Monday, August 7, 2023

Fountain City Con 2023

Never underestimate a fuzzy little companion's ability to ease anxiety over financial woes.

I don't know how many of you reading these blogs do shows, but I imagine that a fair amount of you do. I hope None of you have to deal with pre show anxiety. It's actually not complete anxiety it's a mix of some excitement, a bit of actual anxiety, and almost always a dose of fatigue.

Whenever I have any sort of event that I have to do, all sorts of thoughts start going through my head and begin to drive me down the road leading to a sleepless night. Thankfully my little pooch Penny must have sensed that I was filled with unease, and after about 5 minutes of her attempting to get comfortable in my beard, I finally went to sleep.

Set up and the show hours

I spent the better part of Friday morning just getting the last minute things I needed printed out, bagged up, and accounted for. After getting everything loaded up I headed out to Kansas and got to the show location with about 2 1/2 hours time to still set up. Even with a day or so worth of preparation I had still managed to forget my display rack. No big deal I'd bring it with me tomorrow in the morning since I plan on getting in at least an hour before the show started.

[Friday] Setup went pretty well. [Saturday] Taking a selfie all kinds of awkwardly. Like a boss. 

This overview of the show isn't in any real particular order, I opted to just cover the highlights and then go into how the show came out for me. I'll make sure to add in the information for the photos and the captions below them.

[Saturday] Photo from above level, about 10;45 AM or so.

I made sure I had permission to go up onto the upper level to take a picture of the show from above. According to the metadata on the photos this was about 10:45 in the morning. I was originally going to stitch them all together but then realized in this blog post that it would look ridiculously tiny. In the photo above you can see my booth down towards the left hand center. When anyone came in, my booth was first and nearest in view to the entrance/exit.

[Saturday] Above photo #2

[Saturday] Photo 3 of showroom floor.

There was enough time that I was able to reorganize my wall display, update the inventory listings in my square account, re-bag some of the art productions, alphabetize the art reproductions I had in my print bin, answered a few emails, started writing this blog post, filmed and edited 3 TikTok videos, and got caught up on three of my coaching class sessions daily work assignments, while also talking to my booth neighbors about action figures, shows in the area, and artwork.

That was about 12:30 PM according to my notes, so I was going to eat the lunch I had packed but my buddy Marty (GodBeast) stopped by and offered some pizza so I was all about that.

Added in some new art reproductions.

If I have spare time at a show I will start to do what I did when I was a security guard, count the people in a venue. I always carry a legal pad with me that allows me to take down notes during a show, ideas on the fly, play tic tac toe against myself, or in this case since I was able to see the front door I just looked and checked off every single time people came in. Back when I still worked at bars I used to carry a little physical counter you know the little silver round ones that have a button and there's a three digit readout? Those kind. I was actually missing that little tool as I was sitting there.

The good news is that Saturday allowed for me to catch up with a lot of people in the afternoon, And I went and picked up an action figure from my buddy Terry Taylor over at 1313 mockingbird lane. He was only set up for one day, just Saturday. I'd be seeing him in a few days again on Friday at the 5th anniversary celebration show for his toy store at the Granada in Lawrence KS.

I made my first sale of the day right around 3:45 PM, I sold one Godzilla art reproduction to a young gentleman. I think it was Saturday that I caught up with my old friend Rick Stasi, who was kind enough to gift me a copy of his latest publication, "Letters from the Exodus".

After that, I spent the rest of the afternoon until 6:00 PM when the show ended, just catching up with people and trading with anyone that was interested.


I finally got home around 7:30 PM. Add a few things I had to get done before I could get to bed, but when I finally did I passed the hell out.

I woke up early enough on the morning that I had wanted to get to the show about 45 minutes before it opened, but I instead just spent some time watering my plants out back before I got on the road.

The traffic on the way in was practically nonexistent, and when I got to the venue, I parked behind the building and made my way inside. I had a nice unexpected meet up with a few of my other friends where we just talked about shows, old age, aired grievances, and ending it with me oversharing way too much about an awkward appointment I had with the doctor a few months back. If you know you know. LOL.

Jake Angell's sculpting skills are insanely rad.


On Saturday I had set up a trade with GodBeast for some of his Glyos figurines in exchange for two of my works of art, and I also wanted to pick up a few things from some other people. Those you'll see at the end of this post as well.

