Saturday, October 22, 2022

QuadCon 2022

So the next show I was attending was QuadCon, located over in St. Charles, Missouri.

I placed an order for brand new issues of my comic through Kablam printing, and they came in the same day. I was going to leave for Saint Charles.

This is a show me and my brother love going to, and the reason we went the very first time was to meet YouTube personality and toy enthusiast, Pixel Dan.

After so many shows, it’s just nice to get out, and just relax, and maybe find some cool things to add to my studio collection.

Saint Charles is out near St. Louis, so from Kansas City it’s about a 3 to 4 Hour drive. Which means an early departure time.

We pulled in right around 10:30 AM, and cover was five dollars entry, I believe there are other discounts available

Lot of families attend this show.

For those that have not been to QuadCon, it’s a pretty defined toy, Collector event, with some comic book, dealers, and a few local artists selling things.

Always nice to see what sort of transformers and robot sort of items show up.

If this sort of show is in your wheelhouse, this is thankfully one of the shows that still caters to vintage items pretty religiously. 

For the life of me, I don’t know where I’d seen this before, but I know I never owned it.

There’s kind of a rush doing the shows because the earlier you get there the better the selection. I made my first purchase of the day within the first 15 minutes of walking in the door.

Seeing carded Rock Lords, in person is a rarity indeed. But also seeing carded M.A.S.K. and Dinoriders items really surprised me.

I never had this Horde Playset as a kid, but seeing one still sealed in the box with a little shelf wear, and encased in acrylic for about $1200 was pretty astounding.

Occasionally, you’ll see something so rare you can’t help but stand and stare at it.

The cosplayer you see below was hands-down, the best cosplay effort I have seen all year long. It’s a pretty impressive, Batman costume, but my brother and I quickly noticed he was carrying some thing. I couldn’t help it. I laughed out loud because as you can see..

He had applications for a new Robin in hand. Take a good look. THIS is perfection.

Batman was carrying the skeletal remains of Jason Todd and was holding applications for a new Robin. I’m not much of a DC fan, but I think like anyone who is into comics and pop culture, you can’t help but not know about the series arc, "A death in the family", when Robin dies at the hand of the Joker.

This cosplay idea was so well done on many levels, I sincerely hope he won the cosplay contest. If anyone reading this knows the name of this cosplayer, please let me know so I can add it to this blog update!

Quite literally a shop that sold fantasy themed items.

After a few hours there we decided we seen everything we could and had bought the items we really wanted. So we decided to see what else was in the area, and also wanted to scout out a food location. For food we found a Smash Burger’s restaurant. Pretty good food, but little bit pricey.

In the same shopping center was a comics and games store simply named "Fantasy Shop".

It was an impressive store, filled with miniatures, sculpting tools, role-playing items, action figures, graphic novels, and a good handful of people playing war games. They also had some sort of painting competition going on, and we were asked if we’d like to put our vote in for the best painted beholder miniature.

I think my brother picked up a couple of graphic novels, I immediately went over to the miniatures, and found some excellent sculpting tools to purchase.

After leaving the store, we noticed a nearby half price books, and decided to check it out. I’m a bit of a bibliophile, and I’ve never been to one of these bookstores before.

Out of my budget items, but still cool to have found these!

There were a lot of used books, that covered a wide range of subjects, but they also sold DVDs, records, music CDs, a few random video game systems, and some odds and ends in action figures.

For some reason it reminded me of an alternate dimension Hastings.


Show Overview.

QuadCon 2022 was held October 22nd, 2022, from 10am to 4pm.

Location: Olympia Event Center - St. Charles, Missouri

Entry Fee: $5 (free after 2pm)

Is it worth it?

As a vendor? If you’re a toy or collectible vendor, and you’ve got items that are outside of the well-known intellectual properties from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, I have no doubt you’d have a killer show.

If you happen to be one of the visual artists set up at the show, I imagine unless your work specifically caters to toy, or pop culture in general with a retro aesthetic, you might not be as successful. I haven’t done the show myself, so I’m only speaking to what I’ve witnessed as far as interactions at the show.

As an attendee? Yes absolutely. This is now my fourth or fifth time attending the show, and I plan on coming back next year.

Again, as you can see from the photos above, and the videos on my TikTok account, this show is very much a toy collectors event, and there is a wide range of prices on everything.

There is a cosplay contest, and I believe some sort of gaming contest/competition held as well. But this is primarily a shopping event. It’s extremely family friendly, and thankfully, because the price points range from dollar items to upwards of thousand dollar items, there is literally anything for any family member to possibly find. I would recommend getting there early, as each time we’ve done the show I’ve managed to find items that I feel would’ve sold fairly quickly.

