May 27-29, 2022 marked our first major convention with Phoenix Fan Fusion. This was the first Fan Fusion since 2019 due to COVID cancellations, and my first public event of this size since then for the same reasons.
It was exhausting, to say the least. Sales definitely could have been better. I hear that was true across the con. Also, this being my first time on the big floor, the low return is to be expected. The folks who did stop at my table were kind and receptive, and I did move a few books. I also let go of some tote bags (canvas bag with a zipper for $5 is a good deal), and I finally gave away all of my remaining t-shirts from our 2020 IndiGogo campaign.
I've been enjoying this particular con in one form or another since 2008. Back then, it was still called Phoenix Comicon (changed for legal reasons), and it was at the smaller Mesa Convention Center. I've participated in their film festival, sat on a few panels, and performed in the adult puppet slam. I would say being a vendor trying the sell my own work was the most challenging of those experiences. There are long stretches of time when people walking by wouldn't look my way. I understand. AU is not an established product. Those who purchased were looking for indie comics. I just have to hope to catch the eye of more of those people in the future; not just at the convention, but here online as well... maybe more so. I know as a customer, I'm not easily drawn in by most vendors. Most of the time, I'm just focused on what I want... which, this year, was Lego mini figures.
This was definitely a learning experience for me. To be honest, I didn't entirely plan on doing the event until less than two weeks before. I had applied for a table as soon as they became available... or so I thought. Months went by. No response from the con. When I didn't hear back, I had assumed it had sold out and I was not invited in. As the event drew closer, I reached out to ask if I was on the waiting list for next year. That's when I learned they never received my application in the first place. The cookies on the website seem to indicate that I had filled out the application. Somewhere in the process, though, the application was lost. Could very easily have been my own nervous goof. (The one time I forgot to click "send" maybe) Whether it was on my end or their's, I'll never know. The one thing I know for sure is it didn't get to them. Lucky for me, though, they still had space available. I actually hesitated. With COVID still out there, and having avoided things like this for so long, I wasn't 100% sure I was ready to dive in. But, with my wife's support, I found the courage to walk into the fire.
I will most likely return with AU next year. I may even work in a panel or two. I'm also thinking of returning to the smaller but still lovable Tempe Fan Con at the Tempe Library in January.
For now, just those two.
And if you missed AU at Phoenix Fan Fusion, we still have everything available here in the Book Store. Even the $5 tote bags (+$5 for shipping).
Thank you for stopping by.- Mack Duncan