The GeeksverseJim Rugg on Conventions

Jim Rugg on Conventions
Published on Sunday, June 17, 2012 by

I only know Jim Rugg from The Guild and Afrodisiac, but that is more than enough to think he is a talented comic creator. Rugg will be appearing at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC at the end of the week. He has shared a few thoughts about conventions in anticipation of this appearance.

Rugg is no stranger to Charlotte, he has appeared at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find to sign books in the past. As the store name might suggest, that is the store that sponsors Heroes Con and other fine Charlotte area pop culture events.

 

How many events do you attend a year?

RUGG: 6-8. Though not all are specifically comics conventions, some are gallery shows, some are reading and speaking events, store signings, etc.

How do you pick the events that you will attend during the convention season?

RUGG: It depends what I am promoting (for instance, if I have a new book, I tend to do more events because I want to expose it to a wide audience, if I don’t have something new, I may opt to stay home and work), what my work schedule permits, the cost of attending the event (and my financial situation at that time), if I’ve done the event before – do I want to do it again or would I rather look for an event I haven’t done before, who else is doing it…am I trying to duck something in my personal life, like a wedding…if it’s in a city I’d like to visit…lots of factors influence my decision making.

As a creator what do you hope to gain by attending events like these?

RUGG: Feedback. Feedback from readers of my comics as well as other comics. Feedback from artists and other comic book professionals (like retailers, publishers, journalists) regarding the state of the industry, publishing and retail trends, what’s new and exciting in the medium, which artists have produced some new small press thing – there is so much incredible talent working in comics right now, that it is impossible for one person to keep up. These events allow me to exchange notes with peers about what I should look into. I usually leave these events with a lot of new ideas and energy. I try to meet new artists, talk shop, catch up with old friends. Hopefully find a few good places to eat. This is my job, hobby, passion, career, and future. Everything I do from drawing, reading, watching movies, playing games, exercising, and attending events like these — EVERYTHING has one goal and that is to improve. These events offer a break from my drawing table, something I believe is vital to continued growth and sustainability in my practice.

Having a job, hobby, passion, career, and future all wrapped up in one is a way to anti-compartimentalize your life, but it does sound cool.

Given the nature of the internet to foster a connection between creators and fans what is the continuing importance of the annual comic convention in your opinion?

RUGG: The internet has been an incredible technology for communication and community building. I think it has ushered in a golden age for the comics form. However, it does not do everything. Personal interaction is important for the emotional and mental well-being of the individual as well as for the community. Balance between online community and actual, social community is valuable. Conventions are great way to facilitate connections between fans, readers, artists, publishers, retailers, and friends in celebration of this form that we love and for the continual evolution of this industry.

What is your coolest or most dear comic convention memory?

RUGG: SPX 2000 was my second convention. As an indie/self-publisher, it was a lot more welcoming than my first show (a more traditional comics convention that catered to Marvel/DC comics). So I sold a lot more books than my first show. I would sell two books and run out into the hall and buy a bottle of beer, which in itself was pretty fantastic. More importantly, I traded my crappy comics with lots of super-super-talents that were making mini-comics. I knew jack shit about mini-comics and ended up bringing two boxes of mini-comics home. Those boxes of comics changed my life.

More information about Rugg’s work can be found at the easy to remember JimRugg.com. Rugg will be appearing at HeroesCon 2012, so if you’re in the area —or anywhere near the area—swing by. His website also lists his other appearances if you’re in another area.

 

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