Savage Enterprises Publishing
Mike Aragona - Freelance Writer / Editor

The Last Word


Small Press Recollections — (October 2003) I just finished watching "Chasing Amy". I have to say it again, I love Kevin Smith's work. I find what he does fresh and funny and, in some strange way, "real". I always feel like he puts things in our faces not so much to get a rise out of us, but to make us think about various things. Maybe try to get a little realization out of who and what we are. ... Anyhow, he does that to me. He often asks the same kinds of questions I've asked about different situations. I guess I feel a kindred spirit in his work.

One thing this movie did for me tonight was bring back a lot of memories about comics conventions. It's strange. I've been to so many science fiction and media conventions that I'm quite comfortable with them. I've been there as a fan, a guest, a panelist, etc. I always enjoyed them, enjoyed talking with other fans and giving my opinions on other's works. I enjoyed holding panels and getting the audience involved in the subject. I loved making new connections and becoming friends with others in the fields; watching their progress from year to year, and exciting in their triumphs.

Yet, there is something about comic conventions, especially small-press, that is so different in a similar sense. The same kind of networking goes on, the same type of friendships are made, the same excitement is felt upon watching everyone else attempt to succeed. But things just seem a bit more personal in that world. Now, I can't really say how it is at the "big" conventions, but having been a player in the small press, I can speak about those. At the small press expos, it's like you know the stories of everyone you encounter, simply because you're living the same kind of life/ existence. You're trying to make the same kind of hopeful sales while staying true to your own belief/ character/ and marketing objectives. You want to sell your craft without selling out your soul.

I miss it.

I miss checking up on everyone else's progress two or three times a year. I miss joining in on their joys and sorrows as they attempt to bring a product (which is really a personal vision) to market while struggling financially with it. I miss sharing stories of juggling deadlines, family, day-jobs, and other commitments while attempting to reach an audience. I miss that camaraderie.

Mainly, I miss being knee-deep in the creation, distribution, and marketing of a product, and of myself. I miss the face-to-face discussions with fans who've put down cash to pick up a book I worked on. I miss telling people about "background" information on putting together a story. I miss sharing ideas with people.

I miss the excitement of setting up a booth on the first day of a convention and watching the doors open and people walk in, wondering what's going to happen and who you're going to meet. I miss the "not caring" about the slow days as it gave us all time to walk around and chat with other creators and find out what other conventions are upcoming or worth attending.

I know that it'll happen again some day. I know that I'll be forever grateful that it DID happen at all. I just find myself wondering how everyone else is doing, and what they've been up to lately...

It's just been too bloody long.


(The Last Word (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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