SD Comic-Con ’09: The Comeback Kids Strike Again!

Dating back to the 1990s when I used to have a booth with Rich Henn as the Small Press Expo every year in Bethesda, MD, the Friday session at Comic-Con was my single worst convention day. Ever.

Just awful.

I woke up feeling sort of okay, until I checked my email. I went down to the business center to log in, and got a note from my agent saying that my most promising publisher opportunity was no more. They passed on FINDERS KEEPERS. May day pretty much went downhill from there.

Dating back to the 1990s when I used to have a booth with Rich Henn as the Small Press Expo every year in Bethesda, MD, the Friday session at Comic-Con was my single worst convention day. Ever.

Just awful.

I woke up feeling sort of okay, until I checked my email. I went down to the business center to log in, and got a note from my agent saying that my most promising publisher opportunity was no more. They passed on FINDERS KEEPERS. May day pretty much went downhill from there.

Throughout my 10 hours at the booth I got no Hollywood love. Zero. No agents, no producers. Nothing. I didn’t get even a single attendee name on my newsletter sign up sheet. Henn was off running around the convention hall doing this and that, so that left me to tend to our side of the booth–solo–for most of the day. By the end of the session, it really got to me.

My back hurt. I was cranky. No celeb sightings. My mojo was nowhere. Dinner aside (I blogged about that separately), it was just a lousy, lousy day across the board.

And then a funny thing happened …

The next morning I got up early and went down to the gym, and decided then and there that yesterday was over, and that today was going to be my best day of the convention. I had my hero Zig Ziglar going on my iPod, talking about staying positive, and having a plan, and that if you stick with it, and adjust accordingly, good things will happen. I got my mojo on, I got my sweat on. I was feeling goooooood.

Then, during the show, I found a publisher that once passed on FINDERS KEEPERS, but I talked to a new editor there, who loved the idea of my book, and requested that I send him a copy. Score. I also networked with a couple of other writers, which could lead to some very nice opportunities in the not-so-distant future. My newsletter sign up sheet started filling up, and I banged around some ideas with Rich Koslowski for a new cover for FINDERS KEEPERS.

But Saturday night was the topper. Before we headed out to dinner, Ray and I stopped off at the Hyatt to check on the status of our bill, because Ray and Rich were staying until Monday morning, while I was leaving Sunday morning, and Ron left earlier that day. So it was a bit of puzzle figuring out who owed what.

What we discovered was that the Hyatt–unbeknowst to Rich–charged him approximately $180 … yep $180 … to receive about a half dozen packages he had sent to the hotel prior to the event. We didn’t tell Rich until dinner was over, but when he heard the news, as expected, his head exploded.

So instead of heading out for drinks or desert, Rich high-tailed it back to the Hyatt to straighten this out. For trip where every dollar counts, $180 was shocking. With a full head of steam, Rich was stewing the whole way back to the Hyatt. Ultimately, he managed to talk the hotel manager down to $60 … a heckuva lot better than $180 … but still.

And yet … I love this part … on the way back to the Hyatt, as Rich was zooming ahead, what did I find on the sidewalk, just sitting there? You guessed it. $60! Somebody — sorry dude — must have dropped the cash reaching into their pocket. So we donated the cash to Henn’s package fund. It didn’t cost him a dime!

All in all, I had one of my BEST convention days ever.

Just goes to show that having the right attitude can go such a long way, especially at a convention like Comic-Con, which can wear you down if you’re not careful. From the bottom to the top.

The Comeback Kids strike again!

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