T'is The Season...for Thinking About Conventions
It's not even the end of the year yet but have to start planning next year's convention season. As most people know, San Diego Comic Con is pretty much not only sold out of artists alley and exhibitor space (and I've heard the waiting list is years long...) but virtually sold out of tickets just for attending. Other conventions are also getting some advance attention that opportunities to attend become limited. For example, the inaugural C2E2 in Chicago has had its artist alley closed for months now.
But I will be attending there, but that's the only convention I know of for sure. I have an artist alley table for me personally. Unfortunately, I won't be set up as Transfuzion Publishing. I was hesitant about the cost but decided to go for it, however, logistics just wouldn't allow for it as I can't be in two places at once.
It was an internal debate about whether to get a spot for me personally or for Transfuzion. There's an equal number of books under the Transfuzion banner as I've had published through various publishers (including, of course, Transfuzion). If I went as Transfuzion, it's hard to showcase my titles at the show because it simply caused confusion to have a Transfuzion display littered with Deadworld, Renfield, Baker Street, the Penguin adaptations, etc. Conversely, I can't really have my own display and line it with books that Transfuzion published but I had no creator input such as OZ, the Lovecraft books, etc. I have some books coming out before the convention that will be from a different publisher so it would be inappropriate to promote them at "another publisher's" display.
One of the things that happens often at conventions is people want to either submit or retailers want to order directly. Well, they'll just have to come to me for that information even though it is regarding Transfuzion. Hopefully, they'll figure it out that even though I'm there as "me", I still represent Transfuzion. I have found in the last few years, most people don't want to get books from the publisher anyway, they prefer the creators so it seems most of the Transfuzion stuff doesn't move that well at shows unless the creator is there.
I will probably try and contact distributors and/or stores to see if they will carry the Transfuzion titles on consignment to make sure all of the titles are there and fully represented.
It's kind of odd when I go to the major shows in recent years. Most of the time, I settle for an Artist Alley spot because the economics and feasibility of getting a publisher's booth is just not viable. I see many publishers doing that as well because the exhibit booths are usually just priced so high that many publishers shun the shows entirely. For me, I can "step down" to an Artist Alley spot and it's not detrimental to my image (as me or as Transfuzion), however major publishers signal downsizing if they do the same so they tend to just not go to the show at all.
When I had Caliber, we did quite a few shows and we did some of them pretty big. I think it was at Chicago (pre-Wizard days) that we had something like 20 booths and actually set up like a store inside the convention with guest artists ringed around the outside. We did something similar with the Motor City show. Of course, we did most of the San Diego conventions and ended up doing most of the major shows around the country.
I wouldn't even think of doing something like that now. I try to keep it a much smaller and economically realistic basis now. So, Chicago (C2E2) for sure, have to check on Traverse City (a really nice show) and I'd like to get to Charlotte one of these years. I will skip Pittsburgh since I did it last year and likely the Chicago Wizard Show since I'm attending the "other" one. Not sure about Motor City even though it's in my backyard. It is mostly a celebrity show with old TV stars, ex-playmates, and wrestlers and doesn't seem to have that strong of a comic focus as I'd like to see.
I'll be sure to post any shows that Transfuzion (or me) will be attending.
H.P. Lovecraft`s Call of Cthulhu: This is an original graphic novel and not a reprinted collection. It is an adaptation of one of H.P. Lovecraft's most influential works and staying true to the original work, Swiss writer/artist Michael Zigerlig, narrates the tale with the original prose of the three points of view describing the horror of Cthullu. Generally regarded as Lovecraft's masterpiece, this tale, as many of Lovecraft's work, influenced generations to come. H.R. Giger, famed biomechanical artist and creator of the look of Alien, was so influenced by Lovecraft that he provides the introduction to this graphic novel. This book will be available in March so will be in the January Previews.
Michael Zigerlig visited the school of art in Berne, Switzerland where he grew up and still lives. He quit his apprentice as a graphic designer and mainly focused on Chinese martial arts the last ten years. At the age of 26 he recovered his passion for drawing and artwork and illustrated "The Call of Cthulhu" from H.P. Lovecraft.
1. What do you consider your first major project and your thoughts on it?
H.P. Lovecraft`s Cthulhu is one of my very favourite stories and it was quite a challenge for it is very well known and everyone who knows it, have expectations regarding a visual conversion. It was important to me to use Lovecraft`s own text passages to keep it authentic and to mediate Lovecraft`s unique writing style. The fact that H.R. Giger (His books Necronomicon 1&2 were my first steps into Lovecraft`s world) wrote the introduction for me was also a responsibility to handle the story with deep respect.
2. Of all the projects you've worked on, what was your favorite?
Actually, Call of Cthulhu will be my first published project and it helped me to find my own drawing style. At the beginning it was more an experiment to find a way to visually adapt Lovecraft`s writing. The result fascinated me and I couldn't stop, I worked all day on it until it was finished. Call of Cthulhu is absolutely the spark that made me draw again and it hasn't stopped yet.
3. If you could return to any of your previous projects, which would it be?
Some years ago I had the idea to draw an adaptation of the Wushu (kung fu)-movie "The 36 Chambers of Shaolin", but didn't finish it. I don't think that I will do this now, but some influences of it, especially the fighting sequences, flew into my new comic project "Five Swords from Outer Hell".
4. If you could do any project, what would it be?
Definitely Batman or Hellboy. But I would also be very interested in Sherlock Holmes for I've been a huge fan since childhood.
5. Who has worked in comics for awhile and should be much better known?
I think there are a lot of artists in Europe who are not well known in the usa. One of my favorites is Joseph Behe who has a really impressive style of inking and aquarelle painting.
Website: michaelzigerlig.com (in progress)
Michael Zigerlig on Facebook
The new project is Lovecraft related too, but written by myself. Call of Cthulhu is almost like a documentary, so I wanted to make speech bubbles and a lot of action sequences for the next book. The story is set in China, India and the Desert of Arabia in the time of Lovecraft`s Abdul Alhazred (The 8th century) and is full of ideas I had developed over years. The main character is a Taoist student named Oax who is searching for Irem, the City of Pillars.
Gary Reed is the publisher of Transfuzion Publishing and was the former publisher of Caliber Comics. As a writer, he has written a number of graphic novels and comics including Saint Germaine, Deadworld, Baker Street, Renfield, Raven Chronicles, A Murder of Scarecrows, and others. Outside of Talking Transfuzion, he has his regular blog covering a wide variety of topics at reedgary.blogspot.com and his website www.garyreed.net
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