caricature / convention

Walker Stalker London – 2019

I’m not quite sure why I put the date on the title, since sadly, this is the one and only time I’m going to Walker Stalker London, but it was a once in a lifetime experience, and I hope my customers appreciated their singular opportunity to get a drawing from me at my reduced event rates. Here are some of the results:

If you commissioned a drawing at the con, but don’t see your drawing here, it’s because 1) You didn’t consent to use of the image for promotional purposes on your commission sheet (you can contact me to change this if you wish), 2) I’m still working on your drawing as a mail out commission, or 3) both.

My European excursion: the good the bad and the ugly:

The good:

+ England was fun! We went to Stonehenge, Bath and Windsor Castle on amazing tours with great weather (I’ll post some pictures on my FB page for my FB friends to see). Stacey and I also went on a Jack the Ripper Tour on an open air double-decker tour bus that gave us amazing views of the city and was a fun way to learn about London history with a very engaging tour guide.

+ English food was good! I know it gets a bad rap, but honestly we didn’t have a bad meal while we were there.

+ Meeting my UK buddies at the Good Morning Zompoc podcast meetup on Saturday night. It was only Marc, Bex and their spouses, and my good friends Stacey Vowell, AJ Moore, Nicki Rapp, but they’re truly as nice and fun as they seem online.

+ It seemed that after moving to a corner booth on the second day of the convention, customers could make more educated decisions on where to get their zombie caricatures, and many chose our booth, even though I was charging a premium price (see below at “the ugly” for why this is pertinent).

The bad:

  • Paris felt like dirty, unfriendly tourist trap. It seemed like there was even an extra “being American” surcharge at one of the restaurants where a meal for 4 ballooned to 180 Euros because of a shady way of calculating mandatory gratuities. Ironically, the only place where we didn’t feel like we were being victimized was Disneyland Paris. Personal hygiene was at such a low level, that I felt like my clothes needed to be burned after riding public transportation there. The police also a bit much: I was confronted by officers with long guns and a police dog because I had put my foot up on the train seat across from me and was told, “You can pay the sixty euro fine now or we can take you into the station.”
  • Not one prospective customer, whether or not they ended up buying a copy of There’s a Zombie in the Basement, read it cover-to-cover as we suggested. I don’t know whether it’s English politeness that prevents them from doing so, or a huge lack of desire to read. Glad I was able to sell 11 copies in spite of this.

The ugly:

  • Sadly, Walker Stalker London was not a successful convention for me. This is the first Walker Stalker where they allowed more than one zombie caricature artist in since my first Walker Stalker Chicago (and I still made almost twice what I did here), and these guys were under cutting my prices by as much as 2/3! (Dang, at those prices, they couldn’t have been making much either, just working harder). The end result was I ended up making less than I did at Walker Stalker Atlanta (where I only covered my costs and haven’t been back to since). So, it only defrayed some of my costs of being there, and that’s just not a sustainable way to continue to do business. As a result, I regretfully won’t be back.

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