Every year I try to do different conventions, so as to mix up where I go and the audience I reach with my books. It also keeps things fresh for me, which is always nice to try something new. This year, I decided to give Count-i-Con a try.

A smaller convention located in Grayslake, IL, the show is on it’s second year and was a lot of fun. Very family friendly, with plenty to do for con-goers (and people who are new to cons). The show is also only two-days, so you don’t have to take time off from work or commit an entire weekend to enjoy the show.

Let’s dive into some details on the weekend.

Since the show starts at noon, I actually got the chance to sleep in a little for a Saturday at a convention. I left my place with the car fully packed, and drove north towards the County Fairgrounds, where they held the con this year. The drive was uneventful, and I got there in plenty of time to set up – and even say hi to a few people.

The table set up, and ready for commerce!

I was joined by friends Russell Lissau (Old Wounds), and Mark Stegbauer (Survival), and we were set up in artist alley. Gabo was also there, but set up in the main isles of the show floor, with a super sweet corner booth.

Pitching the books

It didn’t take long for the doors to open and people to start coming in. Since our tables were opposite the doors, it did take a while for them to filter back to us, but once they were there the sales started coming in. The crowd was very positive and eager to hear pitches, and check out all of the cool stuff we had for sale.

I was also joined by my mother’s best friend, Deb, and her daughter, Celine. This was Celine’s first convention, and she came dressed in costume (and placed in the top 10 of the costume contest). She brought a bunch of her friends, as well, and they stopped by the table throughout the day. We made plans to go to dinner together later that night.

Went out to dinner with some first-time con-goers

I wasn’t super familiar with the area, so we let Google Maps tell us what our dinner options were. We found a Chili’s near my hotel, and headed that way. We sat at several tables, and talked anime and comics with both Celine and her friends, as well as the parents. One of the parents was dressed up as Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager, which was pretty awesome.

The girls had a blast, but since they were headed back to Michigan that night, we called it early and sent them on their way. I retired to the hotel with Russ and Mark, enjoyed some post-con drinks at the bar, and then headed to bed.

I woke up and headed to the gym for a quick pre-con workout (not my full routine, but a little something to get some energy for the day). After the gym, the guys and I headed to a nearby diner for some much-needed breakfast.

I’m here to sell comics and chew bubblegum. And I’m all out of bubblegum.

Breakfast with some handsome / hungry guys

Ole skillet – spicy eggs and jalapenos.

After food, we went to the con to set up. I chatted up Ashley Witter (Squariors), who I know back from my days of posting webcomics on Drunk Duck. It was fun catching up with her, and we made plans to talk more about the glory days of webcomic making and the fun community Drunk Duck had in our day.

But now it was time to get the sales on, so I headed back to table and started my day of selling. Sunday was noticeably slower than Saturday, but traffic kept picking up as the day progressed. I eventually decided to take off a little early (mostly because my wife wanted to go see a movie), and packed it in.

Count-i-Con was a fun alternative to the larger comic shows that I go to, and focuses on the actual comic creators (and not the TV celebrities). It was refreshing to be at a show where people were there for the comics, and not for other reasons. It was a lot of fun, and I hope to be invited back again next year.

Come buy comics from this guy, next con you see him at!