Regarding the notes I’ve posted of the Success in Comics weekend

I debated how much information from the seminar to share with my readers who didn’t attend. I took extensive notes filling seven full, single space, typed pages. It seems unfair to those who ponied up the $350, plus travel and hotel expenses to find out a good portion of it was available to those who didn’t attend. So I’ve posted summaries of the things that seemed informative. Granted some of the stuff is somewhat obvious – like Keith Knight advocating perseverance. I won’t be surprised by the inevitable commentor who is going to type something to the effect of, “well duh.” Understand I’m not posting the details, significance or the inspirational story that puts such a concept into context. For that, you had to be there – and that I believe was one of the benefit of attending.

Here are the notes in one handy list:

24 thoughts on “Regarding the notes I’ve posted of the Success in Comics weekend

  1. Sounds like they had a great seminar. Can’t help but wonder if they might come out with a book on self-syndication with all the material they have on the subject.

  2. I think at least 80% of the value of the seminar was talking with the attendees and presenters face-to-face.

    I’m not devaluing the information presented. I think that alone justified the cost of the event. But the interaction and conversations were worth four times that.

  3. One thing of note. Bill Kellogg opened up the Hospitality Suite everynight we were there. The Free Beer, Wine and Snacks alone was worth the price of admission. If truth be known, I think they were more interested in sharing useful information to aspiring cartoonists than they were of making financial gain from the Seminar. I for one, hope they do another Seminar next year, maybe even a workshop too! I for one didn’t get to see artisits in action and that’s one aspect I would have really enjoyed. :O)

  4. To my knowledge the speakers weren’t paid (though their travel and room expenses were comp’d) and the Tundra guys didn’t make any money. This was something we all took part in to help the community of cartoonists, not to line our pockets.

  5. As Howard notes, this seems like a community event for a community that definitely needs a little help right now. It would be a shame if all that effort was just for one day and it didn’t live on in the form of instructional videos/books.

  6. Information may want to be free, but people need to get paid. I received many requests from AAECers and others who wanted to “experience” the Seattle convention digitally–via live cam, or podcast, v-log, etc.–and immediately decided against it.

    If we had allowed non-paying attendees to cybercrash the convention, what motivation would there be for people at attend in person the following year?

    I know, I know…people are broke. Hell, *I’m* broke. But 99% of those “broke” people spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on other things they could easily do without. Professional cartoonists know to put their careers first.

  7. For me, the seminar presented some wonderful opportunities… it was a chance to listen in on some of the industry’s successful tooners and insiders as they shared their know-how… and I scribbled out many pages in my note-taking device. It was also a way to meet other cartoonists like myself, who are in various growth stages, and to trade ideas with them. Bill & Chad provided ample opportunities to do this with their clever scheduling and hospitality-ness (thanks for the wine!) You can’t get that by simply reading a how-to book…

  8. In most scientific communities these day, videos of conference talks are regularly recorded and made available for free on the internet. The conferences regularly cost between $1000 and $2000 to attend. Why do people keep attending when they could get the information for free? Because the interactions and connections are more valuable than the actual talks. Why are the talks available for free? Because everyone realizes that it benefits the community as a whole. In fact, the free content can be a valuable advertisement so that more people are interested in attending the following year.

    A rising tide lifts all ships. Just something to think about.

  9. I think that we’d all be better served if the information from the presentations was available for free online. I don’t think the attendees would object, since there was a LOT more going on than just the presentations.

  10. I thought the seminar was great, and I thank all those who made it possible. I didn’t have the money or the time to attend, but I still did, and I am glad I did. I worked 40 hours in three days before the seminar and when I got home last night at 9:00, I had to go to work… I do find it kind of lame to complain about not being able to see what happened there.

  11. I would pay for a DVD of the seminar. That said, I don’t think offering a DVD for sale will detract from next years event. As stated, it’s a good advertisement for next year. Secondly, a lot can change in our industry in a year. Lastly, I’m sure another seminar would feature completely different speakers.

    I attend the Internet Retailer seminars and they offer the conference on CD:

    There attendance has been growing steadily year to year.

  12. I am so glad that I went. If the speakers are as compelling as this year’s panel, I will be there again if they have another one. Getting to network with other cartoonists was wonderful. I feel that I not only made some good contacts that I can call on when questions arise but I also found a few new friends as well.

    I also learned a great way to cook BBQ ribs at home from Steve Skelton. I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks Steve!

  13. I posted this on the other thread, but it seems this is where the “action” is…

    Although I told Chad and Bill many times before I left, I AGAIN want to really thank them for putting this on.

    The seminar was fantastic! Iâ??ve been to many seminars on varied different subjects and this one was at the top of the list. Each speaker brought something new and informative to the table and there wasnâ??t a dull moment from my perspective.

    There are really no manuals for becoming a cartoonist. If you are lucky you might meet a successful one who is willing to take a little time and mentor you, but otherwise you are on your own out here. It was nice to get the hard truth about what itâ??s like to be a cartoonist on a daily basis and what needs to be done to make a living at it.

    I really hope they do it again next year. In my opinion it was well worth it.

    SIDE NOTE: Alan, thanks for covering the event. It was great to meet you and I hope you are able to find a way to make this site work long term.

  14. Tony: Yes to all you say except this point: I used to attend conventions because my company paid my expenses. I don’t know how it works in the scientific community but I don’t imagine post-doc students are shelling out the grand or two to attend — I assume they have funding sources. Most cartoonists do not.

    The other part of it may be my misjudging of the cartooning community, but I never went to a newspaper convention thinking I would learn something to change my approach. As you say, the interaction was the thing, and the workshops were valuable as fine-tuning of what we already did, and in the conversations we had about them afterwards. We also make friendships that resulted in valuable projects later on.

    I don’t see these conferences the same way. It seemed to me that the information being presented was much more front-and-center. As such, you’d do better to release a few notes, as Alan did, and maybe some nice photos. But not the lectures, because that really was what people paid to hear.

  15. I echo the kudos for the seminar. Really worth going to and I especially enjoyed getting to know everyone there! Chad and Bill hosted a great event that was laid-back while still very informative and helpful. Getting a chance to have a face-to-face critiques from Amy and Daryl (separately) was extremely valuable feedback – I will definitely make some changes as a result.

    Also informal discussion at meals and socializing about everything from fonts and topics of the day was great. Of course all (and I do mean all) the presentations were very good and useful. I think it’s really up to the presenters and/or Tundra what they want to do about posting the information. They did a good job keeping seminar costs down, which I greatly appreciate, and hope they got/get a lot out of hosting it as well.

    It was nice finally meeting Alan after all this time of enjoying this BLOG! 😉 Sorry John didn’t make it, hope is Dad is doing better!

    I feel I’ve come away from the event with some new friendships and a whole lot to think about.

  16. Mike: Point well-taken. You’re right that the scientific community has funding sources. Of course you have to apply for this assistance, so it’s not like they’re totally free (once you include the time investment). Either way, I respect Alan’s decisions and appreciate the nice coverage he did provide. I just wanted to provide another point-of-view that maybe the drawbacks Alan was worried about are overstated, and there might be a few benefits to slightly more detailed notes. I’ll be looking forward to Gary Tyrell’s interview with Howard Tayler on the seminar, which should be posted sometime this week on Fleen.

  17. Alex at #1 brought up a comparison with TED and I think it’s an apt one.

    TED started posting their seminars for free and people were initially worried that it might detract from people wanting to attend the live show. It didn’t. In fact, the demand for attendance increased as more people found out what actually went on there.

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