Minnesota Con 2023 Blog

This past weekend, June 1st through the 4th of 2023, I went down to Minnesota Con with my dad who helped me out at my table. I am going to go through a day by day breakdown of what happened. 

June 1st

The first day. I feel like I am in The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask. (if you know the story of the game, you get the reference). Me and my dad got the car loaded, which was a very small car, a Kia Soul, and we drove over 3 hours down to Minneapolis MN to where Minnesota Con is located at. The trip was actually pretty fast as we only had to stop once for gas. The very first thing we did when we got to the city is we went to a restaurant that my high school friend, (and senior prom date), established with a huge good cause behind it.

The restaurant is called All Square, it is a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich shop. (If you wish to learn more about All Square check out the link. https://www.allsquarempls.com/ ) The very first thing we did when we got there was to ask for my friend, owner, and CEO, Emily. Unfortunately we had just missed her. I know it has been over 20 years since she saw my dad and I haven’t seen her since she got married. The staff there asked if I was trying to call ahead and I informed them that I had but no success in making contact. It was disappointing but I know that Emily is a very busy woman. We stayed for a very late lunch/early dinner and got a couple of sandwich baskets. I loved the atmosphere of the place as it seemed like everyone was having a good time and smiling. The staff was just excellent and the music was pumping to reflect the good time they were having. We were not used to that as it did make it hard for us to talk to each other when we sat at our table but that is a very minor and honestly didn’t take away from the experience thanks to the staff that was there and how they were enjoying themselves. The man working the grill, (sorry I didn’t catch your name) I called a chef and I had to give him a lot of props. The sandwich I got, the Jerk, was delicious and the fries were honestly the best fries I ever had. My dad had the Plane Jane as he isn’t too much into spice. I did let him taste my sandwich which wasn’t very spicy at all. It was very mild and held a pretty good flavor. He liked it too. We said our goodbyes to the great staff and made our way to the Minneapolis Convention Center next.

Once there, we unloaded and set up the table. It didn’t take us very long thanks to how we were packed so we were in and out. We checked into the hotel that was just a block and a half away and called it a day.

June 2nd – Day 1 of Minnesota Con

Day one of the convention was a big day for a reason that I will explain later on in this blog. We got to the convention and set up the table for business. When they started opening the doors the people came in and the game was on. I had great booth neighbors and we were able to chat all day/convention long. It wasn’t until the afternoon that the guest cosplayers showed for the convention. My dad was the first to talk with some of them. One of which is Cara Nicole, aka AZPowerGirl. He told me that she knew a little bit about me and that blew my mind. Here is this guest of the convention and she knew of me. Mind you at this time, I didn’t know her at all. So when my dad was able to cover the table, I walked over to Cara’s table. I saw a poster that was hanging that I thought the style was familiar with and it felt like a Jyn Leonard line art with someone else as the colorist. Mind you I am seeing this from a big of a distance as well as looking through people. I asked Cara ,“Jyn?” I respond by saying Jyn Leonard. Cara smiled and said no that it was all of Alfred’s design. She also said she didn’t bring anything that Jyn did to the convention but wished she did. Cara then told me she knows of me directly and that just once again blew my mind. She had told me that she had been talking with Jyn and Ivy and conversations came up about my work. She even told me that Alfred was even watching me as he liked the work I was doing. This really made me tongue tied and I wonder if I was blushing pretty hard. Finding out all of this really made my weekend. We did some more talking as we eventually got a photo together. Overall, I felt like I made a new friend in Cara and I think my dad did too. Cara is such a huge sweetheart. I owe Jyn and Ivy such a big thank you too as they were talking about me to other people in the business of independent comics. I returned to my booth and gave her a compilation book of Vampire Bloodlines to Cara. That wasn’t the end of the people I met.

I was able to meet up with someone I hadn’t seen since Valley Con 2021, Tom Nguyen, a comic book artist who has done covers for Marvel and DC. It was a brief get together and he said that he has been meaning to get in touch with me when I messaged him online but he too has been very busy. He has a comic book coming out too very soon too and they will be doing a live stream for its release. I then got to talking to him about doing a cover for me for issue 6. He asked me when I needed it but I returned asking what his schedule was like. He said he wasn’t open until July and I gritted a little as I was hoping that I could get my next kickstarter up by the end of the month or beginning of July. Knowing that I want Tom to do this, I made the decision to say let’s do it. We made the deal and he gave me a way to contact him better and we would meet up again this weekend.

I also got to meet other lovely cosplayers Ashlynnedae, Krystal Starr (Who is also part of Lego Masters), Hannah Eva, and Kola Bear Cosplay. I was able to shake hands with Rikishi and talk with him about the fall he took while in the Hell in a Cell match and thank him for all he did. I was able to give my condolences to Austin St. John for the loss of Jason David Frank and we were able to talk a little bit about how suicide affected us and those we have seen around us. I think we gained respect between each other as we were able to share our experience. Overall with the people I talked with on this day, it was a very good day.

June 3rd – Day 2 of Minnesota Con

This day started off very fun as the hotel we were staying at had a very interesting way to wake people up on this day. The fire alarm. It went off at 8 am and we all had to leave the building. Got to see some people walk out of the building mid shower as they were all wrapped up in towels. There were two witness accounts but they were different. One is that someone went out the fire exit and the other was that there was smoke down on the first or second floor. Fire department was there within minutes and cleared the building. 

