Saturday, October 25, 2014

Aftermath: NYCC 2014

OMG, New York Comic Con... My last show of the season and most definitely my busiest, craziest and 'chew-you-up-and-spit-you-out'-iest. This 4-day behemoth of nerd and pop culture (Oct 9-12) was the site of our lovely 10x10 shared booth #2875 on the Exhibitor floor, that I shared with partners-in-crime Little Asian Sweatshop and Maria Danalakis.

Got my Natalie Dormer smirk on!
I came in to start setting up Tuesday by bringing our tables and chairs, because on the Exhibitor floor you are only buying space. You can rent tables and chairs from the convention center, but you will be charged an arm and a leg for them. I just went ahead and bought some fold away tables at Home Depot. Still cheaper. Wednesday all three of us came in and brought our merch and started setting up our booth. We have also started realizing the amazingness of TARPS! We can set up all our stuff and just leave it on the table if it's covered! Before, we used to take everything and put it under the table, then every morning of the show put it back where it was. It was a huge pain. Not anymore, tarps are where it's at!

Each different color was a price group. Dark blue where we were was the 'cheap seats', but still was almost 2 grand for just a 10x10 space.
Tuesday's load-in, all by myself! 2 tables, 2 chairs!
Wednesday's setup! Home for the next 4 days!
 Thursday was crazy. I don't know if it was that Johnny-Come-Lately ticket holders could only get that day because they're not used to the INSANITY that NYCC has become or what. (Seriously people, start paying attention.) But Thursday was literally like a Saturday at any other show, but spread over about 4 football fields and consistently busy. We were NOT expecting that, especially with what little we knew about traffic on the main floor. Most of my experience on the main floor of NYCC has been in passing (save for 2010 when I shared a booth), passing and weaving and trying to get from point A to point B in one piece. But behind the safety of 'Fort Booth' we at least could stand in our own personal bubbles and take in the crazy crowd flows and people watch. And of course, network and make money! The crowds were so crazy on Thursday that almost half of mine and Fenny's giveaway promo postcards were GONE. And we got A THOUSAND of them, each! Fenny and I were thinking we'd have to run to Staples in Midtown and run off some Xeroxes before they close. Which would have suuuuucked. And then this is how smart and awesome my husband is: while at home, he found a local print shop that can make us actual postcards and then suggested Fenny and I get 1 card with both our graphics on either side. See, we had both been giving out individual cards. At the same events, where we're usually standing right next to each other. If we have one card for the both of us- twice as many cards to go around. Duhhhhh, me. Which is good, because with rush fees we had to shell out like $430 for them. A mistake we won't make again. Plus now- double exposure for our brands!
Our view from the booth of the far left wall of the main exhibit hall
Since all 3 of us girls love to dress up for shows but wanted to wear different stuff but still match in some weird way, we decided each of our days would have a theme. Thursday was TRAVEL! I was a Stewardess, Fenny was a Star Trek OS ensign and Maria was a sailor! So by air, by space and by sea!

We are now beginning our descent into NYCC. Please return your trays to their upright position
I think the addition of my beehive wig really adds to it.

With the crowds as crazy as they were, there were also no announcements being made for the exhibitor floor closing at 7pm. Actually as far as I could tell there weren't any announcements at all on the exhibitor floor. So at 7, the floors were still full of attendees and potential customers. I mean it's not like all of the people on the floor are just going to "poof", go away right as the clock strikes 7. So they *finally* got con staff to go down each aisle and herd the attendees down towards the exits around 7:30. Which sucked because we were trying to get down to the Rawr! Burlesque show in Dumbo, Brooklyn at 8 and totally missed it. Boo. Oh well, we got burritos.

Aw! Maria's sisters came by to wish us luck!

Then came FRIDAY!! We were already BEAT just from Thursday. We took a car service from my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to the Javits Center all the way over on the Hudson in Manhattan. Traffic was crazy. Today's dress-up theme was FORMAL FRIDAY. Fenny and I bagged our outfits to put on at the show, because they were redonk and we were going to again attempt to go out after the show.
Still kicking! Let's do this!!

I was Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe, much like I was at Dr. Sketchy's Factory Party way back when. I went without my glasses, so most people I know were indistinguishable blobs until they came within 6 feet of me. Fenny wore her wedding dress with Chun-Li hair buns and Maria was proper dainty lady. It was busy Friday but almost not as crazy as Thursday, which was weird. It was still busy enough though. Marilyn was a bit much to wear for vending a show as intense as NYCC, it's really a drinking and partying costume. In a well-lit bar. The restrictive dress, lashes, gloves and blue fur stole are fine for 3-4 hours, but a 9 hour workday and you wanna rip everything off and go screaming naked down the aisles. As the day progressed you could see my wig slide further back on my head, haha.

Marilyn!
Formal Friday Booth Selfie!!
More Marilyn.
Our booth, looking slightly more disheveled.
After the show on Friday we went and saw the opening of Daughters of the Atom, an X-Men tribute art show at One-Shot Gallery, which is in St. Marks Comics in the East Village. I had done a Ladytron piece for this gallery over the summer for an Image Comics tribute show.


I did two pieces this go around- Illyana Rasputin, aka Magik and her best friend Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat. You can see more about my pieces (including purchasing information) and the rest of the pieces in the show at the online gallery!

Illyana
Kitty and her dragon Lockheed.
Me at the opening, I'm so tired.

We were already pretty over everything by the time Saturday rolled around. Commuting to the show was awful. The trains were all screwed up by my house so we had to take a car and it was raining like crazy. Getting in was a cattle call. I had a mild freakout. It was a rough start.

"A Joe in a Pit of SNAKES!"
Our theme today was 'Retro G.I.Joe and Cobra'! Fenny and I reprised our roles as Office Baroness and Cobra HR Manager and were joined by tablemate Maria as G.I. Jane and special guest star cosplay buddie Val as "Shirley from the Crimson Guard division".

Me and the Boss.
I was a grumpy Baroness- my hair curled up in the rain.
Maria was adorably earnest as G.I.Jane.
As far as Saturday went, it was pretty busy. By lunchtime we had all made back our table costs, so yay! Most of it was a blur. I know Fenny and I went home and stuffed delivery nachos in our faces over the stove. We were also in bed by 10:00- because we're all about that rock and roll lifestyle, amirite??

Gone without a trace.
Sunday's theme was "We're SO TIRED!" Nothing fancy, just us and our normal clothes. 

Casual Sunday!
All three of us did awesome this year! It took me about a week to recover and a day of bed rest just to catch up on sleep! I just want to say thank you to everyone who came by our table over the weekend. My body may have been chewed up and spit out, but my heart is over the moon seeing all your lovely faces. Let's do it all again next year, because it's going to take me that long to forget how bad my calves hurt at the end of the show.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Aftermath: Monster Mania Con 29 (2014)

Monster Mania Convention in Hunt Valley, Md (Oct 3-5) was a bit of an experiment in seeing how well horror movie fans would receive my artwork and merchandise. I plan to attend my first West Coast show in California next year- Monsterpalooza, and don't want to spend upwards of a couple thousand dollars on a trip out to Cali if people weren't receptive. Fortunately the folks met at Monster Mania were perhaps some of the most overwhelmingly pleasant fans I have had the pleasure to meet. Even covered in fake blood and brandishing plastic chainsaws. ;)

On Friday as a gothy pop-art pinup.
!? fascinator by Janine Basil
Monster Mania is another show in Maryland where I can save boku bucks traveling down by bus, staying at my parents house and borrowing my mom's car. My partner-in-crime Fenny of Little Asian Sweatshop joined me Friday and Saturday of the show and we split a 6' table between the two of us. It's an intimate hotel convention, at the old Hunt Valley Inn up in Cockeysville (about a 40 minute drive from my parents house). I'm actually pretty familiar with the hotel because of conventions I attended as a fan many years ago and for conferences when I used to sell tvs and stereos back in the day. There are actually 3 Monster Mania shows a year- two in NJ and one in Md. Everyone kept saying the spring show in NJ is way bigger and crazier and how we should come back and do that one. While this is a possibility- attending a show in NJ means getting a hotel room and meals out and that is a GIANT chunk out of our profits. So maybe, but not likely anytime soon.

