This weekend I’ll be in the Artist Alley at WICKED COMIC CON for the first time. Unlike most of the conventions I do, which are either anime or generally nerdy cons, Wicked Comic Con is primarily a comic book show. You’d think I’d be more excited for that, given I’ve been doing comics independently for twenty years, and truthfully I am very excited… but I’m also pretty nervous.
AwesomeCon, which I will be returning to alongside Garth in June, is the most comics-centric show we regularly do, even though it’s also host to a ton of pop culture celebrities. We do well there every year and have a blast! We did New York Comic Con once a few years ago, and we did well there, too! We’re made to feel welcome, the attendees are super friendly, and it’s always a thrill to be in a crowd that’s hungry for comics! I’m used to comic book shows! I shouldn’t have any nerves at all alongside my genuine excitement for Wicked Comic Con!
Except for all those other shows I was alongside Garth. This one? I’m flying solo.
The only other time I’ve ever done a comic book convention by myself was the now-defunct Wizard World Boston, many years ago. I was showcasing only my own work, and I bombed hard. People at that show, at that time, weren’t looking for anime-flavored art, which Oracle for Hire’s years very much were. They wanted western graphic novels and established industry professionals, neither of which I was or had.
I’ve always been very self-conscious about my artwork. Compared to Garth’s one-man-studio quality work or alongside the published works of established industry professionals, my art looks very DIY. That being said, I’m still proud of my DIY style and believe that style is just as valid as more professionally produced comics! The problem with me is that I’m unfairly hard on myself, and whenever I compare myself to others I trend towards viewing myself in a negative light. (I know it’s stupid and untrue, but if you know how to kick this too-hard-on-yourself habit let me know.)
I know I’m being silly. I’ll have Star Power books alongside all my Dominic Deegan books (both Oracle for Hire and The Legacy) this weekend. I believe in my body of work and I’m proud to show it off. Do I believe I deserve to be there alongside artists with more streamlined styles or the industry pros? Absolutely. Everyone deserves a spot at the table if they’ve put the work in to make a comic they’re passionate about.
I’m excited for my first time at WICKED COMIC CON. I’m excited to show off what I can do. I’m excited to have my spot at the table, and one day I’ll fully convince myself that I deserve to be there.