Expense/Earnings
  1. Show Entry Fee: $5.00 (Free after 2pm)
  2. Fuel/food: $60.00
  3. Purchases from vendors and other artists: $70.00
  4. Parking: Free
Total Expenses: $135.00

  1. Just attended the show

    Total Earnings: $0.00

Pros

  • There's a lot to see and do for attendees.
  • Show floor layout was large and spread out.
  • Attendance is good.
  • The vendors so far have had a wide range of items.

Cons

  • Nothing comes to mind.

The Final Evaluation

I’m going to approach this as an attendee/collector. QuadCon is not a large show, but it is a good show.

I’ve never been disappointed with the quality of the vendors that show up, and I have my favorites that I consistently look to buy things from. You will find vendors who understand the vintage aspect of what they are selling, and may genuinely understand the history, scarcity, and modern state of an item. There aren’t too many shows that you’ll find that.

This is one show that happens twice a year in this location. QuadCon holds a multitude of other shows, that I imagine fall within the same sort of show organization and feel as these, at least according to what I’ve seen posted online.

I’ve managed to find finishing pieces for my collections, and I sincerely have been collecting since I was 15 years old so I have a lot of lines to complete. I would recommend a budget of no less than $50, and if you can help it shoot for around $250.

I can speak first hand to the fact that there were items I saw the first couple of shows that had I had an extra hundred dollars, I’d be in possession of some really unique and hard to find items. I’m not saying having a lot of money is necessary to attend the show. I am saying that you never know what you’ll find, and that’s an exciting prospect for any pop-culture or toy collector, especially in a day and age of a lot of shows having the same old run-of-the-mill items consistently showing up for sale.

QuadCon 2022 Show Haul

This was probably the lightest grouping of items I picked up at quad con. Not because there weren’t other items, but my budget was still reeling from all the other shows I’ve done. So I gave myself a spending budget of no more than $150, to cover purchases, food, and fuel to get up there.

I picked up a vintage 1982 Hercules Remco figure, a GoBots "Crasher" figure, and a cobra Hiss III tank.

The drive back home was nice and pretty relaxing. It helped take a bit of the edge off of how shows have been for me. I’m glad the Kansas City Japan festival turned out as well as it did, but to attend a show just for the hell of it, was cool.

I have two weeks until I have to be in Wichita for my next convention Air Capital Con. Gotta get to bagging the new Ardor comics that came in, and check to see what new art reproductions I need to make as well.

There’s two more events coming up this weekend that I will review.

They aren’t normal shows, but they are artistic style events, of them are late night light events, one held at the Kansas City zoo, and the other one at Powell Gardens.

Looking forward to both of those, hopefully they'll be cool!

Thank you so much for reading, I am Mario, the Artisan Rogue, and until next time, remember to support artists and local businesses. And if you liked what you've read, and want to support the blog, there's a donation button just below.

Be kind to your fellow beings and always take the path less traveled. We all may live in times uncertain, but kindness, understanding, and believing in the good that is in most each and every one of us is what can bring about better days!


LINKS






Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist
-All photos, editorial content, created by me. One dude. Thank you for reading.-
www.theartisanrogue.com

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Greater Kansas City Japan Festival 2022

Doing the Kansas City Japan Festival turned out to be phenomenal for me, but I was beginning to drag quite a bit after all these shows. 

I was now falling behind on a LOT of things, just trying to keep up. But there wasn't time to dwell on all that. I had to get ready to put forth my best foot at this new show.

The main entrance archway.

I knew the show existed, but I didn’t know that artists were involved with the show. A few weeks back I received an email from someone at NakaKon letting me know about it, and asking if I’d like to be a part of it. The booth fee was $150, and I still had a large backlog of items that I could sell at a show.

I think this was my fifth week in a row doing a show. But I was pretty excited to see how this was going to play out.

The show is one day, so I showed up the day prior for set up. In my haste to get to the show, I had forgotten any way to transport my displays into the venue, but thankfully the staff was able to find me a cart for all my items. Which is really good considering that the room I was set up to be in was on the third floor. I was instructed to come in through the back entrance and take the elevator up to the third-floor for set up.

Ever so thankful the staff found me a cart. The room I was in was up on the third floor!

The way the rooms set up worked, was that whatever tables were in there you could lay claim to. I set up my walls and my banner, and then moved three tables situated around me. This was easily the most display space I’ve had at any show. It worked out to essentially be $50 a table, that’s one heck of a deal. Throw in great lighting, carpeted floor, and a great green background that matches my overall aesthetic, and I was a very happy dude, indeed.

