Monday, 16 February 2009

The City That Never Sleeps - Insomnia heads to New York

Where do I start? Like most stories, I suppose the best place would be the beginning...
What an incredible time we had. New York – what a city! I fell in love with it as soon as we stepped out of our first (and only) “interesting” experience in a NYC Cab. The architecture is stunning - the height puts our tall buildings to shame in the UK; the people, the millions of people, are so friendly, chatty and stylish - in so many different ways. Audrey and I stood out a little in our Snowboarding jackets to fight off the cold (you’ll see how cold with some of these pics) we did the tourist thing for the first four days and I successfully managed to visit some of the comic book shops including Forbidden Planet and avoided the Sex and the City tour. Next time she says… damn!

our home for the week... not the Chrysler... 31st Street

it's a lot smaller in person...

A ninja in a snowboarding jacket...?

We setup our stand at the Jacob Javits centre located at booth 2447, Aisle 2400, 655 West 34th Street on the Thursday morning to avoid the rush of people on the Friday. Some of the displays being erected were incredible! As this was our first comic convention in the States the only events we had to go on were Bristol, Birmingham and London. This was looking like the size of London (ok, 4 times the size of London) but with the comic content of Bristol and Birmingham. It was HUGE!

On the Friday, we arrived early to get the material out on the table and put the finishing touches to our booth (like the chairs which cost $150 to rent!) On my venture to retrieve the afore mentioned seating appliance, I bumped into Richard Emms (former editor for Markosia and partner of Flash Gordon’s publishing house, Ardden Entertainment), who, incidentally was positioned at the end of our aisle. It was good to see a friendly face amidst the blur of golden age, silver age comics, t-shirts, scantily-clad women and some seriously impressive cos-players!

Josef Rother (Argstein, Heavy Metal) was the first to impress. He’d been advised by Jim Alexander (Layer Zero: Choices, Marvel, DC, 2000AD, Black Library) to come and have a chat. Josef showed me some wonderful work which he’s being doing and we’ll hopefully be able to do something together in the future. His discussions over the weekend were very enjoyable, comments constructive and not to mention he seems to know everybody and took the time to introduce me to David Lloyd!

I spoke with a number of the comic shops based in New York and there was lots of interest from everyone about Cages, Cancertown and the rest of our line up for 2009.

Surprisingly, I was able to quickly secure an interview with Comixology in the afternoon with Peter Jaffe to discuss Insomnia, our products but more notable, our business model and how we’re aiming to promote and generate exposure in the USA and Canada.

First thing on Saturday morning, whilst I was still half-asleep, a rep from a film studio came over and we had a good chat about Insomnia and our titles, this seemed to be a continuing theme for the rest of the weekend!

The amount of interest, especially in Cancertown, was incredible, more and more people kept coming over and asking, “what’s this Cancertown I keep hearing about?”
Thankfully I’d had so much practice pitching to people about the story of Cancertown before Pete’s Basement turned up and did a short interview which you can see below:

Jim Alexander, who’s from Glasgow incidentally, came to see me for a chat. We decided that it may be a cheaper idea to meet up somewhere more local next time rather than meeting up in Manhattan. Although it’s a good excuse for us to both go to NY again!

The number of submissions we received across the course of the weekend was incredible and so was the standard of work. It was amazing to see the vast amount of talent gathered in one place. Thank you to everyone who took the time to pitch and discuss your ideas. We’ll endeavour to get back to everyone as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone who came over to the table and showed an interest in Insomnia - your support is hugely appreciated!

Thanks to Audrey for doing a fantastic job at the booth, talking with creators, doing some portfolio reviews and on her opportunities to grab food, drink and free tea from Starbucks (tea you say?!) she did a wonderful portion of promotion.

Thanks to our neighbour at the con, Benjamin Colon, and his friend (see below) for driving traffic to our table.

Sex really does sell!

Hi to Andy Tong and Ben Templesmith. Sorry guy’s I was hoping to see you both over the course of the weekend but unfortunately both of you were either too busy or away when I was able to make it to your tables in the Artists Alley!

And finally, a huge thank you to all the Insomnia creators, you’ve done and are continuing to do an incredible job with the books you’re working on. New York has been a fantastic experience and the response Insomnia received has been amazing and I very much look forward to the “transatlantic" future!

So… what’s next for Insomnia… I’ll leave that for next week!


Barry Nugent said...

Wow sounds like it was a huge success (the film studio stuff sounds interesting) for you guys!


valium said...

these past few weeks everybody's been talking about nycc and I've been so jealous... seeing photos doesn't really help either !! ;p

It seems as if you've have tons of fun [despite of all the hard work]

Anyway BEST of luck to you, future awaits !! :D