All set up!
I had planned on creating more horror/monster themed artwork to sell specifically for MM, but time constraints and a crazy busy schedule between Baltimore Comic Con, this and NYCC along with my dayjob was simply too much. Fortunately I had a little bit of monster art to draw people in- but interestingly enough it was mostly my superhero stuff that was the hot seller. I think because there wasn't a lot of that there- so it stood out from the rest of the vendors. Goes to show- even when vending at a specialty event, bring *everything* with you. Within reason, of course. Monster Mania being the weekend before NYCC, which is my biggest show of the year- I was actually afraid I might sell out of stuff and not have time to make more during the week. Oh!, but what a problem to have, amirite? My inventory definitely did take a hit from MM, but I still had a satisfactory amount to bring for NYCC.

Francesca and the Monster's Mate
We had a ton of fun selling at our table! We dressed up every day of the show- including what is possibly our most obscure cosplay to date- me as Francesca and Fenny as the Monster's Mate/ Phyllis Diller from Rankin/Bass's 1967 special Mad Monster Party? (The ? is part of the title...) I don't recall anyone at the show being able to tell who we were supposed to be- not that that is surprising. I only actually saw MMP? for the first time about a year ago. Everyone LOVED our outfits though. Leave it to us to wear something from a kid's Halloween special from the 60's to the blood-and-guts show.

The actual Francesca and Monster's Mate Animagic puppets
Fenny of course was TOTALLY into it.
Really, really into it.
I got my Francesca dress from Pin-Up Girl and my wig from Fifi Mahony's.
These guys were GREAT!!! Frigging HUGE and scary!
They were total sweethearts when I asked for a picture. It's not everyday I feel teeny-tiny.
Jason is Keith. Leatherface is Lance.
This is the reference I sent Fifi's for my wig.
Speaking of kid stuff- and now I'm not judging as much as I'm making an observation of the weekend- I must say: I saw A LOT of small, crying children at this show. Now I'm not a parent (nor do I have any plans to be one anytime soon) but speaking as a former child, I can completely understand where these kids are coming from with bawling their eyes out. Now I'm all for kids having some amount of fear for things in their lives. It sparks the imagination and may feed creative endeavors down the road. Myself, for example: I used to be TERRIFIED of skeletons. To the point that I could not watch any Indiana Jones movies or the second half of Goonies. Nor could I ride Pirates of the Caribbean without hiding my eyes until I heard singing. I was also afraid of Judge Doom from Roger Rabbit, The Greedy from Raggedy Ann and Andy and mere commercials from Nightmare on Elm Street would give me nightmares for weeks. I left the theater during The Burbs. Shoot, I even covered my eyes during the Aliens riff at the end of Spaceballs. I didn't really get a grip on my fears until junior high, when I started learning about serial killers and REAL monsters in the world. And now? I'm writing my eventual magnum opus comic about demons, murderers and vampires and watch true crime shows on the daily. My own wedding was covered in skeletons. I love me some monsters, and the movies I just mentioned are some of my all-time favorites now. All the stuff I was afraid of though, was under controlled circumstances. Movies can be watched beforehand so warnings are issued to cover your eyes. Ultimately, they can be turned off. Bringing your kid to a horror convention, you can't control that environment. You don't know what's around every corner, you don't know what's going to be on display. People jump out. People wear costumes- some amazingly terrifying and gory and relish in being in character. And it's really pretty selfish to think that everyone else at the show who is there to celebrate movies that are rated PG-13, R and worse- should have to take into account the fact that you brought an emotionally unprepared 7 year old girl in a princess Elsa costume. Get a sitter, it's cheaper than therapy in the long run.