Product wise I brought everything I had to previous shows and then some. I’m glad that I over planned for the show. As you can see in the photo below, there’s also a small reading kiosk that showcased concept art for board games that helped me possibly get some future commission work. I can’t explain it, but maybe having run the gauntlet of all of the rest of the shows made me determined to throw myself into this show with renewed energy and as much positive thinking as I could muster.

While I was setting up, I wondered what Otaku Gardens was. Turns out they were really cool group of dudes that sold some really kick ass stickers. It was a win-win as anyone that came into the room got to see a plethora of artwork across five or six tables.

From what I understand there were things going on on all three floors. I know there was food, martial art demonstrations, history display booths, and other hobbies and interests involving Japan’s culture.

Once again set up for world domination and ego stroking.

During the early morning and right around 2 o’clock. I had time to work on some sketches and post to social media.

Mind you I was still pretty tired, but as long as people were talking to me, I was fine. The moment it started to have a lull, I was in trouble. An urge to take a nap was strong.

Thankfully, I had a few friends stop by who watched my booth, and I was able to make a few quick rounds while also hitting the restroom. I needed content for TikTok, and for this blog post, so I took more vids and pics while out in the hall.

For the first time this year, I actually started to run out of things that I was selling. That was a jolt of excitement that is hard for me to put into words, even as I type this, without getting a little emotional.

If you’ve read the previous blogs, you understand just how much money I’ve thrown at this year's efforts, and how little the return on the investment has been in many circumstances. Thankfully, the upswing started in the show previous to this one.

Showing off concept work for boardgames.

The accurate numbers are below in the expense and earnings area but I knew I had done pretty good considering I ran out of comics to sell, received an email commission, and sold out of a bunch of my larger, art reproductions. It felt damn good.

The crowd in attendance was amazing, and this show above any of the rest, had the most amount of people that followed me on TikTok come and meet me and purchase things. Real talk, I never thought that was gonna happen. For years, I’ve struggled to gain ground on everything from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, and it’s been a clawing and dragging experience the whole way. It looks like I’m well on my way to hitting 2000 followers by the end of this year. Having kept count, 78 of them have come to my shows, and 32 of them purchased things I made. That goes a long way toward rebuilding my wounded pride, and damaged ego from so many shows prior.

Finally, in the last hour sales begin to dwindle, as the attendees began to thin out. It was weird, because being isolated in one of the classrooms, I was unable to get a gauge for the overall attendance like I can doing any other sort of show.

There were events all over the building.

I seriously had a blast doing the show, and not just because I made money, but because of the incredibly awesome people that came out to the show. A lot of them were there to shop, define new, art, and books, and so much other stuff. if you’re from Kansas City, you may understand when I say, it’s a vast majority of the population says they support art, but rarely do.

That’s not a dig, that’s just what I’ve experienced. Not just for my art work, but in many other circumstances, with other artists, I've known. that said this was an event that did work out well.

I only got a quick glimpse of the bonsai tree area.

[Left] Sketching at the show. [Right] I think it's a cosplay from Dragonball, either way, it's cool!

The gaming room was full!

The first hour was pretty light, but the rest of the day was waves of people.

Any show that I can talk to people is a joy, and so many of the people that came out provided me with great conversations.

I started running out of some of the art reproduction editions.

As the show close down, my roommates Otaku Gardens quickly gathered all their items packed up, said goodbyes, and were out. My teardown was slower, I was sincerely so tired by this point it wasn’t funny. I took the time to carefully re-pack everything and did a quick inventory so that I know what else I still needed to make more of for future shows..

After show donut from the staff who waited on my slow self to pack up. I'm seeing a pattern of happiness with donuts... 

And a funny coincidence, when I came back in to get the last of my items, one of the staff members asked me if I wanted a doughnut. If you read the C2E2 blog entry, you’ll recall that on Sunday I was given a doughnut. Donuts for me or a rare and exciting thing, because I try not to eat too many of them. But every time I see a donut, I am reminded of Mitch Hedberg. And I think he’d be the first person to tell me. “Hey man I see you got a donut. Any show is automatically better with a doughnut. It’s like the circle of life except it’s a doughnut. It also means you came back full circle. So stop listening to me and eat the donut man.”

Let me take a moment to think Mitch Hedberg for his comedy, and allowing me to look at life and laugh at both the good and the bad.

Loading out late that evening.

Show Overview.

