Bedtime again...

Ah bedtime I love bedtime and we started out with a Harry Potter story, but something happened. I was thinking about how Harry felt in the Order of the Phoenix. More importantly I thought about Sirius. He was my favorite character in all the books actually. I Thought about how he grew up as I introduced Guemwald place to my children. The dark and fetid walls, the screaming mother on the wall. It reminded me a lot of things from the past, tonight it reminded me of Pirate Gold.

I derailed and we were no longer talking about Harry potter, or He who would not be named.

Instead we talked about Pirates

More importantly we talked about a special pirate. One who helped me change my life.

The Pirate part happens in March of 2015 but the story actually takes place a good deal before that, It starts as I am staring at a computer screen in a warehouse. Its horridly cold I can see my breath. Im on the Sac-Con website.

hi res sca con

At this point in my life I have been wanting to table for some time, studied from people on how to make it work, but god I was scared. The last few years had been filled with reasons to fear. So many.

The cursor kept blinking. ON the screen I was staring at the fact that Sac Con had tables left for March 2015. They had always sold out so fast I never even had the option. It had been a convenient partner to my fear.

 

Blink Blink

They had tables left... Let me summon up some situational representation here.

I had no comics printed

I had no banners no table design.

No banner poles.

Did I mention nothing in print?

I stared at the Screen. The year had been a hard one, I had looked for other jobs quite a bit and even gone to several interviews. A situation had happened because I was undervaluing myself and I said yes to an impossible work load setting myself up for eventually struggling at my day job. Was this any different? Could I handle it?

I clicked it. I paid my dues... I had an email a few minutes later from Jason Dube letting me know I was reserved, and that he couldn't wait to see what I brought to the Con...

Holly crap I clicked the goddamned  button.

Taking the risk.

This was freaking scary. I clocked the goddamn button. IN a few short months I had to reformat all my web stuff to work for a new format, organize it into comics, finish the Inheritance Prologue, get them printed, design my table, oh yeah... and learn to value myself enough to sell it. Did I mention that there is a part of me only able to undervalue my work? Most artists have that. Mine thrived.

Things had changed though. I was putting my money where my mouth was. In the end I got everything together. I have talked about that before you can find it here: _____ However the morning of the con what I only talked about a little bit was the fact that when I arrived I was goddamn petrified. I was so scared that Damage Inc. may not sell I did all kinds of stupid stuff, I even continued to do stupid stuff Like collaborating with my heart not in it. It was stupid and false and had everything to do with my self esteem and not how bad ass my work is.

That morning I was ready before anyone at the con after practicing over and over. I was ready, I had over an hour before it all began and I was shaking on the inside.

Enter the Pirate:

This is where things change or more specifically begin to change.

I got up from my table because I thought if I stayed Id get more scared. I couldn't meet people petrified. Inside I was a nine year old kid who was getting harassed because he was poor, and smart. I was the 14 year old Freak the Jocks liked to call out. I was the 17 year old who was loosing the love of his life because of a rumor. I was judging myself  before anyone else was and it was stupid as all hell.

So of course I looked for a bathroom. Walking down the long halls of the McClellan Conference center Is aw all the cosplayers outside, and I saw some of the pirates from a cosplay booth. Actually I saw one pirate. He was nearly seven feet tall from my recollection with a red beard. I passed by him on my way to the lavatory and I heard a voice in my head. You have to talk to someone man... I stopped, and went back to him. "Nice beard I am jealous of your beards girth and color!" he nodded said mine was a good beard to Arrrr.

I walked back still jittery.

downloadThe gold:

Maybe 30 minutes went by at my table after that, and it was nerve wracking. When the doors opened it was like watching a tide come in. So many people were going in different directions, and some towards Artist Alley. I had to keep a good deal of discipline just to keep my head up and looking at the people. It was nearly impossible at first to talk, until I saw the Pirate again. He came to my table and he picked up a copy of Inheritance, put it down, then picked up a copy of Damage inc. I managed to bet my broken elevator pitch out to him, and he reached into a pouch on his belt. he drew out five gold coins, and dropped them down on the table.

A PIRATE PAYED ME IN Pirate Gold for my book! I still have the coins set aside I keep them to remind me of that morning. Pirate Gold can be one hell of a motivator.

The value

I had done a lot of research in preparation. In that I was told that if a cold person no rep no audience shows up and sells 6-7 books they should consider the con a success. It started with Pirate Gold and at the end of that day I had sold 37 books. both booths to either side of me were asking me how I managed to get so much traffic. I answered: "Pirate Gold" They both assumed I had been to dozens of cons. It was a huge validation.

At the start of this I was sure I was going to make a mistake trying to get ahead of myself. In the end of it I had the life changing experience to see my work in print, and I got the experience of a lifetime where someone showed me that my work had a value, and paid me in Pirate Gold.