Monday, September 14, 2009

Con Rules

Copypasta, because there's no way I'm re-typing all this. :D

As you know, Fusami Ogi will be coming in to speak with us this Friday (Sept. 18) starting at 7. Before she starts, we're gonna try to go over some of the rules and regulations we keep at the table. It's a lot to cover in a half hour, so we wanted to give you a list of stuff to keep in mind, just in case we don't get to everything.

RULE #1: NO FAN-ART OR COSPLAYING!

While fan-art can be really cool, we want to represent SVA as a breeding ground for new, fresh ideas. Allowing fan-art at our table is counterproductive to that aim. Featuring an existing character that isn't yours will disqualify that piece of work from sitting on the table.*
* If you have fan-art, you are more than welcome to bring it in a portfolio and show it to customers who are interested.

There are gray areas, though. For example, if you were doing an adaptation of, say, Death of a Salesman, we would allow that because the characters don't have an iconic, specific design or appearance. Even doing a portrait of a celebrity is okay (keep in mind, though, there IS a difference between doing a portrait of Johnny Depp and doing one of Jack Sparrow).

Your shift at the Cartoon Allies table will only be 1 hour long (maybe longer if there aren't enough people to staff the booth), and you all know that after that hour, you're welcome to walk around the convention floor for the rest of the day. That being said, if you plan on cosplaying, you must bring normal clothes to wear behind the booth. If you think about it, cosplaying is just another form of fan-art, and it's best to keep SVA separate from these existing characters.

RULE #2: SHOW UP TO YOUR SHIFT ON TIME!

If you sign up for a shift at the Cartoon Allies table, we expect you to be there on time. Think of this as a job, and taking the rest of the day at the convention is your payment. If you don't show up, that means the Point People have to scramble and find someone to cover for you, whether that means asking someone on duty before you to extend their shift, or if it means that they have to cover it themselves. This only aggravates your fellow Allies and infuriates your Point People.

Sh*t happens, though. If you get caught in traffic, or you have a family emergency or something, we expect you to have your priorities straight; do what you gotta do. We just ask you to follow up with the Point People and keep them posted. As soon as you find out that you can't do your shift, get in touch with the Point Person(s) for the event/day.

RULE #3: KEEP TRACK OF SALES AT THE TABLE!

If this one seems a little obvious, it is. However, it's worth mentioning because we occasionally come out with a total that doesn't add up. Sometimes we just forget to mark down a sale. Oops!

That "Oops" can be awfully annoying, though; especially for the artist(s) that are losing money on it! At the Cartoon Allies booth, if any of your comics sell, that money goes directly bak to you. If you sell 6 books and it only says that you sold 3 on our tally sheet, there's something wrong. Nobody wants it to happen to them, so don't let it happen to anyone! Record sales as soon as you make them, just so you don't forget.

RULE #4: ACT PROFESSIONAL!

Not only are you representing yourself, but you're representing Cartoon Allies AND the entire School of Visual Arts! If you act like a nut, it's going to reflect very poorly on everyone connected to the table.

There are a lot of perspective students of SVA wandering around these conventions. SVA is one of the only Cartooning schools in the US, and it's on the top of that heap. Let's make it sound like it! Don't act like a brainwashed zombie, but don't trash-talk the school, either. We've gotten good results by relating our experiences (specifically our good ones) to those interested in the school, as well as talking about the courses we offer, the faculty we have on staff, etc. The more people we can get interested in SVA, the more people we can welcome to Cartoon Allies!

We're also in the presence of many potential employers and colleagues. Acting cordial, respectful, and confident goes a long way. Introduce yourself to people/publishers you like and admire! The more times they see your face and your artwork, the more likely they are to remember you, which is especially important as you get ready to jump out into the real world.

RULE #5: DON'T BE NERVOUS!

Okay, this isn't really a rule, just more of a friendly suggestion. We've got a lot of stuff written here, but Cartoon Allies has always been pretty casual and flexible. Just have fun!

By the way, it's possible that you'll meet some big names. Even if you meet your idol at one of these conventions, just remember that he/she's a person just like you. Asking them how they're doing instead of kissing the ground they walk on will earn you a lot more respect in their eyes, we guarantee it.

Remember to have fun! These are coming up really early in the year, but they're also a great way to get to know your fellow classmates. :D

Also, to those of you going to SPX, 2 hotel rooms have been booked and there will be a $20 deposit required at the next meeting. More details will be in an e-mail that will be sent to you later today.

- Allison Strejlau, CA.

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