This may be a future purchase in the near future for me... Pixel Dan needs to know these exist.

I have a lot of Jake’s creations in my collection, and his work is always an inspiration to me. But I was super excited that his son Rylan was that the show and he had some custom action figures! The one that immediately drew my attention was his clear Boba Fett on a white cardback. I also ended up picking up a custom action figure from my buddy Bryan Timmins.


I didn't really see a whole bunch of cosplayers go by my booth, but the ones that did were fantastic.

[Left] These three made me miss NakaKon [Right] Love this take on the Mandalorian.

Every single time I see a cosplayer I tell myself, "I want to do a show and I want to run my booth in cosplay"! And every single time I have an attack of common sense and realize that I would probably injure myself and a lot of innocent bystanders in the process of simply trying to run a credit card while in cosplay. 

[Left] The Monster Hunters LEGO sets are some of my favorites, as was were this vampire trio! [Right] You can't go wrong with any version of Bob Ross! The tiara of brushes was a great idea!

The trio in Lego cosplay above reminds me that there was a Lego group that had an amazing set up at the show and although I walked back in that area three or four times I forgot to take photos of the amazing setup they had!

Time to catch up and meeting new friends

The show ended at 3:00 PM, but thankfully I made my second sale of the weekend at 1:47 PM. I also brought my total of business cards handed out for the weekend, to a total of seven. I had stated that wrong earlier to somebody that I was talking to, I had handed out four business cards on Saturday, and three on Sunday.

[Saturday] Onua and Zen absolutely were awesome to have has table neighbors! I traded for some amazing art, and to find that they that were as into MOTU, Jurassic Park, and the She-ra Cartoon as I was. Really missed these two Sunday.

I kept my booth together until about 2:45 PM, when I slowly started to pack up the extra stuff I had. I had everything torn down in 15 minutes, and it took four trips out to my vehicle with things to get everything loaded up.

Studio collection additions and final thoughts.

I'll start with the final thoughts on the show. First the positives.

  • ·         The booth was free
  • ·         the venue was well lit and spacious
  • ·         there was a lot of amazing vendors and creators on site
  • ·         I caught up with a lot of people
  • ·         I had time to get a lot of my business stuff out of the way and organized
  • ·         My booth neighbors were phenomenal company on Saturday

now the not so positive

  • ·         I sold two pieces of art totaling up to $60 for the weekend 

With every show and event I do, I have a handful of various people that will reach out and give me their thoughts on what I write when it comes to my experiences doing shows. Thankfully it's been a mostly positive experience over the years, of which I'm very grateful for and extremely appreciative of.

Doing show reviews initially started out as a personal record, but then also evolved into a resource for vendors, creators, and as I've come to find in recent years, attendees, both new and old to be able to utilize. The one review I get the most feedback from in person is the one of my C2E2 experience.

One thing that I take pride in is providing an honest, open, and fact based viewpoint when it comes to my experiences doing any event or show. I'm 100% transparent about financial things.

After working 20 plus years in marketing and promotions across various companies, I understand that people want to know about an show experiences, specifically creatives, because for the vast majority of us, income and reliable avenues and venues that provide that, are becoming more scarce even as the number of shows inflate yearly.

I hope to keep reviewing shows like this for years to come, even long after I've stopped tabling at them. 

With that said, let me share the handful of amazing things that I got while at this show, all of them from incredibly skilled and dare I say talented people, all of them being creatives that I hold in very high regard.

[Left] Horde Trooper from 1313 Mockingbird Lane [Right] Hallmark 2021 Ornament of Castle Grayskull by Jake Angell

Stickers and a Zombcicle by Jake Anglell

Warduke (Nemesis format) and Boba Fett (Mushi format) inspired releases from the Godbeast 

Custom Action Figures [Left] Revenge of the Ninja figure by Bryan Timmins [Right] Clear - what I christened the 'John Cena edition' - Boba Fett by Rylan Angell

Four phenomenal art reproductions by Onua! 

And a wonderful surprise on behalf of Rick Stasi, his latest publication Letters from the Exodus.

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.

Here are also links to many mentioned in this blog update:

Jake Angell

Bryan Timmins

the Godbeast

1313 Mockingbird Lane

Rick Stasi


Fountain City Con

Pitch Weekly Coverage of Fountain City Con

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!

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

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