Comic Conn at the Marriott in Trumbull CT 2013

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more pics can be found on my facebook site https://www.facebook.com/robert.henriksen1

Promotions

It seems the more I write about comic conventions, the more I find to write about. This started off as a three-article series: comics, cons and cosplay; it has turned into a twenty-article series, this one being about the promotion of the comic cons.

Being fairly new to the comic cons (five years or so…I have seen lots of promotions for the cons and I am not new to promotions and the Internet) I can tell you without a doubt if you have an event and you don’t know how to promote it. Not many people are going to come, and I can speak from experience as a small indie record label trying to push and promote my artist, B-Rock. I took this artist to the CowPalace in California in 2007 and spent ten grand. All the biggest Wrestling names were there, and B-Rock had a song for the event: “I Ain’t Going By the Rules.” However, the guy probably thought so many big artists were there that he didn’t have to promote it, or the promoter didn’t know how to promote. Needless to say, it was a disaster. Again, I don’t know if he was relying on just the sheer volume and variety of the people that were going to be there, close to 100 stars in three days, or if he even knew how to promote…but that’s another story.

Going back to the comic cons, over the past few years I have seen all the promotions coming from all the comic cons all over the United States on my Facebook page of which I am a member. I befriended lots of the comic book people as well as the artist and cosplayers communities, and I have not seen anyone promote their comic con as much as—or as well as—the promoter for ComicConn in Connecticut, Mitch Hallock. Again, I have no knowledge of who any of these people are or of how good any of these cons can be; I see them as they come up on my Facebook feed and I look for the ones that are closer to me. Well, for thirty days or more, Mitch Hallock unleashed such a unique firestorm of promotional ads on Facebook that were so ingenious, clever and cool, and it was just about every day. Since I am a self-promoter as well, I would wait every day looking to see what he would come up with next. And now I was looking forward to going to the comic con just to see what he put together.

Within the last week, he was putting vintage comic book covers up like a countdown to the convention, rearranging the words and making them his own. During the countdown, for thirty days, he was creating all of these ingenious ads and posting them on Facebook.

The ComicConn takes place in a nice, small town in Connecticut; it’s a nice family-oriented and fan-oriented time, and that’s how Mitch sold it…well, that’s what it was and more, and Mitch did a great job promoting it and it did live up to the expectation. But now that it’s over, I almost missed all the ads that Mitch was creating that were almost as fun as the con itself, and seeing what he would create the next day. He did a great job, and I am looking forward to that con 2014 August 15 to 17  2014  a 3 day event not to be missed!

There is a saying, “If you build it, they will come…” but that is not necessarily true. If you refer back to my own personal experience, if you build it, they will come–but you also have to promote the hell out of it, or not a lot of people will come. And a lot of people don’t promote their cons as much, and promoting shouldn’t stop even after the event is over; it is just as important to stay on people’s radar afterwards and make them not forget what a good time they had–with pics and videos and news clippings that the press put out in print and on the web. Promoting the con even months after it is gone, and then weaning into the next year’s con is important…because before you know it, it will be here. Visit the ComicConn Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/ConnecticutComiCONN/

And if you’re in the TriState area it’s well worth the drive for a nice fun family outing in Connecticut.

By the way, B-Rock also has a comic, and it’s part of a bigger comic plot that I created called “ROCKMAN.” I will be promoting my comic and characters in the upcoming cons as well, and yes, this is me self-promoting my character ahead of time. Look for it at your next Comic Con

This is one article in a 20 part series called Comics, Cosplay and Conventions, that I will be releasing over the next few months…

You can find me on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/robert.henriksen1 where you can keep up to date on all my multi media projects including my new Book “The Park Slopian”.

 

 

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Candids @ Conneticon

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 Photographers Candids

 We all go to the cons for different reasons, such as to photograph. Some people like to photograph the stars and the best-looking people, and then they hand them the business card and inform them that they can go to their website and buy the picture at a later time if they want–that’s how they drum up business. Some people do it for the fun of it. Some people are actually working for the newspapers and legitimate news organizations. And then you have the indie artists who like to go and take pictures for their websites and who have their own agendas, like I do.

Now some people sort of look down on you and don’t take you as seriously because you’re independent, but no matter who you are, you have your own agenda and your reasons why you want to take pics; no one is wrong. For me personally, I get over ten million hits to my entertainment website every year; I walk around with several different cameras that look small compared to all the (real photographers, we’ll still call them), and some even laugh at me, but I am doing it for a different reason and it’s their ignorance that makes them chuckle. While they are standing around with all their big gear, trying to look important (there’s my ignorance) I already snapped 100 pics. I take small cameras because it suits me better, I can move around faster and get to everything. The cameras I use are five hundred bucks and under; it’s not the camera it’s the eyes. It’s the photographer that makes the difference, and also a quick finger so the moments don’t pass you by. At cons, people are always on the move…which again leads to the reasons we go to cons to take pics in the first place–everyone has their reason, so I tailor it to my reason, not to what someone thinks I should be. I am not there for you; I am there for me. I use one small camera (the better one) with a wide-angle lens on it, set to macro or high, and the other I can generally flip to different modes at will, and faster. Why? The hustle and bustle of the cons–and the over-crowdedness as well as what I am trying to accomplish–lead me to this system. With the wide angle, I am able to get up in your face in close proximity and get your whole body in the picture. I can also get a picture from further away and get the whole room if I want.