Ok, maybe I did start judging a bit there. 9_9;

So tired on Sunday. -___-;
Overall, MM was a very profitable show- I would def like to do it again, schedule permitting. There was a great party atmosphere, especially on Saturday as the vending room was winding down and most of the convention goers were obviously visiting the bar and starting to ramp up their room parties. How funny just a few weeks ago we were being shushed at our table at Baltimore Comic Con when at MM *we* were the quiet, reserved ones(!!!). And Monsterpalooza out in California is def going to happen, which i am super super excited about. ::starts saving money::

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Aftermath: Baltimore Comic Con 2014

Yay! Another Baltimore Comic Con (9/5-7) for the books!! This year marked my *8th* year vending at conventions! This was also the first year Baltimore Comic Con opened up it's doors on Friday- which omg made setting up the table and getting myself prepared for the show SO MUCH EASIER. This year I was set up in Artist Alley with my BFF Little Asian Sweatshop- we each had one full table and our widest selection of products yet.

Me and Fenny as the Cobra typing pool
Weee! Here's a quick little video of my table!

Every other year with it being a two-day show it's an absolute mess trying to get up to the show with all of my merch, half dressed in costume, all before 10am when the doors open and gads of people start filing through because it's also the BIGGEST day of the show. It was a welcome addition to have the extra day to take my time setting up and even bring my con outfit and makeup to the show separately so I wouldn't get all sweaty and bust a seam setting up. It's actually become my new thing that I do on setup days and at shows that require crazy prep the morning of. I'm really surprised I haven't started doing it sooner.

Tactical error in parking on Friday- 3 trips to the car in 100+ heat.
BUT SO MANY CALORIES BURNED.
This year's Baltimore Comic Con continues to become more and more of a successful endeavor for me every year, with this being my most prosperous yet. I think the combination of having done it so many years in a row, along with it being my hometown show- so many of my friends from various stages of my life come out to see me and say hello and support me with purchases and kind words. It is so appreciated. There are no fans like Baltimore fans- once you've earned their favor they will continue to support you every year you make yourself available to them.

Retro COBRA office ladies!
Saturday was our big day where we finally got to wear our retro Cobra typing pool costumes and they were very well received.We've even inspired a few friends to join in, so hopefully in the future we'll see more snarky (or should I say SNAKEY?) office ladies.

Harvey Awards mixer? Or Cobra recruitment meet-and-greet?
Saturday night my husband Phil and I attended the Harvey Awards dinner- he and his team at Kodansha Comics (where I also work my day job as a manga letterer) were nominated for Best American Edition of Foreign Material for the Attack on Titan manga. Everyone else at Kodansha had already been down in Baltimore for Otakon one month previous, so Phil attended on the team's behalf. The dinner and awards ceremony were great fun, my only gripe was that after a full day of working the show in an uncomfortable outfit- I may have gotten a bit snippy with people (mostly my ever loving and patient husband). Plus actual industry parties with big wigs and editors and old comics guard tend to make me nervous. This is why I don't typically do afterparties. I'm much more comfortable socializing in a 'work' setting like my table.

Phil and I at the Harvey Awards dinner
**And excitement! They won! Yay!!**

Yay!
 Sunday was another crazy day- maybe even crazier than Saturday. So many friends and fans came by to say hello. Baltimore truly is one of my favorite shows of the year. I also have to say a special shout to the Friends of Humanity from the 90's X-Men cartoon cosplayers. I literally laughed so hard I cried when I saw them. And they were IN CHARACTER!!! Shouting 'NO MORE MUTANTS!' in that ridiculous redneck accent from the show. If only they had a Graydon Creed with them in a red suit. It was SO GREAT. You guys have NO IDEA how much my husband and I quote from the X-Men cartoon.

