We are back from Fanime!
Fanime is always a fun show for us -- we like the staff, we like the city, the great dining options (Super Taco w/ Orange Hot Sauce!!), how convenient everything is, and how cozy the show is for it's size. I totally love our fans from the area and I look forward to seeing them each year. Aside from some major SNAFUs with power outages, crazy long lines, and unseasonal chilly weather on Friday, all's well that ends well, right?
Well, maybe not this year.
That being said, I'm really sad to say, I don't think we will be returning next year.
Let me explain.
When we started exhibiting 5-6 years ago, there was a vibrant fandom for all things anime. Attendees were still high on series like Bleach, Naruto, FMA, and later, Hetalia. People were more open to trying new things that were anime/manga-related and nemu*nemu fit in perfectly.
But from my perspective, the anime scene in general is shifting and there is a lot less focus. Without a single series for the fans to rally around, it feels much more like an all out "entertainment/fandom" fest and people are less interested in testing out the waters on a completely original work like my comic and instead focused on gathering with like-minded fans.
The series of choice this year? Avengers, Avatar/Korra, Homestuck, Adventure Time, Vocaloid, and My Little Pony (and a smattering of BBC goodness like Doctor Who and Sherlock). Don't get me wrong, I love all of these series and am cool with the fandom circling each of them. I'm just trying to prove a small point. ^^
I've noticed this trend for the past two years now and it's leaving me in a strange predicament. If my main goal to attend these events is to reach a new audience, I'm failing miserably. My comic is an investment of time and/or money on the behalf of the reader and both seem to be in short supply with all these competing interests. On the other hand, exhibiting is a huge investment of time and money for me, and I need to spend both wisely.
So after SDCC in July, where I will be exhibiting in Small Press, I think I will refrain from most, if not all, events away from home for 2013 and focus instead on growing my audience online. Likewise, I encourage you to help me share this comic with people you think would enjoy it! If we can grow our audience (and likewise there is demand for me to come back to these away-from-home events), I'll be happy to come out and exhibit in your neck of the woods. :D
Any thoughts from your end? I'm all ears~ ^^