Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Comic Con Austin is coming this weekend

For many of you, this means very little. You probably never read comics or, like me, you gave them up (OK, most of them) somewhere in your teens. Well I’m going this weekend, as should you, and we don’t have to crack open a single comic book while we’re there. True, I’ll be selling stuff there and you probably didn’t pay for a booth, but that isn’t the point. The All Things Writing crew and I will be selling top hats, Steampunk goggles, The Zombie Monologues, All Things Dark and Dastardly, a Steampunk role-playing-game, zombie T-shirts, vampire hunter kits, Victorian coins, Alice in Wonderland “Drink Me” bottles, and the list goes on.

Let us assume that you did not spend the last few months crafting a room full of wacky merchandice to sell like I did. Probably a safe bet. I mentioned that stuff to give you an idea of what I think will sell there. Now picture the audience that would be interested in that spectrum of items, and the odds are good that some of them are the same types of folks who would be interested in something you’d write some day, or have already written. Still, why does this mean you should go to Comic Con Austin?

1) Your audience might be there – A chance to see what your readers might be interested in. All the agents say you shouldn’t write to trends because the trends are bound to have passed before you get your book published. Still, it never hurts to know what they are and try to guess where they are going.

2) It is rife with “characters” – Many people will be in costumes, and they may or may not be acting out there outward persona. Regardless, this is a perfect chance to do some people-watching in a realm you probably don’t know all that well, and take some notes. When you see someone with the absolutely wrong body type for the superhero they are impersonating, but they don’t seem to care at all about your opinion on how they look in spandex, there’s a story in there somewhere. And the two kids wearing the dark evil “goth” versions of Dr. Seuss characters? Something is going on there too. I won’t even bring up the woman in the blue full body paint under the ancient Spartan armor or the guy who has knitted a suit out of the Magic collectable card game cards.

3) I promise you will see at least one thing there you weren’t expecting – And isn’t that just the sort of little detail that makes books interesting? You might find that one concept you can write down and keep for later. At Comicpalooza some guy brought in a life-sized Dalek robot from the Dr. Who series that actually drove around by remote control. I saw a little kid really think he got to meet superman next to a booth filled with hundreds of cooing tribbles. I saw a whole stand dedicated to “what if superheroes turned into zombies” art. I saw a comic book cover with an Über sexualized Steampunk Sarah Palin on it. I took a picture, but honestly I was afraid to peek inside.

You thought I was kidding, didn't you?

Let’s face it, no matter what genre you write, the sheer energy and creativity of the place is bound to inspire you in SOME way. If you've never been before, or even if you have, come check out the Wizard's World Austin Comic Con this Friday-Sunday, November 11-13. Be sure to drop by the our booth (#428) and say hi to the All Things Writing crew, as well as pick up your copy of All Things Dark and Dastardly… or The Zombie Monologues, or a Steampunk role-playing-game, or some goggles or…


  1. I can't wait! I'm working on my steampunk costume. Bustles are hard to make!

  2. I have a costume! Except I lost my mustache. I'll get a new one.