Do you really want to know how & why the show got started? I mean c’mon…there has to be something on TV you could be watching. A re-run of What’s Happening Now? would probably be more entertaining.
Okay. Don’t say we didn’t try to warn you.
See that handsome fella on the left? That’s me, Jeff Morris. I used to be a comic book vendor when I lived back in Pennsylvania. I collected comics all my life and I used to travel up and down the East Coast selling my books from convention to convention. I loved it. I loved everything about it. Meeting fans and vendors, talking comics with the creators, getting deals on books for my collection, the whole atmosphere of a convention in general was fun for me.
A decade passes, life throws out some curve balls, and I find myself moving to St. Louis to be near family. A few years later NewCastle Comics & Games opens up near me. This is where I met Steve Falcon.
Steve is the slightly less handsome than me gentleman in glasses on the right. Steve is a former New Yorker, spent time in the Navy, owned a comic shop back in New York, and somehow ended up in St. Louis with a Wife and 2 kids. Hmmm…that’s not a good story is it? I have to remember to ask Steve what the heck brought him out to Missouri.
Anyway, a few years ago he opened up NewCastle Comics & Games in Maryland Heights, MO. I was instantly hooked. Comics, Games, Toys…it had everything a Geek like me could love and the shop was so nice and clean! Plus Steve just loved to talk with his customers, which made me feel welcome.
But the one thing NewCastle did, was it put the itch in my brain to get to a comic convention again. It had been several years. So I started seeking out what Missouri had to offer in the way of conventions.
Boy was I disappointed.
Sure, there were a couple conventions in the area. The ones close by either didn’t have guests, or only had one or two guests. The few larger cons in the area, were too far away or they just weren’t comic cons. They had a ton of media guests from the 80′s charging for signatures and photos. Comics and their creators had taken a backseat to people who hadn’t had a regular acting gig in over a decade.
I quickly realized that no one was going to bring to me the type of comic convention that I wanted to go to. So if I wanted a show that I thought would be fun, then I was going to have to do it myself. But it was going to be a lot of work and a lot of money. I needed help.
So one day while sitting in NewCastle Comics, I got to thinking about wanting to do a con, so I asked Steve if he wanted to do a convention with me. To my surprise he said yes.
We spent the next 4 hours or so discussing what we would want to see and experience at a Comic Convention. Then every time I went over there for the next six months we talked about the con. We discussed everything. From the guests and how we’d treat them, to the vendors and what would make them want to set up at our convention, to what the fans would want and make them excited about the show.
And finally after every detail had been discussed and we were in agreement about what we wanted, we leaped in feet first. We found a location, booked some guests, found some vendors, and had our first show.
We thought it was a success. We learned a lot about running a convention, what worked well (and what didn’t), and what could be improved on for future shows.
To me the best part was realizing before the first show was even over that we were going to have to do this again. We were hooked.
So we took all the feedback we got from fans, guests, and vendors, reinvested the profits from the first show, found someone to help us fund the next show so we could go bigger, got a couple of sponsors, and had PROJECT:Comic Con 2. It was three times larger and more successful then our first show.
And now here we are. This year’s show is falling neatly into place, and the talk of the show for 2013 has already begun.
See? I told you it was boring…