Monday, April 03, 2006

YMCA Con Report!

So this year I arrived early to the YMCA Convention. It was about 10am and I was expecting the usual cluster of folks. What met me when I pulled into the parking shocked me. It was packed! I could not find a decent parking I actually had to park on the street outside the YMCA.

If you have never been to the local YMCA convention, its basically a glorified flea market. Sellers, which vary from local retailers to underground bootleg stores, gather twice a year to sell us things that would make us the envy of all our geek friends. Its all here, local comics, anime bootlegs, old cartoon series burned on DVD, modified video games, replica swords, local comic retailers trying to unload merchandise at rock bottom prices, I could go on and on!

This year I went with a goal to buy old statues that I could sell on Ebay for a profit. Sadly this year the statues were lacking. There where a few people selling some mini busts, I picked up an Iron Hide mini bust for $40 bucks. And at one table a former Voodoo Ink artist was selling his artwork for $75 a page and some old action figures and statues that had obviously been in his closet for years.

How the mighty have fallen! Voodoo Ink was the Heavy Metal of Puerto Rico, it was an anthology book containing many small little stories ranging from sci-fi to Supehero and even including some horror stories. It lasted about 6 or 7 issues and started the career of some young artists . Now all that was left of the Voodoo Ink team was one guy who never really went anywhere and was forced to sell his artwork at inflated prices. I offered to buy the Batgirl statue he had but he wanted $150 for it, no way!(turns out the statue is worth 80 bucks on Ebay tops!) I later heard Efrain went to his table and offered to buy an old Voodoo Ink comic that had the price of $1.95 on it and the guy wanted to charge 3 bucks for it! Dude it’s a self published comic! You are not Dave Sim! Get over yourself.

There were allot of folks dressed up at the convention some where bad and others were pretty good. Of course lately I start to wonder if this is legal. Seriously that girl was making every guy at the con drool. I felt I would go to hell If these kinds of things continued.

I mostly stayed the Dreamgrafixs table, I think I really helped boost sales for these guys. Flaming Comics was there (you know their name is ironic now since they got kicked out of the forum for flaming!) But I really didn’t have a chance to approach them, they didn’t have any new books and I was getting dragged back to the table to make more sales. Ink Stain studios the only company producing local manga, gave me a copy of their new book. Holy Mother of God! It literally looks like a Tokyo Pop book! The art is gorgeous!

We had a blast at the Dreamgrafixs table, selling books and greeting guests and celebrities. At one point I went and picked up an old Cobra Commander doll, we spent the entire con yelling cobra and making jokes. At the next con we might rent a Commander costume and sell books as Cobra Commander.

I managed to pick up some goodies. I picked up some Ultimate Spider-Man issues to complete my collection for the ebay auction. This one guy sold me Uncanny X-Men #134-137 the death of the Phoenix for $60 bucks! I picked up some old VHS tapes, one was an old episode of MASK! The other was one I picked up for L.T of the I read comics podcast which was the Spider-Man 1970 TV movie! Boy was that thing corny. Oh and last but not least I got a Don Ramon T-Shirt which looks very cool! Special thanks to Juan because if he hadn’t dragged me away I would have spent my last 20 bucks on and old Castle Greyskull...yep, good old Juan...fuck you Juan!

Charlie’s comic sold out and not because of Angels salesmanship but because the book was that good, that people demanded it! Angel was a sale machine, at one point some folks were getting angry at him for literally stealing customers away from other tables. You got to admire the man, he’s a ruthless business man.

The girls at the table really chipped in as well. Chiz’s girlfriend Jovana really was aggressive in her sales and Juan’s...Karla was giving us motivational speeches keeping us focused on our sales goal. And at this convention you really have to be aggressive in order to make a sale.

Unlike say the SPX where people go just to look at books, here people come for the goth merchandise or anime and local comics is a bonus. The trick is getting them before they hit the $80 dollar Mazinger action figures.

And speaking of action figures this entire con was full of action figures, it seemed to be the theme. Thank God the Star Wars craze is dying down! I only wish Star Trek would rise again, I tried to find Jungle Kitty something but all they had of Star Trek was Voyager or Enterprise both shows that share J.K’s wrath.

Funny moments that occurred at this con where...

1) Juan touching a De Lorean Back to the Future model and watching the owner almost have a coronary.

2) Telling the obnoxious Super Freak Fan (he’s a guy who wears the same shirt and makes bizarre statements and creeps everyone out) that they are making a Gargoyle comic book based on the TV show the moron is obsessed with (he carries around a portfolio with a comic he penciled years ago that bridges the gap between season 2 and 3) and watching him twitch and silently freak out.

3)Having Juan give his presentation to a group of people about Cobra Commanders real face.

4)Torturing Juan by telling him his X was wandering the convention floor.

Sure there were some negative aspects...

1) Having a guy who basically said that all art comes from Rob Liefield (maybe I should have shot him to save the world from stupidity?)

2) And of course having to see Rigo have a complete breakdown.

But honestly in the end I think we all had fun. And I really missed doing this, which is kind of bitter sweet since the convention scene that I am leaving to is completely different from here. Out there it maybe a business, but down here its just a bunch of geeks just having fun...


At 11:31 PM, Blogger Bohemia6 said...

I was going to write something but you wrapped it up very well. I had an awesome time! Btw my grandma´s fine

At 6:46 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

You should still write something, i would really like to hear your perspective on things...

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Carlos Torres said...

It should be noted that Paquinero was wearing his Heroes Rebored t-shirt at the con.

Lots of cosplayers pic at the board.


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