Wondercon 2019?

Well, looks like Wondercon has officially decided to NOT include me in the festivities – if you’re an independent comics creator, this can happen a LOT. You lose the popularity contest and shows that are more competitive say “Thank you, next.”

You can register, pre-register, sit on a waiting list for years and still not get in from time to time. It’s become a much more competitive show of late and since 2014 or so I think I’ve managed to get into the show floor on a 50% ratio.

That said, it’s still the show I do best at and the show I like the most.

But like many shows, the year to year organization is always tweaked somehow. Before the end of the 2018 show I took advantage of the ability to register before the show was over. However, one of the people I contacted this year said they threw out all of those registration forms and everyone needed to register again during the normal registration period. When I did so, the waiting list was … uh … waiting.

SO hopefully no one forgot to hit the paper shredder during that audit (the staff’s word, not mine) because that’s a lot of credit card information.

Anyway. I wish the organizers were more transparent about what that registration process was for in 2018 if not for actually registering. Looks like it was just an head count of interest for people registering for the next year. My friend called it population control. I get the idea of selecting the floor carefully to maximize publicity and sales and also to keep the show fresh. I don’t do a show unless I have new content – I was getting two books finished for this show.

I spent the past year getting these books and prints ready and now it looks like I’ll just be publishing them online first without a public debut venue to coincide. I admit I liked the timing of Wondercon and a subsequent Comixology date. That staggered release schedule worked well.

So If I get into the show, it’ll be quite last minute notice since I contacted everyone I could, hassled them repeatedly and still nothing. The squeaky wheel in this case isn’t getting greased, as the saying goes.

Tracking the numbers

SO I built a spreadsheet to track progress of most of the aspects of Encoding Bushido – it’s a simple assignment of an integer value to discreet tasks with a definite deadline. Sounds all math-y right?

I know of project tracking software and apps that make such things supposedly easier but they do manage to complicate things easily for the sake of attracting whales – those large scale important projects lurking out in the wild that could transform their product into the b2b must have accessory.

All I needed was a telling and easy way to manage the following steps:

Those are the global steps – the spaces in between are not really worthy of a trackable number, but the broad strokes, when calculated give me a simple way to report progress in terms of percentages. It’s a simple way to mentally forge ahead without tons of database management or “fly by the seat of your pants” management.

The last field – Deadlines – is something I need to keep fluid, and I wasn’t ready to commit to any exact deadlines.  But the simple field calculates the number of days to a deadlines against the current date so updating those is a matter of entering a new date. Basically each deadline field is a countdown. But there are few fluid events in my professional future which aren’t quite settled yet, so as a gamble against that uncertainty I put out some feelers.

Updating the spreadsheet on weekends keeps me on track without going a bit mad at the sheer size of what I set out to do – I think I exceeded the level of complexity of any book I have ever done easily and I’ve never been more happy with the writing I’ve done lately. All that said, I feel like I am on track. And the numbers are encouraging.