Saturday, November 18, 2017

KCCC 2017

Ben and Cristin make me one cheerful guy at these shows. I think we might all be House Slytherin...
KCCC, the show that came out of nowhere some years back to offer another comic show opportunity for Kansas City, and although it emerged once again this year, I wonder what it has in store for 2018.

If I'm sounding a bit reserved, or perhaps negative, bear with me, it's far more than just end of the year doldrums and after comic show blues. You can read more about past KCCC shows on my site, and over the course of the time the show has been put on, it felt like it had a powerhouse start, that has slid into a weird zone of existence in the comic show arena in this region.

First and foremost, there were more than a few booths that really made me wish that a jury process akin to what NakaKon or C2E2 utilize, was in place. It's not because I tend to want to have people give half a care about the items they create, or the branding they have, or the overall booth presentation, but it sure as hell would help.

The show presentation seemed off from a few standpoints to me this year. I can't put my finger on it, and I have some issues, that at first I had added to this update, but decided to go back and take out. Mainly because it doesn't do any good to focus on the negative, but also because no one wants to read me be judgemental or pissy about some show issues. :D
(Left) A few more upgrades to the booth are coming next year. (Right) Nicole as Wonder Woman.
Attendance seemed alright, considering there was another comic show going on in Witchita, Kansas at the same time, Air Capital Comicon. Nevermind, that the bigger show Planet is looming in less than a three month window, so that had to cast a shadow across the attendance.
(Left and Right) Thanks for liking my stuff enough to buy it guys! (Center) The tiniest most excitable Wonder Woman at the show. I had to take 5 photos of her, and this was the most clear one.
So some of you may be wondering how I came about to doing this show, since I had previously had it on my website schedule that I was not doing it.

I'm just as surprised as you all were. In a nutshell, it goes like this. From what I understood, KCCC had announced they were coming back for 2017 after the end of the show in 2016. So I had emailed them early in 2017 about whether or not local comic creators would have free tables given to them.

Months go by, income on my part isn't allowing me to invest in another show in 2017, even if it's local, so I had focused on getting ready to do next year. Then out of the blue, on the Monday prior to the show, I get an email with the floor plan, and my name on the artist list.

I'm notorious for planning my schedule, and wanting to know what I need for shows as far as stuff to sell, and what I need to create. I didn't want to pass up the show, because as you all can guess, I didn't pay anything for my table. But as I came to find out, many others DID.
A great Edwardian era looking cosplay, Rogue cosplay, the now owner of my last repro of Iron Patriot, and another great cosplay I did not know the character though.  Anyone know?
I think only three of my other co-creators knew that my booth had been free. I kept it on the downlow until I could figure out who/how/what/why I ended up with a table, when I hadn't remembered any money exchanging hands nor any other emails.
(Left) A Hermione cosplay with parents. (Right) Super kick ass Cyclops and Rogue cosplays.
I know that some management shakeups have happened with the show, and at one point, this show was initially focused on the comics and creators side. At least that is what I believe the genesis of the show idea was.

There were a fair few good creators, authors, and others that were plying truly original and handmade elements and items. But there were just as many that made me scratch my head.
Back towards the end of the show, the empty tables started coming to life with quick sketches from the surrounding artists contributing to an impromptu mural.
I won't go into some of the details, I may someday, but again, I will focus on one thing that helped make my weekend, I finally got to meet Kevin Smith briefly, and had a chance to thank him for being an inspiration on my early want to do any kind of film making.
My brother was cool enough to get us passes to the Kevin Smith podcast/panel. (Lower Right) His autograph on my show badge.
The podcast that he helmed was pretty funny, and the subjects ranged all over the place, even though I think the original idea was to talk about Batman.
Sunday was extremely slow. You can't tell from the look on my face, but there was live wrestling happening behind me at this point. In a ring. Like real wrestling. Not like two creators got into a wrestling fight over fan art issues.
Overall, KCCC was not remotely a success on my part, but again, I didn't pay for a table, so I was just out fuel and some incidental costs. 

I will say that my show was made by reconnecting with an old school friend, and seeing so many of my fellow co-creators and friends. In the end, it was very much all about that for me. 

Shortly after doing the show, I did start seeing news about Wizard World possibly not continuing with shows into 2019, along with some weird rumors about Planet possibly being shopped around/sold off. I think the latter falls into the rumor rather strongly as I can't see Chris Jackson selling it off.

One subject that once again reared it's head in a lot of conversations I had was the one of, have we just entered the oversaturation of shows point?

Over the course of this year, I've seen a growing proliferation of odd changes to the comic book show circuit to the point of not even being able to say that the word "comic" should even be part of the names.

I guess we'll all see how 2018 shapes up for attendees, show organizers, and the vendors/creators/art resellers that vie for space and money to participate in what are essentially mostly pop culture shows.

Thankfully, there are some stalwart hold outs to the comics and collector side like our own FreeState/FanCons, DINK out in Denver, APE, and even to an extent some zine shows. I want to see more young and innovative creators be in the ranks of artist alley, and for people to discover them. I want more shows to pay attention to the creative individuals, and less on the money rolling in. I get it, we all want to make money. But there should be some integrity hand in hand with each dollar bill.

Until next time, support your local artists, be kind to your fellow beings, and always take the path less traveled!

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist

1 comment:

  1. It was great seeing you, as always. The crazy and amazing ideas that come from our spitballing continue to astound me, lol.