There are way too many people walking around, and you can stop and pose in halls. It doesn’t work (unless they are empty), so I usually get quick shots off. When people see me, some want to pose, which is fine, because I am kinda shy and I usually don’t like to ask people to pose for me—one, it’s too crowded; two, you get knocked down; three, you never get the shot that quickly without holding people up, and 4, it’s not courteous to others. I am not going to tell others what to do or how to do it; I have my own agenda. I will hop in and snap a few if the pose is already there, but mostly I like to get candids of people in costumes and that is my agenda. Sure, they look great when they pose like the persona they are portraying, but the time and effort I would have to put in to get those shots is not worth it and it’s not my agenda. I like catching them in costume relaxing; that’s why I use the cameras I do and zoom around the place like I do, not getting in people’s way. I also don’t like to use the big flash and blind people over and over again. That’s also why I use those settings; I am not an anal photographer, I don’t care what my peers say or think; I am not going to make a mil; on one pic nor am I doing it to make a mil; I am doing it because I love photography…

Each time I make my rounds, I get to see the whole picture and know what displays at what angle. This way, I know what I want to get next time around or who I want to seek and shoot. I always run outside to catch the cosplayers on their breaks, where I can get some outdoor shots in better light, and the cosplayers are usually in a better mood without the crowd around them. It’s tough for them to have to pose and to put on that persona all day over and over again; that’s another reason why I do it the way I do–they have one less pushy photographer in their day. This year, I am taking a Polaroid camera with me, just because.

These pictures taken at the Conetticonn 2013.Check out this years Connecticon Convention July 10-13 and the Comiccon August 15-17  and the NYCC is Oct  9-12

This is one article in a 20 part series called Comics, Cosplay and Conventions, that I will be releasing over the next few months…You can find me on Facebook, ttps://www.facebook.com/robert.henriksen1 where you can keep up to date on all my multi media projects including my new Book “The Park Slopian”.  Or my newest Venture TheVintageCarShow.com

Also Check out the 3 videos I made using David Bowie Song Heroes

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Wayne NJ Toy Show 2013

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Collectibles, Photographs, and Memories

As I troll the floors of the collectible convention in Wayne NJ,  Put on by Toys on the Hudson, I’m taking pictures mentally because there is so much for my mind to absorb. It’s more than one mind can handle, looking at everything that’s on the shelves, tables and walls…I need to take it in as I walk around the floor, getting a mental picture to make an attack plan…meaning, how I will spend the next four or more hours, going through everything there to get the most out of my time.

Every time I walk down an aisle, I see something different. So, what I do is I document whatever is there with video first, and then I come back and take pictures. When I get home, I’ll be able to recall a lot more of stuff that’s there.

While I am going through the aisles, it brings back so many memories of my youth–not only of a place but a time, and maybe who I was with at that time in my life: friends, family, girls, or person that got that particular item for me…and so on. Depending on what I’m looking at, it triggers different memories in my mind. I could be looking at collectibles from the kitchen and it will trigger memories of my mom and stuff we had around the house and kitchen, all the dinners we use to cook together, using some of the vintage items. I used to collect records. My favorite bands are The Beatles and KISS; I see a lot of those things and I’m always learning something new about them.

Even with stuff that is obscure, like stickers or iron on/sew on patches, toy truck, the toy I wanted and never got…I can recall playing with certain people in my early childhood, depending on what’s there. Some of the stuff will allow me to recall my teenage years. Even the newer toys from within the past twenty years will trigger memories I have with my kids when they were growing up, and of TV shows we watched. So depending on what it is that I am looking at, it’s triggering different memories in my mind, and that is another good thing the collectible industry does.

Not only do collectibles trigger stuff in your mind, they trigger memories that come rushing back to you that you may have forgotten. They will allow you to reclaim part of the past. So even if you don’t care for or feel the need to buy any collectibles, attend just once and see the positive effect it will have on you, just like visiting an old friend; when you go to one of these shows you’re taking a trip down memory lane, your own memory lane, consisting of whatever memories any of these items trigger in your mind —as you walk the aisles of a collectible show in Wayne NJ,  Put on by Toys on the Hudson if your in the area its well worth the drive. CLICK on the link and visit them on Facebook and keep up to date on their next show. Toy Con NJ  June 28 29 and Oct 18 19. 2014  TOYCONNJ

This is one article in a 20 part series called Comics, Cosplay and Conventions, that I will be releasing over the next few months…

You can find me on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/robert.henriksen1 where you can keep up to date on all my multi media projects including my new Book “The Park Slopian”. Or my newest Venture TheVintageCarShow.com

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NYCC 2013 Thursday

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Back in The Day

Comics, Costumes, and Convention:  This is a series on the phenomenon of the coming of the age of comic books.  Though the comic book has been around for close to 100 years, it’s now reaching another apex due to today’s technology.  It’s now a multibillion dollar industry.