Greater Kansas City Japan Festival 2022 was held October 8th, 2022, from 10am to 7pm.

Location: JCCC - 12345 College Blvd - Overland Park, Kansas

ADULTS: $15 STUDENTS (WITH ID): $10 CHILDREN AGES 6–13: $5 CHILDREN 5 AND UNDER: FREE!

Is it worth it?

As a vendor? I would have to say hell yeah it was! I can’t speak for any other vendors, but I know that our room specifically was doing well.

As an attendee? I think so the friends that stop by told me that the show was a lot of fun for them, but there was a lot of people. If I don’t get a chance to vent next year, I am certainly attending it. It’s not an expensive event. You can see the price points down below..

Expense/Earnings
  1. Show Entry Fee: $150.00
  2. Fuel/food: $24.00
  3. Purchases from vendors and other artists: $0.00
  4. Parking: Free
Total Expenses: $174.00

  1. 36 - Comics: $90.00
  2. 1 - Commission: $500.00
  3. 16 - 13"x19" Art Reproductions: $400.00
  4. 7 - 8"x8" Art Reproductions: $70.00
  5. 1 - Mug: 15.00
  6. 3 - Button Packs: $15.00 

    Total Earnings: $1,090.00

Pros

  • There's a lot to see and do for attendees.
  • Show floor layout was large and spread out.
  • Attendance seemed to be really great.
  • The crowd in attendance was there to buy and spend.

Cons

  • Nothing I can think of.

The Final Evaluation

This paragraph is probably just gonna be a heap of praise, but I mean every bit of it. I was hesitant to try the show because of what happened prior at the others. But I’m glad I did. It’s a well-run and well organized show. The people that came to the show were interested in what I had to offer for sale. even without the people that came there to visit that I either knew first, or from TikTok, the crowd in general was in a great mood, and very personable.

If given the opportunity to be in the show again in 2023, I will absolutely take part.

Greater Kansas City Japan Festival 2022 Show Haul

The show was insanely busy, and thankfully I had friends that stopped by to give me a break, but I didn't get any real chance to buy anything.

Thank you so much for reading, I am Mario, the Artisan Rogue, and until next time, remember to support artists and local businesses. And if you liked what you've read, and want to support the blog, there's a donation button just below.

Be kind to your fellow beings and always take the path less traveled. We all may live in times uncertain, but kindness, understanding, and believing in the good that is in most each and every one of us is what can bring about better days!


LINKS








Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist
-All photos, editorial content, created by me. One dude. Thank you for reading.-
www.theartisanrogue.com

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Meeple-A-Thon 2022

If you’re keeping track of these posts, you’ll see that in some cases I had maybe a few days to about two weeks between shows happening. And I didn't realize it, but it was affecting me.

I didn’t know a lot about the show except that according to their website, it was an annual family friendly game-based charity event that benefited the Hillcrest Platte county’s young adult housing program. The fact that it had community based help as a focus made doing the show an easy yes for me.

One surprise was the show's location was in a closed Kmart.

Meeple-a-thon is a long form gaming convention that lasts almost 3 days solid. I was sort of familiar with the format from another show that I had attended some years back, and I know that these gaming shows often have all night long game sessions.

The table was enormous, so I brought everything but my luggage to sell.

If I recall correctly, this was only the second year that they included vendors, more specifically creators and artists at the show. Set up was painless, and had I figured out a way to utilize them, there was still a lot of original shelving from when the location had been an active retail store, that I could’ve used.

Because the hours of the show were so long, that also meant that any vendors participating in the show, had to decide exactly how long they would be manning their booths. For example, the longest day was Saturday, October 1, which had a run time of 9 AM to 1 AM. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out at shows, and I’ve done it before in years past at Naka-Kon. But that’s also with a specific set of hours for the vendor room, and then afterward, I’d go hit the arcade, or some after hours panels.

I figured since the hours were so long at this show, I would bring some things to keep me busy. I brought some art in progress to work on, started getting caught up on previous show reviews, and worked on a bunch of social media content. There were also a lot of vendors at this show I’ve never met before, so it was a really great to connect with them..

The entrance of the show.

So real talk, for the first time, real show fatigue was beginning to rear its head. Even now, as I write this review, and look at the ones already done, and the shows that I still have not yet done, and it seems overwhelming. In a good way mind you, but still overwhelming. Something that’s really important for me is that if I do a show, I want to be at the top of my game, (no pun intended), and be attentive, productive, and clear minded.

