Chronicles of Comic Expo: Day 1 – Clusterfuck

It’s all in the title people. This was not a good day. I don’t know who’s to blame and I’m not here to point fingers. All I know is that when Stefanie DeLeo and I went to set up our panel at 3, we were met with a series of bullshit.

But let’s go back at the beginning.

I’m a nervous, excitable dude. I get stressed really quickly, especially when I know whatever I’m doing has an impact on my career. Which meant that all day Friday I was a mess of stomach aches, shudders and pacing around the house like maniac missing his Thorazine. I guess that was to be expected. This was going to be the single biggest event of my life, comparable to signing my first publishing deal.

The original plan (and for you folks who listen to the Lurking Voice Podcast, I’m sorry for repeating myself) was to deliver a 2 hour panel: the first hour was all about writing – mainly how to create a protagonist and antagonist, giving some modern examples, and then touching upon world-building. I know this sounds like something out of a course but those were the folks I was catering for. There is way too much talent in this country of mine, with awesome writers and artists all over town – but no one to educate them.

The second hour was about publishing, about the lessons learnt from the Kindle Gold Rush and how modern hybrid published authors can build their platform, target their audience and maximize their potential sales. The tag line was “So you wrote a novel. What now? What’s the next stage?”

I knew I was on the right track when I spoke to an old friend the previous day at the meet & greet. She and I got to talking about the comic anthology she’s in and we got to discussing how to further market it. There are hundreds like her out there – artists looking for some sort of crutch, some kinda hint – a spark – to set them off on the right track.

I learnt all of this in less than a year and began applying it. I made it happen for myself, but I know I was lucky to have found the right tools, almost right away. All I wanted was to give others who were in my situation the chance that was given to me. 

But shit happens. And despite singing Sweet Home Alabama out loud on the way to the venue, Stefanie and I set up at 3, only to have the sound guy come at 3.30 with the necessary equipment (one fucking speaker). Of course the room was empty, the organizers more scattered than a pack of lab rats of meth, and the few people who seemed to have their shit together were a total of seven vendors sitting catatonically behind their half full stands.

So the first hour – Writing portion – goes off in a blur, which is to say it did not happen. The room is empty, I am running after the staff, camera guy is MIA and my disappointment is beyond description.

Finally me and Stefanie start a panel at 4.30 (last half hour) when a total of 3 people walk into the room with some questions. The gig lasted 20 mins and I was about to blow. This was supposed to be the gig of a lifetime – the one to set off a series of appearances by the ONLY FULL-TIME AUTHOR/WRITER IN MY GODDAMN COUNTRY.

Ten minutes later, I am saying my goodbyes to Stefanie and I go threaten the coordinator. He assures me I’m right (Yeah, no shit), and that Stefanie and I will have a repeat panel the next day on Saturday. Easier venue (right at the entrance) and at 10 am (not too early but not too late as to clash with other panels). I don’t like it – but I’m clutching at straws here, so I take it.

So what happens then? I storm towards my friend who has a stand downstairs and talk for a while, venting my rage. You know who you are – you have my eternal gratitude for listening and supporting.

See this is the cool thing about having shit hit the fan – you know who sticks by you. Stefanie and Jennifer were awesome and supportive. This friend I mention is someone I had met for the first time in a long while just the day before. And yet, all three showed me how genuine and kind they are.

I guess moral of the story is, you don’t need 300 people in your life – you’re richer with 3 good friends.

And on that note, I fuck off the venue before I bite anyone’s head off and hope for a better tomorrow – literally.

Stay tuned for Days 2 and 3, people. Shit is about to get real.

Peace out,


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8 comments on “Chronicles of Comic Expo: Day 1 – Clusterfuck
  1. Joe Borg says:

    Hi Ryan, I read your article. Very opinionated but honestly is there a need to curse so much? You seem to have alot of anger and you need better management of it rather then criticize others, first.

    • enkousama says:

      I thank you for your input, Sir, but you seem to have missed the point of the so-called article. If you were ti read it again you’ll find the sentiment is to accept others and whatever happens despite the negativity.

      As for my anger management I invite you to look up other aritcles and my podcast. Cursing is part of a language, there to emphasize points. If this causes you displeasure I am sure there are other venuen in the internet that may suit your delicate choice of diction.
      However do not expect me to change something simply because you dislike it. That’s the definiton of an asshole.

  2. K.D. Keenan says:

    Ryan, I feel so bad for you! Just keep in mind there will be lots of other opportunities for you to come. Better ones.

  3. Kz says:

    Hi Ryan, not to play devils advocate, imma do you really think that it is the organizers fault no one showed up!!! Could be the fact that nobody was interested, did you have receive any feedback before the event about expected attendance etc… As I said no offense but I heard of a lot of people who expect too much but then blame others . Anyway regards.

    • enkousama says:

      Oh sure I get where you’re coming from and that is a fair point to make. We were promised a full room and the only reason I designed such a panel was because of the high number of aspiring artists – specifically writers – who were attending. Also, the timing was wrong for this event and that was an oversight by the organizers. They themselves admitted that should this show come again next year, there will be no events on Friday since people will be at work or school. I am not blaming the management – you learn from mistakes. The essence of this post is that despite the hurdles and the problems, one can still find the silver lining and true friends

      Also, cool email handle. I too am a fan of Dirk Pitt 🙂

      • Hi Ryan, like I said I don’t mind the criticism, it helps. To err is human. But we officially never said we would not do Fridays. I agree at noon to 4 would not be a good time to do panels, but a Friday preview from 4 to 10 is a different situation.The event will be held on 23, 24 and 25th October. Thanks!

      • Kz says:

        Yeah that was a mistake from the management also you should never promise something that you have no control over. Regarding the full room that is , unless tickets or booking were made for your talk the organizer would have had no way to know it would be a full room, hence he should haven’t promised that. Yeah I love Dirk Pitt , have read them all since I was a teenager 🙂 also love Matthew Reilly’s novels.

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