Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shout Out for Short Run! (Artists Apply Now!!)

Photo Credit:  Alex Stonehill
Short Run.  It’s for everyone.  But I want to open by saying this:

If you create comics/zine/craftsy self-published items AND you live anywhere near Seattle OR have the means to travel to Seattle, then:

Though the main event happens on November 15th, 2014, artist applications are due in two weeks.  And you’ll want to apply, because:

Short run is an amazing dream scape where light streams through the high windows of historic Washington Hall to illuminate the bazilliondy people who cram every aisle SPECIFICALLY TO BUY YOUR PRODUCT.  Short Run feels like it has as much traffic as all of ETSY, only in one action-packed day, and the customers are there in the flesh, with clutch purses and/or hipster facial hair and a budget set aside to purchase indie comics!

The view from my table at Short Run 2014.
I do not know the people holding my comics.
Audience development in action!
I am not exaggerating.  At last year’s Short Run, I sold over 90 copies of Gone Girl Comics #1, and this was after I had done a book release party earlier.  This means that almost all of my sales were to people I had never even met before.

Part of Short Run’s draw for honest-to-god comics buying audiences is that the festival’s organizers are so good to the artists.  Short Run is able to attract a large pool of diverse, talented and enthusiastic creators.  There’s just a lot of good products, a lot of good people and an increasing amount of good activities.  (The killer combination of reasonable tabling fees coupled with the organizer’s ability to garner good press doesn’t hurt.  Artists, are you reaching to click the “Apply” link yet?)

Short Run has a great website where you can learn everything you need to know about the festival.  (Check check.)  But I asked one of the organizers, Kelly Froh, to share some information about what’s new for Short Run 2014.  
The women who make Short Run happen.
 (Left to right) Janice Headley, Eroyn Franklin and Kelly Froh
Photo Credit:  Alex Stonehill

Attendees and participants can look forward to:
  • A featured appearance by John Porcellino, of King Cat Comics fame,
  • A showing of "Root Hog or Die", a documentary about John Porcellino by Dan Stafford,
  • International guests artists. Short Run is working with home countries and granting organizations to bring artists from abroad, and
  • Site-specific arts performances during the festival.

Satellite events will include:
  • A night of International Comics at the Seattle Public Library,
  • An art show at Joe Bar,
  • A pre-festival party, art show, and readings at Fantagraphics Bookstore &Gallery, and
  • A mural that will be made that week and available for viewing all throughout the process.

Short Run 2014 Poster
by guest artist John Porcellino
I have several regrets about my participation in Short Run last year, which include not having a more diverse product line (I only had two mini comics to choose from), not baking anything for the fundraising bake sale (I am hoping they feature baked goods again!) and not planning breaks to see other exhibitors and events that would take me away from my table.  There were things I didn’t see and cartoonist I love that I didn’t go meet.

So, if you exhibit, arrange breaks to check out other artists and the things on the program you absolutely need to see.  Anyone else, I envy you.  You get to enjoy Short Run at your leisure, (FREE OF CHARGE, by the way, for attendees) experience some great time/site specific art and walk home with an armload of excellent comics and zines!

The Short Run website will feature updates as the 2014 festival develops.  ALSO look for Short Run sponsored events throughout the year, including the ladies-only Making Night hosted at Hollow Earth Radio throughout the next few months.

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