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Phoenix Fan Fusion Year 3

Updated: 3 days ago

Another Phoenix Fan Fusion is in the books. It's a little different every year. This one seemed a little topsy-turvy in terms of the typical sales experience. For a lot of vendors, the higher volume of people on Saturday leads to more people stopping to buy their goods, while the decreased volume on Sunday is a bit anticlimactic. For me, the opposite was true. On Saturday, the density of people was there, but it was mostly floods a people in a hurry to get somewhere else. I had a few stop and say, "I'm interested, I'll check back later." It's okay that they didn't for the most part. When people go to events like this, they tend to budget for things they're already looking for. I, for example, have a tradition of going home with 3-5 LEGO MiniFigs. (See Below)

PFF 2024 Day 3
PFF 2024 Day 3

Wolverine, Iron Man, Yoda, R2-D2, C-3PO
MiniFigs from PFF 2024

Sunday was a different story. While there was a lower volume of walk-by traffic, it turned out to be my best sales day.

But this isn't just about selling the books (I always want to sell more). This is about my experience as an artist and finding my way in this particular space.

To date, Ben Worrell and Fabio Bandres have been providing all of my illustration and color. These are valuable contribution in a medium that tends to be 55% visual. I've hired them for these books because there was a certain look I wanted to achieve, but I had not developed the skill to do it on my own. And since I believe in paying artists for their work, this avenue tends to be a bit expensive. They're worth every dollar (American and Brazilian), but there's a reason we're just now getting to Issue 6 and not 10, or 12, or 30.

I'll be doing a bit of a pivot this year. While I fully intend to reach out to Ben and Fabio to finish the AU series through Issue 9 (as well as future titles in the universe like Saturn: Master of Time and Space, The Wicked and the Worthy, and Goddess of Destruction), my next title will follow a different path. I am currently developing a title called Side Hustle. It will be a Super-Hero parody set in a funny animal universe (think Carl Barks era Uncle $crooge), with the story told from the point of view of rebellious side-kicks. Here's the big twist: I intend to do the art myself. I wanted to do this kind of art since I was a child. Unfortunately, I faced some discouragement from competitive peers, so I eventually abandoned it. But in recent months, I have taken up the pencil again and I have enjoyed what I've done so far. I still need to exercise patients and go light with the pencilling, but I think I can get there.

This is how it impacted my Fan Fusion weekend. In year two, I added a prize wheel to my con tables. The prizes in the past have been discounts, buttons, and even some of the comics (about $100 worth were given away a year ago. Not financially wise). The first couple of days this year, I added a "Bad Drawing" challenge. If someone landed on that pie slice, I would explain I needed the practice, but I offered to draw a quick picture of whatever character they desired. A lot of the younger kids wanted Poke-mon and Japanese Anime characters that I was not familiar with (thank you Google and overpriced WiFi). But the middle of Day 2, I noticed that some of my characters were coming out okay (my heart melted when a little girl told me my rendition of Chip from Beauty and the Beast was really good) . My confidence was building, so I decided to take a little more control of what was becoming the better part of the experience.

For the end of Day 2 and all of Day 3, I changed the whole wheel. There was still a couple sliced where someone could win a button or a sticker, but most of them were drawing challenges for me. The pie slices had categories like "Disney/Marvel," "DC/WB," and "Muppet/STAR TREK." Patrons would get a few quick character mash-ups that I would think of based on what they landed on. Sometimes, I would have to think of one on the spot, sometimes I had one I was eager and just waiting to do.

I'm going to continue doing this at cons. I'm also going to work on the drawings in earnest this year so, with any luck, Side Hustle will be ready to launch at PFF 2025.

If I put it on the internet, I have to follow through, right?

PFF 2024 Day 2

PFF 2024 Day 1

Sylvester as The Joker

Kermit as Captain Picard

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