The very first comic book convention/Pop Culture Convention I ever sat at as an artist was FX International. It was held at some fairgrounds in central Florida and Hurley from Lost was there. It was just the greatest thing I ever experienced and I've been hopelessly addicted to attending them ever since. I was so very nervous. I was in my early 20s and I had spent $700 on stuff to sell, give away and on getting there from my home 2 hours away. The expense and my inexperience were second and third on my list of challenges. My number one goal to overcome was simply belonging. I was surrounded by some amazing artist. I just wanted to feel worthy to be in their company. I sat next to Dave Nestler. An amazing old school Illustrator. Who was sitting with one of the models he used as reference to paint his extremely sexy pin ups. He was so very nice and he gave me such wonderful advice and motivation. I wish I had taken a picture with him to go with this paragraph.
This was e mbarrassing, but I sat across from the now late great Jerry Robinson. The man who created The Joker. One of the prints I was selling was an early digital Illustration of the Joker. I sold a lot of them because my prints were only a $1. People would buy my print and then walk over to ask Jerry to sign it. I felt like I was robbing the guy. I went over to his table and apologized and he very kindly signed one of my Jokers and said it was okay. I gave him one of my Jokers and signed it. I wonder where that print is now. (Trash, almost definitely in the trash.)
Anyway that was the first convention I ever attended. I made $600 of my $700 back, but I went home with experience and a sense of belonging. It was worth the $100 investment.
I attended FX several more times and it gave me several opportunities to be part of really great projects. The cave man and woman above was made for a charity poker tournament. They asked all attending artist to create a card for the deck. I got to do the 2 of clubs in 2009. The last FX I attended in 2010 I got to do the 5 of clubs.
Not really important, but remember the show Step by Step. The older sister Dana on that show stopped by my table. I had a big crush on her and got a selfie together. She smells really nice from a respectable distance.