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Comic Cons: Coast to Coast Pt. 1

Posted On Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Writer.  Artist.  Publisher.  Iron man…??

That may be what I put on my resume after completing a GRUELING 17 weeks straight of comic book shows and events.

That's right.  You read correctly.  Seventeen weeks.  In a row.

I know, I know -- why in the world would someone do that?!  It's the same question pantomimed (if not outright blurted) by EVERY fan, friend, family member, and peer I mentioned it to during this marathon of comic book geekery!  And now, with the haze of what I've done finally lifting -- without hesitation or sense of doubt, I can tell you all I did it because of one thing: Dirk ********** Manning!

That's my VICTORY face!
It all started on an assuming Saturday…
Dirk and I were neighbors (well acquainted already, with a robot-dance-like handshake ritual) at the first Appleseed Comic Con (formerly Summit City).  Dirk leans into me, with a hint of exhaustion, revealing that this was his fifth show in as many weeks and its starting to catch up.  And believe me -- 5 shows in 5 weeks is exhausting.  VERY EXHAUSTING.  And I would know -- because that same show, unbeknownst to Dirk at the time, was my 8th show in 8 weeks.

Now, let me preface that making comics is my full-time job -- I've been determined/lucky/blessed enough to make my lifelong dream of being a professional creator a very real thing and it affords me a whole host of opportunities that others couldn't fathom.  But, in that same breath, I have to admit that I'm a family man with four kids, so even though this is my job, I've got a hefty share of responsibilities which means that every decision for being on the road has a significant consideration and cost -- so NO dismissive caveats!

So I told him, "This is week 8 for me…"  And when I did, the look of shock he carried, last all of ONE SECOND before he made a solemn vow to blow that out of the water in the fall.

AND CRUSH IT HE DID!

He planned on a 13 in 13 (he's a magnificent horror writer and the appeal of such a spooky number was too good to miss) -- but the ACTUAL appeal of Dirk pulled him two more events and consequent two more weeks to a MASSIVE 15 shows in 15 weeks.

Now, I'm not exactly competitive…despite being an outspoken Aries, first-born son…okay, maybe a little ;)…but could I really top what DM had pulled off?  How would I do it?  What would it mean?  There was only one way to find out.

I made a list.  I made some calls; sent some emails.  And THIS was the schedule that was born from it.

Week 1: Main St. Comics and Games Anniversary/ Indies Comic Fair  - March 8th
Springfield, OH/ Columbus, OH

Week 2: Lexington Comic Con - March 14-16
Lexington, KY

Week 3: Dan Con - March 23
Oakland Park, IL

Week 4: Emerald City Comic Con - March 28-30
Seattle, WA

Week 5: Gem City Comic Con - April 5-6
Dayton, OH

Week 6: SPACE - April 12-13
Columbus, OH

Week 7: Awesome Con - April 18-20
Washington D.C.

Week 8: C2E2 - April 25-27
Chicago, IL

Week 9: Free Comic Book Day (FCBD)/ Amazing Spider-man 2 - May 3-4
Columbus, OH

Week 10: River City Comic Expo (RCCE) May 10
Louisville, KY

Week 11: Appleseed Comic Con - May 17-18
Fort Wayne, IN

Week 12: Oakland Park Elem @ Laughing Ogre/ X-Men: DoFP - May 24-25
Columbus, OH

Week 13: Tri-Con - May 31-June 1
Huntington, WV

Week 14: Phoenix Comic Con - June 5-8
Phoenix, AZ

Week 15: ToonSeum Art-Bit Exhibit/ Sp. Edition NYC/ Coz-Art Gallery - June 12-15
Pittsburgh, PA/ New York City, NY/ Brooklyn, NY

Week 16: Wizard World Philadelphia - June 19-22
Philadelphia, PA

Week 17: Derby City Comic Con - June 28-29
Louisville, KY

Now, I'm by no means RICH!  But I had the clear understanding that in order to do something kinda amazing, I'd have to spend a bit of money and I couldn't just rely on the shows I'd been to before.  Also, recognizing that Dirk keeps things to a general region, I wanted to test myself by reaching beyond my usual scope of Midwest/East Coast shows and make this excursion as much about building my name professionally as it was any personal conquest.

So now you know the scope and scale of what I've done -- tune in soon for the follow up piece where I tell you about the nuts and bolts of doing such a feat and how I feel now that its done!

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