Instead of taking place in the heart of downtown on Gay Street, the festival moved to the growing arts district in the Franklinton neighborhood, just across the river from Downtown. Instead of being part of craft alley booths and tents, several of the comic vendors were asked to form a cooperative comic book pop up shop inside a metal shipping container. (It wasn’t just the comics folk… There were about seven container stores/galleries set up in a small courtyard.) I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being concerned about people finding the festival’s new location and of being dubious of being stuck into what amounted to a giant steel can.
My angst was unwarranted. Independents day brought in a great crowd and with the help of my comics collaborators, we turned that gray metal box into something colorful and fun. A sponsor benefactor even stepped up and chipped in enough that I didn’t need to shoulder the extra expenses of renting the container store.
NUMBERS FOR THE GROUP:
Comic Sales $528
Swag Sales (Poster/Prints, T-Shirts, toys, Etc.) $257
So how cool is Columbus? Comics out-sold swag 2 to 1 at the local arts fair and everyone of the constituent publishers/groups who chipped in for the pop up shop made more than their “table fee.” That’s pretty freakin' cool! (At least I define it.)
NUMBERS FOR NIX COMICS
Square Fees $9
Set Up Equipment (Lights, hanging, supplies, Etc.) $56
Comic Sales $130
Swag Sales (Poster/Prints, T-Shirts, toys, Etc.) $70
Part of the cooperative effort of the pop shop involved contributions from each member of the co-op according to their means. Extra expenses were picked up by those who could and the spirit of volunteerism ran high among those who scrounged up all of the borrowed equipment, helped set up and tear down. I shouldered some extra expenses for set up. I also ran the check out station for the whole shop, which means I ate all of the transaction fees for sales made on my square.
While the net of $90 isn’t ideal, failing by a hair to reach my benchmark for a successful show, I grossed $200 in sales, which is nothing to sneeze at.