Plus with her not having worked on the comic herself, from a selling point of view, she could be more... unbiased? Which can help with sales technique.

What I mean by this, is something I have noticed more at the London MCM than other cons before - Scannon is our baby and we want it to do well. When it comes to selling though, we haven't quite got the perfect balance. It kinda tends to go like this:
Kris tends to oversell (Really tries to get people pumped. I admire the confidence, the man has the biggest balls, but even he's the first to say he doesn't know when to stop himself)
Jim tends to undersell (Loves the comic but he hates the interaction of selling. Not that he doesn't like people, he just doesn't think he has the confidence for it. That said, he's gotten a lot better at it since our first con. Though I doubt he sees it himself...)
I tend to be somewhere in the middle (If i get into my pitch, like Kris, I can't stop myself but if I look at someone and think "Oh they won't be interested" I don't even attempt to pitch. Which is stupid)

Somone who has nothing to do with the comic can just pitch to anyone really without fear of rejection or anything like that. It's not their baby. They don't perhaps have the same vested interest that the creators do. They can find it easier to get the balance right. Maybe? Maybe I should write another blog about convention etiquette or something? As I see it from my own experience? Anyways, point being, it's nice having a... support team, to help take the weight. Working conventions is hard! London is REALLY hard. Maybe that's just because it's... such a big city and not home turf.

Anyway, the convention ended up being great for us. We had our best first day ever, in terms of sales, and our 2nd best con ever, in terms of overall sales. PLUS we got to launch this bad boy there:

Lou Scannon Issue 6 with wrap cover by Huw-J.
We launched issue 6 (Available here with an incredible cover by Huw-J) and it seemed to go down really well! It has also been our most preordered issue to date. This issue really was a labour of love. With me having not long finished working on Issue 3 of The Pride, it really didnt leave much in the way of time to get Scannon done. We managed to crank the baby out in little over a month, though we lacked sleep throughout. It's definitely the best looking issue so far, but even as soon as I finished it, I was looking back through and thinking "I can do better". My work has progressed a fair bit even since finishing this issue! Good thing? Yes, definitely... but equally frustrating too.
We were sat in the comics village right by Scannon friend Sarah Millman, who was there with her comic The Heart of Time. She was launching her issue 2 (Which I picked up of course) and seemed to have a pretty good convention herself. She was, as always, sat with her lovely friend Sian Jefferson, who was launching the first issue of her own comic there- The Book of Fey.
Sarah hooked us up with our one chair for the weekend after someone had stolen the two we had been provided with on the Friday night.
Yep, three of us were crammed behind a very small table where there was very little room to move. I decided to approach it from a different angle and tried selling from in front of the table. I managed to get a few people to come over and have a look, even if they didn't buy anything.

Kris in the zone, Jim hating the camera...
I discovered that an old convention drinking buddy of mine was there working, none other than comics legend John McCrea. John has pretty much worked on all the big titles... Batman, Spider-man, Hitman, Judge Dredd, Preacher, Mars Attacks, The Boys and a personal favourite of mine, Dicks. I popped over to him, had a chat and then mentioned Lou Scannon to him. After a request from me, he took time out of his day to do us a Scannon pinup which we are going to use in the Graph! (Out next year)

Lou Scannon by John McCrea!
All three of us were pretty blown away by Johns take on Lou. Absolutely brilliant job and I can't wait to see it in the trade.
I need to mention as well, my dear friend Serena launched a preview of her own book Elysia there. I got me a copy and it's looking absolutely lovely. If you can pick up a copy, you totally should.
Suffice to say, we will definitely be doing MCM again. Though utterly, utterly exhausting, it was great fun and had a really good atmosphere and gave us great sales!
While there, I purchased Manga Studio 5 for my computer. I have to say, it's taking some getting used to but so far? I am absolutely loving it! I tried it out by first drawing a random made up comic page from scratch. This is what I came up with-

and once that was done, I remembered that we had run out of Scannon business cards at MCM so I, in biro first, drew up a new idea for the new one. Then I scanned it and redrew it in Manga Studio. Kris is colouring it at the moment but here's my take on it:

Left: Biro, Right: Manga Studio 5
So with issue six now done and out of the way, new projects can get developed and issue seven can be started. It's all quite exciting right now in that respect. My prints sold out at MCM and I have a few more Ideas for some other ones. I'll keep you posted on that and if you're interested in buying them, contact me.
I'm also going to be selling my Scannon pages for £30 a page. If you would like a piece of original Scannon art, let me know.
and here's a sneak peak of some Scannon in colour!

I've also come up with an idea as a variant cover for Stiffs. Not sure if it will be going ahead yet, waiting to hear from the boys... but it will be based around this idea I drew up in my sketchbook:

Oh and it's worth mentioning! Halloween has just passed us by, and I had a hoot! I actually spent some time on my costume this year and did myself up as Batman villain, Twoface! Here's a look at the burned up Dan!:

Harvey Dant
I was trying to keep this short but blatantly failed. I shouldn't leave so long between blogs I guess.
I'll try do another blog about my prints when I have more done and in print. Next though is the Sheffield tattoo convention. While there I am kinda hoping that some of a flash set I have designed will sell. I'll post a pic. They'll be going at £15 a copy. Let me know if you would like one at

Candy Skull goodness

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