IMHO, best cosplay all weekend. I cried laughing.
 And now for an amusing story:
Sunday was a cluster of seeing SO MANY FRIENDS that at one point I think we had about 10+ people from various stations of our lives hanging out around our table. It was exciting to see so many people and when Fenny especially sees someone she loves she explodes with unbridled squealy happiness. There was no doubt for that :45-hour that our table was the place to be. It was such a rag-tag gaggle of cosplayers, pinup girls, tattoo artists and punk rockers hanging out with us and having such a good time enjoying each other's company that we actually had to be SHUSHED by an AA neighbor 5 tables down. Which he did so indignantly we initially thought he was joking. No one could be THAT lame, right? But really- dude is 5 tables down from us on the same side. Clearly we're all having a good time. It's a comic show, not a wake. Instead of coming around front and politely asking Fenny or I like people if we can turn down our volume, he goes around behind 5 other AA tables, pops his head out from behind my vertical banner and hisses at us all to 'stop screaming because he keeps thinking someone is hurt!' Because he thinks he'll have to run over here and give us all mouth-to-mouth? I honestly don't know. Fenny and I initially thought he was kidding, he was being so melodramatic about it. My friend badass tattoo artist Hunter Spanks was like 'Holy shit that dude was SO SERIOUS- and I thought tattoo shows had DRAMA! This is GREAT!' Once our pals started to dissipate and Fenny and I were left alone to our tables I kept noticing every time the dude passed our table he would give us a massive stink eye. To which I, in my DILIGAF best- smile and wave back to him with a 'yeah- stop screaming we're so loud, wokka wokka!' Because if he's going to act like a joke then I'm going to treat him like a joke. Fenny couldn't have been happier- she LIVES for people having a problem with her. She loves it almost as much as praise. And if he actually had the balls to say anything to us afterwards (which he didn't) there were SO MANY WAYS we could have played it. There was the standard 'Really? We thought you were joking!' route- where dude has to admit he is a lamoid who can't handle anyone else having fun. Especially since his table? From the looks of it- NOT so much the place to be. (I think someone might have been jealousssss...) There was also my topical favorite- which was 'Excuse me but are you trying to SILENCE MY FEMALE VOICE?' Because yeah, hot button issue of sexism in comics and at conventions. Ready the pitchforks.

Overall, it reminded me way too much of this episode of
Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

Either way, that dude was lame and we are awesome.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Art of Paigey! On the Stagey!

OMGGGG you guys!! I'm getting a burlesque tribute show!!!


Thanks to Kita St. Cyr, my artwork will be coming to LIFE on the stage of the Gemini and Scorpio loft in Brooklyn next month!! I am SO excited!! She's been talking about doing this for YEARS (ever since we both worked at the tshirt company after I first moved to NYC) and then blew up my phone last month with a string of texts telling me she had a venue, a date and a string of amazing performers all set to bring my drawings to life. To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement. Phil was all "This might be too much stimulation for even YOUR ego..." Haha, which is true- it's hard not to get at least a little bit of a swollen head with all these talented and beautiful women all wanting to dress up as my artistic creations and interpretations. Other than the performers list and what piece they plan to an act inspired by, I am just as much of a spectator as anyone else. (Also in case there was any confusion- NO I AM NOT DANCING. Trust me- you do not want to see that.) There will be a raffle with a prize bag of Paigey stuff to the winner as well as a small selection of my merch for sale at the show.



Omg lookit the ARMY OF HOTTIES that have amassed in my honor! 
 Kita is the Nick Fury of Burlesque for creating this line-up of all-stars!


Me and Kita!
I seriously can't wait to see this show happen!! And already in the midst of so much else going on with both Monster Mania and NYCC happening before and after!! What a week this will be! ::collapses::

Monday, September 1, 2014

Baltimore Comic Con 2014 prep!

Baltimore Comic Con 2014 is steadily approaching!! September 5th-7th at the Baltimore Convention Center! This is the first year it's a 3 day convention! How exciting! This marks my *8th* year attending conventions on a professional level!! Me and my BFF Fenny of Little Asian Sweatshop will be at Artist Alley tables 205-206! I hope to see you there! ^_^


Here's a preview of some of the *NEW STUFF* I'll have available!!

Wondy & Supey-G magnet sets! $10 for the pair!

Wondy & Supey-G mini print sets! $5!

NEW STICKERS! $5 each or 2 for $8!

Sailor Moon cameo bracelets! $15!

UTZ hearts BOH prints! $5!
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