In Response to Denise Dorman

Written on Tue, Oct 7, 2014 by Kyle posted by kyle

A couple of weeks ago, Denise Dorman (wife of famed artist Dave Dorman) posted a blog talking about convention purchases for her husband’s work and overall reaction from fans the last few years. Responses online have been varied and primarily negative. The references to cosplay becoming more common have received the most anger from the rabble of the internet. According to follow ups, it was never her intention to offend anyone who attends conventions and I’m willing to take her at her word for it. I want to address a question from towards the end of the article that I think was truly want she wanted to ask herself and other professionals.
“Have the expenses of dressing up, rising ticket prices, price gouged hotels, and parking costs to attend these costly conventions made it financially unfeasible for people to actually spend money on exhibitors anymore?”
With over 6 years of attending conventions from over half a dozen states I am far from the most seasoned sellers. However, in what a lot of people considered a convention decline, Unshaven Comics has seen increases in sales every year. Conventions certainly are becoming more expensive and losing money on a show is never enjoyable. Based on some of her past writings, marketing is not a foreign concept to Denise or her huband, so I think the bulk of her question is unnecessary. If you aren’t making money at a show, but still want to attend as a vendor, you need to figure out what is wrong and how to change it.
I have attended shows with the Dorman’s, but I can’t identify their table. I’ve commented in previous articles how easy prints are to sell compared to comic books at conventions. I’ve seen Dorman’s work online and it wasn’t familiar. If their table is one of the few without a 10 foot tall display showing off the major highlights of their work they should ammend their display immediately. The artwork is good, people should see it, prominent displays draw in customers.
Dave Dorman has done work for Star Wars, Harry Potter and Magic the Gathering. If those prints aren’t out front for everyone to see in a nice, well constructed display they are missing the chance to grab the image centered culture we now see swelling conventions, better known as ‘young fans’.
I believe the backlash coming from Denise’s article is from a misunderstanding from some readers and from some poorly phrases segments of her post. I don’t think insulting fans, cosplayers or anyone else, was intentional. Determining how conventions have evolved is often an elusive puzzle. It seems she wanted to know how you can tell when you aren’t relavent to attendees anymore. It’s a fair question and sales are an excellent way to gauge just that. What she should be asking isn’t how do we know when to give up. It’s how do we change things to make it better.

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