Which leads me to the attendance of the show. Because I didn’t really leave my booth while I was at the show, and I was pretty tired, so I didn’t get a good gauge as to how many people attended the show. But from what I could tell Friday and Saturday had the most people show up. The artists were all lined up towards the back of the building/show floor. The layout wasn’t terrible, but I had a few people that spoke to me that didn’t realize there were artists in the back until late Saturday early Sunday.

I made some sales, and did a few trades, but I’m guessing at the amount because the few sales I did make were cash. Nevermind that by Sunday I was so slap happy tired, that if I wasn't in a conversation with someone, I was singing One Direction songs out loud to myself. As all cool dudes do, don't ya know...

The lighting situation was beyond great at the show.
A bonus to setting up at the show was that they would take a donation of whatever I created to put in the raffle they had organized. So there was less stress getting essentially what was a free table, for some of my artwork.

All of the attendees that I spoke to seemed to enjoy the show, and even when other shows that I have done came up in conversation, many of them alluded to the fact that they were primarily tabletop gamers, and didn’t really crossover into the Comic, Anime, or pop-culture shows. That was kind of a first for me, as I am a tabletop gamer, and very much enjoy any show that has anything remotely close to my hobby.

View down the Artist Alley area from my booth.

Once again, networking came in handy, and I was able to make some inroads for a possible future work, which is always great. I had also by this time started humming Dwight Yoakam songs to myself.

One of the gaming tables down from Artist Alley.
There was a lot of downtime to talk to other vendors, which was cool, but long, slow paced days made vending a little challenging for me.

Finally as the last day came, I took time to repack everything solidly, and headed home to get some sleep. I think I slept most all of Monday and part of Tuesday away.

Show Overview.

Meeple-A-Thon was held Sept 30th - October 2nd 2022.

Location: Former KMart - 7100 NW Prairie View Road Kansas City, MO 64151

Is it worth it?

As a creator? I would say yes. The mission, the staff, and the organization of the show, were all on point. The booth size is insanely generous, and the lighting is not even an issue. Loading was painless as well as load out. And most importantly, the people running the show, really seemed open to new input and ideas.

As an attendee? If you’re really into tabletop gaming, this is a great show. I didn’t see a lot of young children at the show, but on Sunday, there were more than a few family units making their way around the artist area. Just remember, this is not a Pop culture center show, nor is it somewhere you would expect to pick up comic books or assorted media. It is first and foremost, a gaming convention.

Expense/Earnings
  1. Show Entry Fee/Table Cost: $0.00 if donation was made to the raffle prize table
  2. Fuel: $20.00
  3. Food: $35.00 (offsite before and after show)
  4. Purchases from vendors and other artists: $55
  5. Parking: Free
Total Expenses: $110.00

  1. 2 large art reproductions - $50
  2. 4 comic books - $10
  3. 2 packs of button pins - $10

    Total Earnings: $179.89

Pros


  • It benefits the Hillcrest Platte County’s Young Adult Housing program 
  • The staff was fantastic
  • there was a good mix of artists and vendors
  • The location was spacious and well lit
  • No parking problems

Cons

  • Not one thing came to mind

The Final Evaluation

If you’ve been reading this blog, for very long, you’re coming to the same consensus that I am, there’s no shortage of family friendly events happening in the Kansas City area. This show has a lot going for it, and it has a low-key vibe to it. It will be interesting to see where they take the show next year, in regards to hours, vendors, and overall set up of the show.

If they’ll have me back, I’d be happy to do the show again, no problem. I do think the show could benefit from more visible advertising, as even many of my gamer friends, who specifically are into shows like Gen Con and Midwest game Fest, didn’t know anything about this show.

Meeple-A-Thon 2022 Show Haul

I picked up a few things at the show, but because I knew I still had a few more shows rounding out this year, I once again kept my budget, fairly tight.

Just missing the cat hat I picked up from Legacy Loop Crochet. 

I did pick up a custom dice from rolling river dice, and did a great trade for a bunch of game books for the steam punk game tephra. I also purchased a cat hat (a hat for my cat), but my cat has misplaced it, it’s somewhere here in the studio, so unfortunately, I didn’t have a photo on hand!

Thank you so much for reading, I am Mario, the Artisan Rogue, and until next time, remember to support artists and local businesses. And if you liked what you've read, and want to support the blog, there's a donation button just below.

Be kind to your fellow beings and always take the path less traveled. We all may live in times uncertain, but kindness, understanding, and believing in the good that is in most each and every one of us is what can bring about better days!


LINKS










Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist
-All photos, editorial content, created by me. One dude. Thank you for reading.-
www.theartisanrogue.com