Dearest friends and fans: as you may be aware, I don’t go to many conventions. I was scheduled to go to BangPop this weekend (in Bangor, ME) but due to communication confusions I never received the usual “welcome to [CONVENTION]! Here is where you are staying, here is when and where you load in, here are the hours, here is your panel schedule” email. So it completely slipped off my schedule and I wasn’t made aware of the convention again until a friend associated with it mentioned it on Wednesday (eg two days before the con).
Should I have kept better track of my dates, perhaps investing in a calendar? Well, yes. Why don’t I drop everything and go anyway? I mean, creators go from convention to convention like so many scruffy, Green Lantern-T-shirt wearing nomads, yes? [MALE CREATOR] and [OTHER MALE CREATOR] do! Er… no. My situation is a little different. I’m a single mom of a young child, with a part-time job that I have to be at every Saturday (or let them know weeks in advance I can’t be there). The part time job keeps me and my daughter in food and rent when that tall comic dollar doesn’t (which is most of the time).
For me, going to a convention requires much the same level of organization that I should imagine it took to mount a crusade. Board the pets (at $100/day). Convince family to look after my young daughter (I pay in guilt, and usually a phone call mid-convention telling me what havoc she has wrought). Negotiate time off from my part-time job. So sadly, unlike those who have made more conventional life choices and/or are childless and a bit more middle class, it’s really not a possibility for me to up sticks and go at the last minute. This is the same reason I wasn’t at Granite State Comicon (my local con) — when it rolled around and they asked me to come last-minute, I couldn’t just jump over and go in a day’s notice. Also, this month is an absolute killer for deadlines, which doesn’t help.
In fact, it’s usually not a possibility for me to go to cons at all, except NYCC, where I make a special effort every year, and rare situations like Phoenix Comicon (bless them!) who bring me out as a special guest. This is also probably one of the reasons I don’t do DC/Marvel work, because frankly I’m not there doing the bro thing at conventions. You make your choices and you live with them.
I do love going to conventions and meeting fans, and I hope to make up for my rather monastic existence by meeting a whole bunch of you at NYCC (table Y-3, Artists Alley!). I’d love to do the circuit someday — I’ve heard such good things about HeroesCon, Baltimore, RCCC, Emerald City… and I haven’t been to SDCC in almost a decade. But it’s just not financially possible at the moment.
(For those who ask, “but why don’t you just bring your kid to the convention, Alex? Lots of cons are kid-friendly”, just… no. A 3 1/2 year old behind a convention table? Waiting patiently and silently while I participate in panels? Not getting tired and screamy and ratty at all? Nope.)
Anyway, thank you in advance for your patience and your forgiveness and I hope to see you in New York. A reminder that I’m always happy to mail you signed books (please note any special dedications you want); you can order them via my bigcartel store or just by emailing me. So if I can’t come to a town near you, at least my books can.