By Carlos Serrano
Word of advice: If you’re going to use a convention as a practice run for your startup business, don’t make it Comic Con. It’s large, busy, and so full of big name companies that it might be hard to get your message out.
Better word of advice: Ignore what you just read and just go for it. It might just be the best time ever.
Some background information – a few months ago I was contracted by a friend of mine to write a 20-page comic book script. This would be the first issue of a series that would go up on my friends new startup, On Target Network. My friend, knowing the best way way to a freelancers heart, offered to pay me for my services. The rest, as they say, is history. My comic, about a Mexican luchador that battles supernatural foes, was eventually done and posted on the site.
An enterprising young man, my friend would later come up to with a proposal. He wanted more exposure and connections with artists and writers in order to get more comics on his website/company. He figured the best way to do that would be to go to a convention where there would be a ton of potential creative folks. New York City Comic Con ended up being the most likely candidate. He ended up inviting me and the three other writers/artists he had already contracted both to help him at his booth and just as a form of thanks. It was a nice gesture, one that was very much appreciated, but the trip still had a few road blocks that serve to illustrate the kinds of things one should keep in mind as a small student-run startup.
First, you’ll be doing quite a bit of penny pinching. Passes for conventions can get pretty pricey nowadays, not to mention the costs of getting a booth and other miscellaneous expenses. This means you’ll have to find ways to cut back on other expenses. For us, that meant driving instead of flying and staying at a hotel with, well, not exactly the prettiest view.