Canadian Comics pros: Are you planning your 2011 event schedules? There are many events of various sizes and degrees around the country and around the world – find the one(s) that do fit your needs (book sales, art sales, networking, parties, exposure, general comfort level, costs and location) and don’t hesitate to contact them if they haven’t contacted you or sought you out.
Don’t discount your value to the event as most will gladly offer you free table space if you work on well distributed comics (including webcomics) and graphic novels, as your presence enhances the marquee value of their event. If they have the budget for it, some will also offer travel and/or accommodations and other incentives on top of a complimentary table space. Do assess their value to you and do your homework on the event — there are many shows with similar sounding names. Some events are curated, meaning that they look for specific creators to attend who fit in with a defined philosophical or aesthetic theme.
If you are a self-publisher and a show cannot offer the complimentary space, et al. to you they will usually have an “artist alley” section of tables available for a fee – and since you are building a name and audience for your work – you should always cost compare and be aware of any travel, hotel and other expenses above and beyond those fees. Thankfully airlines and hotels allow you to search out and estimate prices for shows outside of your town, and there are many services out there that can further discount those prices.
Members of our organization do work on and with several events across the country so I don’t recommend you approach our organization for opinions on which to do as we strive to ensure that this organization maintains it’s neutrality and we try to promote all events, not just the ones we work on/with/at… although the one event the Awards Association would clearly would love to see many of you out at in 2011 is the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (where our award ceremony is being held) and will be doing what we can to specifically assist nominees interested in attending that event on June 17-19.
The best place to get information WILL ALWAYS BE THE OPINIONS/ADVICE OF YOUR COLLEAGUES AND PEERS, so ask around!
I started to compile a list of comic book conventions and festivals across the country, but I’m sure I’m missing some and I have yet to add in the weblinks. A quick google search on a show’s name should lead you to their website or information/opinions on the event. Let me know if you are aware of any that I have missed: