At cons I like to cover most of my table with paper (that stuff from Amazon boxes gets a new life) and let people draw all over it with Sharpies.
This doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for art or merchandise but I’m okay with that. Books are relatively small.
So at East Bay Comic Con 2017 I taped down paper. The show opened. Right off a kid put down a Pikachu.
Littler people draw at the bottom where they can reach. Bigger people in the middle. Some folks included Instagram handles and speech bubbles. I asked them to initial their work to make it official-like.
Whole groups descended at once. Lots of people talk while they draw.
After a while it was time for new paper. I stuck the first piece to the front of the table. Someone drew Steven Universe and it went from there. Parents drew with kids –
Things got crowded
And by the end of the day there was this recording of people who had come by. Every single one of them handled the pen slightly differently.
I thanked each one of them for making the table better.
Nobody drew anything political, nobody drew anything inappropriate. Nobody destroyed or insulted anyone else’s drawing (although lots of people like to say how bad their own drawing is while they draw it, to which I reply that I’m going to like it anyway and there’s nothing they can do about it.)
Thor drew Thor’s hammer. Somebody added a Moomin. A little boy drew a BB8 toy he saw in the next booth over. One man talked about this drawing he’s been making over and over for 25 years but he can’t ever seem to finish it. He even hired someone to do it once and that didn’t even work. Sounded like a subject for a short story by Edgar Allen Poe.
A little boy came by and was unsure about drawing something. My 15-year-old daughter asked him what he liked. He said, “Deadpool.” So she said, draw that. He did. And right then Deadpool showed up, and declared it to be the greatest drawing ever, and the kid (and my daughter) were just over the moon about it. You can see the drawing in the last photo, right below Thor’s hammer.
Also I sold books and talked to people about cartooning and art and every time the Daft Punk guy walked by everybody’s heads would bob up and down. And the Pink Clown gave my son a balloon and the dang creepiest button ever.
I love cons.