Comics conventions VS Author Readings

Here is a quick update on how things are going this week: fantastic!

DIY Magic is currently a “hot new release” on Amazon. It is a the #1 new release in creativity right now. Which has me celebrating this morning by drinking extra coffee. (What, no champagne, just extra coffee? Yeah, pretty exciting. Hey, I’m getting old.)

number one

Yes, it feels good to be “number one”.


So that’s cool. Even more fun for me has been connecting with readers at events. I learned something really surprising this weekend: comics artists get to connect with fans in a way more personal and approachable way than authors do. Let me explain. I did two events this past weekend. One was a reading at Elliot Bay up in Seattle. It’s a fantastic bookstore and it was an honor to read there. The other event : I sort of piggybacked my way into Lineworks NW. An independent comics convention here in Portland. I just sat at a table, with a stack of my books and chatted with folks. (Also I had some beer and pizza—something you can’t really do during an author reading without looking like a weird slob.) Pretty low key, and I felt like I got a much more real & human connection at the comics event than my own reading!

The thing is most authors just do readings, that’s just what you do. You get up in front of a microphone and read a chapter or two and maybe do a Q&A afterwards. And most comics artists don’t do readings they do “tabling”. (I think that’s what it’s called.)

Obviously this has as much to do with the nature of the two mediums as anything. It is easy for an author to read their stuff out loud. With comics you need to be able to see the pictures so a reading doesn’t make sense.

Here is my point: the author/audience relationship, just by the way readings happen, put the author on a pedestal (literally) and make it harder to connect. When you are tabling at a convention it feels way more democratic, you’re not up on a stage with a microphone, you’re just chatting to people across the table. It feels like comics artists have a more level relationship with their fans simply because of the way the events are handled!

I’m noting this because I know that a lot of fans of this blog are writers and creators themselves. And it is important to think about how we connect with our audience. I think in this case us writers might be able to learn a thing or two from our comics cousins about community, communication, and connection.

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