Anime, Books!, Comics, Conventions, Inspiration, Manga, Signal Boost, Writing

Cincinnati Comic Expo 2019 Wrap-Up

Hey all, Dani here.

So this past weekend Damian and I went to work with my friend Brad from Colorworld Books, and it was quite a busy time, but it was overall a wonderful experience. Brad’s wife, Rachel, writes the Colorworld book series, which I admit to being obsessed with–actually, I bet I’ll have another book review up by the end of the year, because she’s supposed to release book 6.3 sometime this year. It’s been a couple years since I was able to work with them, but I wanted to give Damian that experience, so we talked it over with them and the plans were made.

Let’s just start with the fact that our weekend technically started as soon as we finished work for the week, so Thursday at 4pm. We went home, dropped off our work stuff, packed up our last few necessary items, and loaded up our car, before heading out again. The drive was long and we were already a bit tired, but we made it to Cincinnati around 8pm, checked in at the hotel, and then went to the Duke Energy Center to meet Brad and pick up our exhibitor badges. Well, that turned into us parking the car and working until 10pm trying to get some of the booth set up since Brad was running a little bit late.

After that we went back to the hotel and slept.

Friday morning we had to be at the convention center by 8am, even though the show floor wasn’t set to open until 2pm. And yes, it did take us until about ten minutes before 2 to get the booth completely set up.

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Yeah, it is a big and impressive booth, right? We sold quite a bit of merchandise and met a good amount of awesome and geeky people from 2pm until the show floor closed at 8pm. After that it was time for dinner–which was Lucy Blue Pizza (delicious, for the record)–and then we went back to our hotel and passed out.

Wow, I somehow almost forgot the best parts of Friday: celebrity meetings. So right before the show floor opened, Brad took us over to meet his friend Colleen Clinkenbeard (the voice of Erza in “Fairy Tail,” along with a whole lot of other voice acting credits). I had a super major fangirl moment, because Colleen has played a few characters who have meant so so much to me. I admit it, I cried when I met her. But she was an absolute sweetheart, so that was wonderful.

And then, in the middle of the day I happened to look up as Wil and Anne Wheaton walked by. I said hello to them and they both stopped and we were able to have a conversation with them. We asked how their dog Marlowe was, and talked to Wil a bit about D&D. Of course that made me bring up my celebrity signed Player’s Handbook, and Wil told me to bring it by his booth and he would sign it. I didn’t lose it and fangirl until after they walked away. And I did get my PHB signed, but that had to wait until Sunday–and sorry, I can’t show off the signature because it is signed to me using my legal name, not my blogging name.

Saturday was the longest day of the convention, though not the longest day for us. The show floor opened at 9:30am and closed at 7pm, and oh man, it was so wonderfully busy. We got to talk to so so many wonderful people. That’s really what going to cons is about, meeting people and geeking out together. It’s great. Oh, and after the convention I took Damian to live out a childhood dream–by taking him to Hooters for dinner. So that was fun. Saturday was also the day that we went and bought my new Switch Lite, which I am really loving so far. Anyway, back to con talk.

Sunday we made it to the convention a little bit early so we could walk around and buy some merch for ourselves. Mostly this ended up being artwork, so I’ll show just a few of those items here, but my favorite purchase had to be the ocarina that I’ve been wanting since I worked with Colorworld Books back in 2016. Back then we were an aisle over from the ocarina booth and I had to listen to that delightful music the whole weekend. I regretted not buying one then. So, upon discovering that they were there again, I absolutely had to get myself an ocarina. Oh, and all of the metal bookmarks and art prints are from Colorworld Books, because of course I need to support my friends in their awesome business by keeping myself in a supply of geeky artwork.

Oh, and Sunday the show floor was open from 9:30am until 5:00 pm. Then came the real work: taking down everything that we had put up for display a couple days earlier. I honestly had thought that we would be lucky to actually finish by the midnight deadline, but somehow Damian, Brad, and I managed to get finished by about 9:30pm, which is outstanding. We had to box up all of the shirts, take down each display art print individually and wipe off any smudgy fingerprints before gently slipping them into protective plastic sleeves. It’s just a long and somewhat tedious task. But we did it.

Overall it was a few very long days, but we left feeling so wonderfully fulfilled in our hearts and souls. The part of the weekend that is making these days following so difficult is that once again I was offered a full-time place on Team Colorworld, and Damian was offered the same. They want to see their team get bigger, and it is a wonderful opportunity to do something that we actually love and are passionate about. My big concern is seeing what that means for insurance, paying bills, retirement, etc. Getting to travel around the country attending conventions and getting paid to do it, is frankly a dream job, and my heart immediately wants to jump into this opportunity, but I can’t neglect the fact that I have massive student loan debt, and Damian and I just bought a house, and all these other facts of responsibility. We have a lot to think about, and a lot of numbers to crunch. It may be that Damian and I could be making some big life changes soon. We’ll just have to see how do-able it is.

All right, well that is all for today, but I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

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