This week, Hardin gets a little tough love from Ashtor. We’ve seen Ashtor building up to this confrontation since the end of Chapter 1, when Hardin revealed his designs for the fate of the Sratha-din.
So, let’s talk about Baltimore a little bit! First and foremost, I am pleased to say that Beyond the Western Deep had an even better showing in Baltimore than it did at Boston. We sold more books AND more prints, and we got a lot of new readers checking out the website (as evidenced by viewership spikes in our metrics over Baltimore weekend)!
As you might remember, I actually sold out of our expedited run of books at Boston Comic Con in August. It was a phenomenal debut for the book, and one that Rachel and I both are exceptionally pleased with. With the arrival of the full 500 book shipment shortly after Boston, however, we were able to bring more than enough books to Baltimore to satisfy the crowd. We didn’t run out of anything during the show, so I felt pretty good about basing our estimates on Boston’s numbers x 2.
That is indeed us at the Baltimore table last weekend! And before you ask, no, we don’t have $20 t-shirts — those belonged to our booth-neighbor, the inimitable Dan Leister (who bought one of the books, actually! Hope you enjoy it, Dan!) — though believe me, t-shirts will eventually be a thing if Rachel and I have our way. We were also sitting directly across from Runners creator Sean Wang, who did an incredible guest piece for the book! What a zany coincidence! He was the one who took the above picture, by the way!
David Petersen was also in attendance as a guest of the show, and I was lucky enough to nab one of his limited Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 Black and White special editions. When he asked what I would like doodled in the inside cover, I jokingly asked for the most ridiculous thing I could: the scene in Winter when Celenawe faces off against the owl in the book’s climactic battle scene. David just nodded and went “Okay, well — you asked for it!” I insisted I was just joking, but he was resolute and sent me on my way while he got to work on it. An hour or two later, he came by the booth and dropped the book off with the completed doodle. It was… well, see for yourself:
“Doodle” doesn’t even begin to describe it. I believe the word is “legendary”? Überdoodle is the term he uses. I’m okay with that, but also legendary. Legendary überdoodle!
ANYWAY, we didn’t really have anything new on offer in Baltimore that wasn’t in Boston, save for one very important thing — DOODLED BOOKS! Yes, Rachel’s presence at Baltimore meant that she could demonstrate her artistic skills with a series of book doodles. Every purchased book at Baltimore got a doodle and was co-signed by Rachel and myself. We would love to have these available in the online store, but the logistics of it (with books in Connecticut and Rachel’s drawing arm in Ohio) would be pretty tricky. So if you order a book through the store, it will arrive “clean” — but if you seek us out at a show, of which Boston and Baltimore were only the first, we will take pen to page for you!
We don’t quite know when the next shows we do will be — I’d like to try and do one closer to the midwest so Rachel has an easier time of it. I will be in New York Comic Con next month on Thursday, just kinda wandering around saying hello to people and trying to get some face time with potential publishers to get BWD into book stores somehow. If you’re there, feel free to say hello! Otherwise, we’ll try to set up a more robust convention schedule next year so we can try to hit areas where our loyal readers are closest :)
So, in summary, Baltimore Comic Con was a huge success for us. We sold a lot of books (now over a hundred in total between the two cons and online sales) and a good number of prints as well. After two shows, I think I’ve got my Western Deep pitch down pat to something like 30 seconds, and with the open book there on the table for people to leaf through, you’ll know if it’s something you’d be interested in pretty quickly.
I’ll leave you with a picture Rachel and I took when Jerome Jacinto texted me during the show asking if we were having a good time. I wanted to get a quick pic of us smiling into the camera giving a proper thumbs-up, but Dakkan photobombed us because OF COURSE HE DID.