By Jeremy Kahn
NY Comic Con, one of the biggest conventions, other than its San Diego counterpart. Dozens of publishers from the comic realm come to entertain the masses and show off their wares.
Also, companies from the world of video-games, TV and other entertainment make appearances. And let’s not forget the multitude of people in costumes.
To be fair, some of them make it hard to forget them.
With so much to see, do and buy, where should your priorities lie?
As a SCAD student, conventions are a great place to make contacts. Before heading out make a list of possible companies to visit during the convention (this will save time later on). Be sure to make a good amount of handouts and business cards with your contact info. Don’t dress too fancy or too sloppy. It’s Comic Con, even the editors and artists you’ll meet are there to have fun. Finally, get your pass and head to the showroom floor.
During the convention I visited a number of publishers, both large and small. I would first ask if they were giving portfolio reviews during the convention. Remember, while not advertised, some publishers will gladly review your work if asked and if they have time.
I managed to get lucky and land an review with Archie Comics. After showing them my work they asked for me to email them later on with a PDF file with higher resolution images of my work. While not guaranteeing a job, they said they’d keep me in mind. Sometimes in this line of work, that’s the first step to a future career.
One thing that helped me get good feedback was my portfolio contained work that has a similar style to the pieces their company puts out. Tailoring your portfolio to who you’re showing it to is very important. I actually ran into a problem when I asked another company for feedback, but since my work was styled differently than what they put out they didn’t know quite what to say. It wasn’t a total loss, but it’s a good example of the kinds of problems that can happen if you’re not careful.
Networking with other artists is also a good thing. At such a large gathering place, it’s inevitable that other like-minded artists will gather. During the convention a collaboration event was held, Creator Connection.
The event was kind of like speed-dating. We’d get a chance to talk to an artist, writer, or other (colorist, letter, editor, etc…) for a certain amount of time. Once the time limit ran up we’d switch partners and talk with someone new. While talking, we’d introduce ourselves and exchange contact info. Overall, this was a great way to meet new people and possible collaborators for future projects.
My experience highlighted the importance of taking part in the convention circuit. While some of you may not be able to go to this particular convention, there’s bound to be a convention held somewhere within driving distance that you could attend.
Just be sure to do your homework and research which companies are going to be in attendance and which ones you want to meet with. With so many opportunities to make contacts available during the conventions, why not make time to go to one or two.