“Ten years come and gone so fast
I may as well be dreaming”
And now, finally, the last installment of ol’ Bob’s rambling trip down memory lane.
This weekend was SpringCon, Minnesota’s largest comic book convention. I’ve been going to conventions as long as I’ve been doing comics. I really like going to conventions, although they used to be very stressful. In the early days, I tried hard to attract customers. I wanted people to buy and read my comic. I think most cartoonists at conventions want the same thing. I’d stand at my table and make eye contact with everyone and chat everyone up who walked by. I was not unlike a carnival barker. Well, I don’t think I was THAT bad….maybe I was more like those employees who stand in front of the mobile phone store at Maplewood Mall and get you to buy new cell phones. Making a sale was very important in the early days. In some ways, it meant validation. Yes, people liked what you were doing. A bad day at a convention would KILL your self esteem.
Over the years, readership of Uptown Girl grew to the point where things are now. Most people who buy Uptown Girl’s books have been reading her adventures for years. Unlike the early convention days, I seem to sell books to very few new readers. But that’s okay. Half the reason I go to conventions is to see old friends. Conventions became a lot more fun when I took the pressure of selling books off myself.
One memorable moment was FallCon of…oh, I think 2004 when the first, and probably the only Uptown Girl cosplayer came to the convention. Since then, Annie has become a good friend.
I did a lot of conventions around the country. Although lately I stick to the local conventions, I’ve had a lot of fun traveling. Here’s a picture of me setting up in Iowa, I think. Note: I am not fat in this picture, my shirt is draped in a funny way.
These days though, it’s all about catching up with friends. Fellow cartoonists, fans of Uptown Girl and many others. I am stunned at how many people are in my life because of comics. Ten years is a blink of an eye sometimes. But when I look at how much has changed in the last decade, it takes on a different perspective. Here’s a picture from this weekend, with the two biggest changes in my life the past ten years: my kids, Ryan and Sophie.