It’s not quite Con Season, where it’ll seem like there is a con every weekend, but here in Seattle, Emerald City Comicon, Sakura Con, and Norwescon happen in the span of two weeks, so it can feel like a warmup for what is to come.
We rocked the house at ECCC this year, representing on three panels, Women in Webseries (featuring Trin Miller, Kat Ogden, and Jen Page), the ZOE Premierathon, where we debuted new JQ2 footage (if you’re a supporter, check it out here) as well as clips fromTransolar,Glitch, Night of the Zombie King, &@, and Standard Action, and finally, The Collectibles World Premiere. This third event was the last panel on Sunday, by which time lots of people have petered out or left the con, but it was still packed and a great way to kick off the first season of this hilarious behind-the-scenes superhero show. Look for new episodes every Monday for the next couple of months!
We also got to hang out with lots of super fans, including two who came dressed as Perf and Carrow, Tony got to abuse people, Christian Doyle got to narrate a Damsels of Dorkington improv show, and Ben got to meet his lifelong nerd icon, Disney comic genius Don Rosa. That’s a hell of a weekend.
But I’ve been reflecting on what goes into a successful con appearance, and I realized it’s a lot like working on a film project: No matter how much you prepare, no matter how much you plan, and no matter how many people you have helping you, you always forget something, or something always goes wrong. On a film set, maybe the slate is in the DoP’s car, a mile away, and it’s raining. In the case of ECCC, the best example is that we had a monitor and a DVD player that did not want to get along. We bought new cables and brought in three different DVD players just so we could have our reel playing at the booth! Such a simple thing should not be so complicated, but on the day of, sometimes it is.
On top of everything, ECCC kind of crept up on us. We only had ten days to plan once we wrapped March shooting on JQ2, and then we were filming again the Tuesday after that. Insanity.
We really have two goals at cons. One is obviously meeting, interacting with, and entertaining our fans. That includes doing things like leaking JQ2 footage to get folks excited for what’s coming, and having our extremely pretty stars at the table signing merch and meeting the folks who love what we do. The second, and more challenging part, is making new fans. That includes working the table to give a very fast pitch to folks who say “no” when we ask if they’re familiar with JourneyQuest. It means reaching the people who LOVE The Gamers and Dorkness Rising, but didn’t realize Matt Vancil was still cranking out awesomeness. It means doing some evangelizing for the metric poop tonne of awesome that is all the shows on zombieorpheus.com. It means handing out fliers to con attendees to encourage them to attend our screenings to they fall in love with our work.
I’ll tell you who really rocked that out at ECCC was The Collectibles. They had a cardboard standup of Superstar, their big blue boy scout, and all the rest of their cast in costume in shifts, interacting with the crowds, striking ridiculous poses, and making sure everyone in the building heard about their world premiere. On top of that, they ran a great panel which reached a lot of new fans as well. We’re grateful they’re part of the ZOE family and we can’t wait to see the rest of Season One.