5 Strange Things That Happened to Me At Wizard World 2019

Wizard World Convention was a new experience for me since it was my first time having an artist table there, so granted, most things there were strange to me. But here are 5 strangest things that happened to me.

Melissa Kojima in front of her artist’s alley table at Wizard World Comic Convention in February 2019.

Melissa Kojima in front of her artist’s alley table at Wizard World Comic Convention in February 2019.

  1. What? IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ART?

    This convention was more about the T.V. and movie celebrities than anything, leaving comic books and art to take 2nd fiddle to them. This hit me as strange. I had no idea. Venders sold products with pictures of the celebrities and comic book characters on them like pillows, towels, plush toys and pins. Most of the artists there were doing the same thing if they wanted to make money. Digital art, celebrity portraits were sold at almost every artist’s table. My art was one of the anomalies because it was original and hand drawn. So as you could guess, my art got a lot less attention and sales than the others around me.

2. WHAT DO YOU MEAN MY ART REMINDS YOU OF ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’, BUT ‘WONDERLAND’ FANS DON’T CARE ABOUT IT?

The people who stopped by my table described my art as whimsical but dark and it reminded them of Alice and Wonderland. That didn’t surprise me. I’ve heard that before. This made me think that all those cosplayers wearing Alice in Wonderland costumes, top hats and steampunk gear would find my art fascinating and attractive. But strangely, none of them stopped by——-Oh wait! No——I forgot one of them did stop at my table. In his Mad Hatter costume, he asked me if I sold picture frames, since my art was framed. When I said no, he left without glancing at my table wares.

3. What? NOBODY REALLY KNOWS WHAT PAPER PUPPETS ARE?

I made 3 special Victorian monster creature paper puppets for the comic convention, believing people would love to take home a print of them, to cut them out and make their own creatures to play with. But I had several people ask what they were. They didn’t know that they moved. They had never seen anything like them before. I guess, I was showing them something so new, they couldn’t get their minds around it. What? You can actually move its arms, head and legs? You can make a stop-motion video with them? It was so strange to me. I really had no idea. Do you know what paper puppets are? Or are you one of the folks who is in the know?

4. MEN ACTUALLY COMPLIMENTED and liked MY ARTWORK?

Over and over, I was told that my art was beautiful, pretty and even gorgeous. I really appreciated the compliments. It usually came from women or girls. If there were men around my table, they were usually with their families or women. When groups of men stopped and looked and even complimented my art, I was surprised. I didn’t know that they would find it interesting. I’ve heard over and over again from my friends that my art looks like it’s for kids or it looks like it’s from a storybook, and not to mention, it’s very feminine, so it was strange that there were men who found value in it. What? You didn’t need to see a big, violent fight scene with aggression and violence spilling over the page to stop and look? It was nice to know that not all men needed to have that in their art to find it valuable in some way. That said, none of my sales were to men or boys.

The scary ghost twin cosplayers from the movie, The Shining.

The scary ghost twin cosplayers from the movie, The Shining.

The elegant Great Gatsby flapper cosplayer.

The elegant Great Gatsby flapper cosplayer.

5. Did you KNow MY LARGEST SALE WAS FROM A NON-COMIC BOOK CONVENTION PERSON?

Yes, women were there and supported my art. They stopped and talked to me about being fascinated by my Moon Lady Card and Haunted Head House Ladies prints and drawings. They were there with their daughters or friends. They were older or very young in cosplay furry outfits. On the first day, a middle-aged woman was there with her daughter and they bought a Lady Bat paper puppet doll to make and play with. On the last day, they came back and decided to buy a giclee print of the Haunted Head House Lady. They told me they were putting together an Airbnb rental room with a spooky theme to it, so my print would work with it. That was fun to learn, I’d be a part of it. But the biggest sale I got was from the sister of the man tabling at a neighboring artist table. She came to see her brother and she told me she’d never been to a convention before. She spent quite a bit of time looking at my original art and framed prints. She said she really loved the colors and thought maybe her grand daughter or niece might like my art. She took pictures and sent them out on her phone. The girls responded to her and it turned out that they weren’t interested in my art. I thought that was the end of that, but she finally realized she had to get something for herself, so she bought one of my framed giclee prints from my series of “Moon, Magic and Night Time Girls”. I was so happy to get a big sale. It really made my day and it made the convention less disappointing.

Mary Poppins and Burt Cosplayers.

Mary Poppins and Burt Cosplayers.

A Midieval Red Queen and King at Wizard World Convention

A Midieval Red Queen and King at Wizard World Convention

That said, I already paid for my artist’s table at Rose City Comic Convention before this Wizard World Convention, so I’ll be doing that in September of this year. I talked to a lot of people about it and they have told me it is much more oriented towards artists, alternative artwork and there is a much bigger attendance. Wish me luck. Hopefully, I’ll be able to break even or make a profit this time. If you’d like to support my art, come on by next time or buy some artwork online from me.

I changed the set up of my artist table every day of the 3 day convention.

I changed the set up of my artist table every day of the 3 day convention.