The Art Geek Zoo MIX Report

Posted on by Rob Stenzinger

Conventions are great in that they provide an immediate feedback loop. For instance, I get to see when people really connect with Art Geek Zoo. I can watch the curious meander by and grab a flyer and the entertained or intrigued people that want to chat or checkout the stuff I have to sell.

MIX - the Minneapolis Indie Expo on August 21st of 2010 - was my second convention and it was a ton of fun.

My table setup for Art Geek Zoo at MIX

Of course that immediate feedback loop also lets me see those times when my comic doesn't connect, which surprisingly (and happily) there were not too many of those instances at MIX.

I've noticed that Art Geek Zoo seems to click with people who:

  1. Play guitar and wish their guitar could talk and go on adventures with them.

  2. Are enthusiastic about guitar, maybe or maybe not play around with guitar from time to time, repair guitars, but just don't quite feel ready to wear the label of "guitarist".

  3. People curious about the penguin and/or the penguin dressed as a shuriken/ninja star.

  4. Think that a music-based martial art sounds cool.

  5. Looking for an indie produced comic where a band of friends need to embark on an adventure together.

  6. Then there are those just curious what kind of animal Pick is, with their current guess being mosquito or rat. :) I do suppose he's a highly stylized penguin.

One of my favorite things about tabling at a convention is when I see a cool metal band shirt in the crowd and the person wearing it stops by my table. It's fun to jot down bands I haven't heard of to check out or to see old favorites. There were two in particular that caught my eye at MIX. One is a band I've heard of and need to listen to more of their stuff: Emperor. The other is new to me: Ensiferum.

A few folks were curious about my QR codes. They are a way to tag physical things with some data such as a text note, a URL for more information, contact info, etc. Someone with a camera phone or smartphone can snap an image with a QR code aware app to use the data. I used three QR codes: a link to Art Geek Zoo web page, a link to the game Guitar Fretter, and a link to the Indy Planet store page where you can purchase Art Geek Zoo Volume 1: Hidden Talent.

AGZ QR Codes Sign

If you'd like to make your own QR codes, I recommend the Google Chart Wizard

Another enjoyable aspect to tabeling at conventions is getting to know other artists. I sat next to some cool folks: JillyFoo, comic artist and maker of cute miniature statues and Fes from the Web Comics Beacon podcast.The organizers did a fantastic job organizing and promoting MIX and making the artists feel welcome and at home.

The crowd rocked and was supportive on a bunch of levels, visiting, asking questions, and buying stuff. It was an awesome day, I plan to be a part of MIX next year!

Pick and Crunchy, Pick wearing his shuriken costume sketched while at MIX