So we went to Caption for the first time yesterday. A lot of the small press veterans bang on about it as one of the big events in the calendar, so we were a bit surprised to see a rather poky room with not a lot going on (and not a lot of comics) when we got there, and having to pay a fiver to get in seemed a bit steep. The trouble is that people turn up throughout the day bringing their stuff, so if you got there early, you would be gutted, and not necessarily realise there was more to come, so you go home empty handed because there wouldnt be anything to hang around for. The idea of caption is really good though, you leave your comics and they sell them for you for 10% commision -peanuts compared with the cost of a table at one of the big expos, or even the web and mini comix thing, and of course you only have to give them money when you sell something.
I sold surprisingly well however, i took 3 of each issue of banal pig, 3 ethel sparrowhawks and 3 anthologies, and sold all but the unsellable issue two* and two of the anthologies, which means i made nearly £30 with no effort. So there’s no complaints from me, especially as we had a nice day out in oxford to boot, but it did seem for the casual small press fan there simply wasn’t enough going on to justify paying £5 to get in, especially if you also had to travel to Oxford in the first place (in comparison, the Web and Mini Comix thing is £4, there was far more going on, and it is really easy to get to as its in London near a tube station).
I dont know what to suggest to improve this, and i think form a creators perspective it’s important to have these events and support them, but everyone there seemed to be creators who know each other and were in their cliques, so you dont get the direct contact with the creators like at an expo (which can be a double-edged sword as i have previously mentioned, but at least you’d have someone to talk to if you liked the work). also there’s events going on which we didnt see, but i never generally bother with that sort of thing anyway.
But i did well so i cant grumble.
*if i ever start a different comic series, i am not going to have an issue two because it has proved very unpopular, even though it is far better than issue one, and other comic creators have confirmed their issue twos sell badly as well.