Again this was another very good day overall. Not sales wise, a theme overall when it comes to sales. But I felt like I had many people taking me under their wing. Some of the biggest advice I got, and I felt like she really took me under her wing was Cara herself. She was pointing out all the mistakes I made and told me what I needed to do to help me out. We didn’t have the supplies that she was telling me about but she was also telling me that I need everything at eye level and it needs to pop to bring people in. Right at this moment, my feeling of being grateful went up tenfold as I learned a lot from her. It wasn’t just Cara that was teaching me. I was being taught also by a booth neighbor, Triforce. They are a cosplay prop company about what I need to invest in and how to bring people in. They told me that I talked well about my product and storyline but the theme I was getting was I need to have something that appeals to the eyes to draw people in. The common lesson I got from more than just Cara and the great people from Triforce. There were many more that were helping me out with suggestions to help my table and I took them all to heart.

It was also here that I got back to Tom’s booth and I talked about him doing a commission away from cover I wanted him to do. He said he had an opening and to give him the details. I was wearing my new shirt that had Ivy on it in Bianca’s armor when I had her cosplay that. He brought it up if I wanted that. I told him I want Bianca but if he wanted to use Ivy as the base look then that would be fine. I was just wanting Bianca in her armor. Deal was made and done. I wasn’t able to get it at the convention but I made arrangements the next day with Tom to have it mailed to me when it was completed. 

My day also had me getting more advice from someone else who is a comic book creator. He is Nick Palodichuk. We did a trade for my comic book as well as he did a sketch of Bianca. I got the physical sketch from him near the end of the day and it was awesome. Thank you so much. 

Some other things was that I was able to get a photo with AEW Star Julia Hart, got her permission to put her in a piece of art with one of my characters, had Ashlynne visit my table and just gush over Eternal Beat and the outfit that is in it. I handed her a copy and the way she lit up just made my smile huge.

The day would come to an end and it was a good day overall.

June 4th – Day 3 of Minnesota Con

Day three was the last day and it almost started pretty bad for me. I woke up in the middle of the night with an acid reflux attack that came totally unexpected. The meal I had the night previous had a lot of acid in it so that is where I am guessing it came from. I spent an hour fighting my body to control it so I didn’t start coughing and throwing up for about 30 minutes. 

The day was pretty slow but I was able to converse more with Ashlynne. I asked her if she was able to check out Eternal Beat but she said she wasn’t able to as she promised. I understood as there were no issues about that. She did say that she would let me know what she thinks of it and I am excited to hear her thoughts. A fan who checked out my table brought up the idea of hiring Ashlynne and that got her excited as she said she was interested too. I said to her that I am open to it but I did ask if she wanted Vampire Bloodlines to know more about my world. She said please so for research purposes, I gave her a compilation book and got another big smile.

I was able to also get to talk with Cara more and really got to know each other more. I think I like the whole part where she asked me about pancakes or waffles. I told her waffles because I prefer a crunch, even as pancakes and waffles are or can be the same in terms of the batter used. She told me that she did too but hated if the waffles got soggy. I agreed and said they were not waffles anymore then. I continued my conversation with her and could easily feel a friendship starting. I have nothing but the highest respect and love for Cara as well as Alfred as I was able to talk with him a little bit. We will all be talking in the future as we will be working together very soon and I am excited for it.

Julia Hart came walking around and took a look at Eternal Beat and she liked Avi’s artwork. She also told her friend about me about having something done with her in it. I am having David do this. So everyone can be on the lookout for that.

Overall Experience

Lows – Well I did have a couple of lows at this convention. Because of my inexperience, sales were not so hot. At first I started to get down on myself wondering what I was doing wrong. However, thanks to people like Cara, Nick, and the people at Triforce, it curbed my feelings and I took in what they were teaching me. It was still a low but the experience and the knowledge I gained was huge. It turned this low into a highlight. I know I am missing a few others that helped out and to you I am very grateful as well. The other low and this was big for me and my dad. The chairs they had for us, SUCKED! The chairs were small and it felt like I was going to fall through the chair. It was cheap plastic and my legs were pinned against the framework of the chair. It was like we could only spend a couple of minutes sitting in it before we had to stand up. I have a bad back and so does my dad so we are both in the boat too where we couldn’t stand for too long either without pain. So it was a damned if you do damned if you don’t

Highs – OMG where do I begin with this? Well let’s start off with Cara. If you read this my friend, you are an absolute legend. I am so very grateful for all that you have done for me by taking me under your wing when it comes to conventions and other things that we talked about. I don’t know if I can ever say thank you enough. I feel like I owe a debt that is impossible for me to ever repay. You are one of the nicest people that I was able to meet and I feel like we have a friendship growing just as much as I have with Ivy, Jyn, Avi, and many others. I am so blessed to have you share your knowledge and the time we were able to talk together. I really hope we get to meet again…really soon. 

Tom is always a pleasure to meet and talk with and the fact that he is doing a cover and an image for me of Bianca in her armor is amazing. If you want an idea of what Tom will do for the cover of issue 6, look at Rachel’s cosplay cover for inspiration. 

Triforce and Nick both gave me so much in terms of knowledge that it is something that I can’t say thank you enough. Overall there were a lot of good to great people willing to help me out and give me advice as I am still very new to this. It is why it turned not doing well in sales into a positive in the knowledge.  If you wish to check out Triforce, here is their store link. www.triforcecutlery.com as well as Nick’s Ig page. www.instagram.com/npalodichuk

I know there was a lot that I missed and if I didn’t mention you, I apologize. There was so much good and fun going on that I couldn’t keep track. Hell, trying to remember the proper order was tough enough. Know that no matter what, you held an impact on me and I am very grateful. Thank you so much.

What do you think? Leave a comment!