Comic Non-Sans: Intervention Back for Another Year

A bit back I interviewed webcomicker, blogger, and con chair Onezumi Hartstein about Intervention, her labor-of-love convention focusing on web-based geek culture.  I was fortunate enough to be a first-year guest and panelist, and asked to return again this year.  Naturally, I said yes immediately, as it was a good event overall, especially for a con in its first year.

This year, Onezumi stepped up her game with more panels, more guests, extra programming tracks, and bigger sponsors.  With this step up came a major increase in attendance, and panels that last year occasionally had fewer attendants than panelists were now filling rooms to capacity.  Pretty impressive for the passage of one year.

One of the major positives over last year was not being opposite Small Press Expo.   Everyone knew that was going to be an issue last year as soon as the scheduling conflict came to light, but even then, Intervention and SPX struck up a deal for a discount on a day pass to the former if you’d been to the latter.  This year, the distance between the two brought in more dealers and attendees.

Speaking of dealers and attendees, word spread after the fact that the first print edition of Phil Kahn and T Campbell’s Guilded Age sold out over the weekend.  Sales were mixed across the Artist Alley, but even one person hitting it this well is an indication of just how much the con and the guests are doing for each other.

Super Art Fight and Cosplay Burlesque were both back again this year, and seats were rather hard to find for both unless you were in good and early.  The fact that late-night programming attendance was on the increase was, to me, a fantastic sign.  Smaller cons in their first few years tend to be “day trips” — then again, there was the fact that the room block sold out way ahead of time.

From a webcomicker’s point of view, it is indeed the sort of con I think we need.  There are all sorts of geek culture elements, but the focus on webcomics (both fandom thereof and education thereon) is something you aren’t going to get at other cons.  I know from trying to get tables at various other conventions that a lot of times webcomickers get shuffled around year to year because no one’s sure if they belong with the “real” artists or not.  But Intervention has a good, comfortable, equal-opportunity layout.  No one’s shuffled out anywhere or questioned based on their medium.

On a more personal note, this was a great way for me to observe other people’s sales and learn what’s working in the here and now.  With such a large group of artists in one place, there are opportunities to hang out before, after, and hell, during Artist Alley hours.  It’s a great way to connect and observe, and I’ve come away with a great deal of inspiration for future product and table layout.

Is there room for improvement?  I know Onezumi personally, and I know for a fact she will always find something to improve, whether the rest of us see it or not.  She’s already working away on next year’s event, finding more sponsors and partners and going even bigger.  If they’ll have me, I’ll definitely back.  If you missed it this year, you’d better be there in 2012, t00.