Savage Enterprises Publishing
Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

Convention Venture

Expo Zine 2009 - Location: is Eglise Saint-Enfant Jesus (Montreal) - Dates: Nov 29-30, 2009 — I finally make it to the show!

After 3 years of trying, Comicopia and Savage Enterprises Publishing *finally* got a table and attended ExpoZine! However, since I didn't want to impact the time with my family, I decided that we would only pay for a table on the Saturday. However, after our experience, Dan and I both agreed that next year we'll go for both days! I heard from other vendors that apparently it was on the Sunday that most folks decided to actually purchase things :)

I had been warned that the crowds at ExpoZine are really overwhelming so I tried to brace myself. Still didn't work. The sheer number of people was insane! And the location – although quite large – was definitely not enough! With ExpoZine growing every year, the time will soon come that they will have to address the issue of crowds.

One of the most important things, however, was truly accomplished. We had fun. There was a constant stream of activity, we were in a very good location, and we had plenty to chat about! I think the most amazing thing that struck both of us was how out of the thousands of folks who walked by and the hundreds of folks who stopped by and the dozens of folks who actually talked to us… only ONE person knew what an Apa was!! Seriously! You would think that at a ZINE fair, more people would understand the concept behind a group of zinesters getting together to compile their zines into one book!!

At any rate, there were a small number of folks who seemed genuinely interested in what we're doing here and hopefully something will come of it. We gave away about 12 issues if not a lot more (some folks we gave 2 copies to). It was fun actually rummaging through various issues to get specific types of issues (I'd like one with a lot of art… I want one with a lot of writing…) We gave away a lot of books and a lot of flyers. Will this spark an interest? We'll see. I had initially taken down the number of hits our site had received prior to the event and wanted to compare it to now… but I lost the paper where I wrote it down on! At any rate, as of this writing, we have 13,535 hits on Comicopia – the recent majority, strangely enough, coming from the U.S. (I had actually put a flag counter on the site a few months ago.

Anyhow, back to the event! Some of the highlights for me were: watching Dan do his "thang"! As he mentioned, he could never be in sales because he truly has to believe in a product in order to sell it or talk about it. With Comicopia, he had absolutely no problem with either of those topics (selling or talking). He gave great Speech :)

The best part of the event had to have been when Gaby showed up at around 2:30pm. Dan and I immediately got him signing – Dan for The Mysterious Minute-Men Omnibus, me for Egide African Power :)

Afterwards, we spent a good 45 minutes shooting the breeze and flipping through all the various back issues of Comicopia, laughing at those good moments, good memories, and so many submissions!

All in all, it was time well spent. No, we didn't recoup the costs of the table. No, SEP did not sell any books although there were as many folks browsing through those books as there were talking about Comicopia. Basically, based on the amount of fun we had, it's a given that we'll be back! :) And next year, I'll make sure to bring a better camera!! :)

For those of you inclined, you can also see the Montage of Photos of the Expo Zine 2008 event

(Convention Venture (c) Mike Aragona. All rights reserved. No reproduction or retransmission of this article is granted without written permission of Mike Aragona)

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