Over the past 20 years or so comic book characters have also changed and are no longer confined to the characters that I grew up in the 60 and 70s. There is now an array of characters as well as genres into which these characters fit.  For example, there are genres like magna and anime, etc.

Back in the day everyone wanted to be like Batman Superman, Iron Man, and Green Lantern. These days, there are well over hundreds of other characters other than the standard Marvel/ DC characters. Most of these new characters are colorfully animated as well as diverse and eccentric, which I would add might be the reason why more kids are spending more money making this comic fad a billion-dollar industry.

In just the past five years or so some of the most famous comic books of yesteryear are finally getting their own blockbuster movies and are able to live up to their superhero status. This is in part due to technological advances in computers and CGI. And they accomplish this in a grand way without looking cheesy like the super hero films I had to look at back in my day

Looking back on some of the movies that came out before 2000, there were very few Superhero movies and were okay for their time, but the superheroes were still very limited as to what they could accomplish on the screen.  With CGI very amazing things can be done to give accurate portrayals of comic book heroes.

Back in the day there were limitations as to what could be portrayed.  Now the new writers and creators don’t have to limit their minds when creating new characters and plots. Whatever they envision can now be recreated through the wonders or animation. New technology has made it possible for today’s creators to develop a multitude of cutting edge superheroes and characters.  The creation of new superheroes has gone hand-in-hand with super advancements in technology.

Being that most of the heroes in today’s blockbuster superhero movies are from the yesteryears of comics, they have drawn an audience that includes not only the kids, but also the moms and dads. We moms and the dads who grew up with the cheesy animation of the days are probably more excited to see the newer movies because the old ones never did justice to what the pages of the comic book stories told.

 

Back in the day, when the industry was young, artists were scarce. In those days, the industry would turn to the likes of young artists, for example, Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.  These are the veterans of today who basically created the comic book industry and their work still continues to draw (pun intended) multitudes of people into the movies, comic stores, and conventions.  Every year the industry gets bigger and bigger.

This is one article in a 20 part series called Comics, Cosplay and Conventions, that I will be releasing over the next few months…

You can find me on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/robert.henriksen1 where you can keep up to date on all my multi media projects including my new Book “The Park Slopian”. Or my newest Venture TheVintageCarShow.com

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NYCC 2013 Friday

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Through the Lens

As I look through the lens of my camera, I see the faces of comic superheroes and villains, such as Thor, Batman, The Riddler, The Joker, and many more.  On this day, however, which is (Con Day), it’s not only about the characters.  It’s more about the people behind the characters they are portraying on this convention day.  That’s why as I’m looking over the pictures that I took, I see that the comic industry is bringing out people of all ages, races, genders, and cultures to their shows.

As for myself, being a veteran reader,  I would like to state that just because I might be old doesn’t mean that I or others my age don’t enjoy reading comics or that we can’t get down and look good and dress in characters just like the younglings do.  The last time I dressed in character was in 1982 when I was Gene Simmons of the band Kiss.  Though I have never dressed in a costume since then, I applaud all the older people who are still hanging on and have the guts to Cosplay at this age.  That takes something special.  It’s great to see these older Cosplayers bringing their kids and sometimes the whole family all dressed up in character.  They are passing the torch of Cosplaying and Comics to the new generation which keeps the industry alive and is why it is getting bigger every year.

When I see adults at these conventions dressed in costumes along with their kids, it just makes me happy to see the moms, dads, sisters, and brothers all sharing the same experience. Of course, as a photographer, out of all my photos from the conventions, the family photos are some of my favorites. Why?  Back in my day, we didn’t have conventions.  We had Halloween.  That was really the only time that we could explore our fantasies of being that comic book character that we ran to the store for every day, every week, every month to see what new villain our superhero would be taking on next.  That is why, as photographer today, I enjoy taking so many photos of all the different characters and aspects that come out at these conventions.  It is filling the void in me that as a youngster could not be filled because the characters couldn’t come out of the comic books the way they come out today at the conventions. They come to life.

When I look through the camera lens into the past when the industry was young, I remember that the storylines and artists were some of the best and how comics filled our minds with all this imagery that is present today.  But comics are so much more today. Now, it’s more than the superhero and the comic.  It’s about everyday people, everyday issues, and everyday characters.  The comics are filled with so many real-life characters with real-life problems.  They aren’t only battling villains, but are also battling their own personalities and sociological issues.  There are so many more diverse characters with diverse and colorful Cosplays. This to me is not only a photographer’s dream, but also a comic lover’s photographic dream.  As a comic book lover, it’s great to see the ingenuity that people put into their Cosplays and as a photographer it’s great to see the colorful characters come to life in the images as I look through the lens.

This is one article in a 20 part series called Comics, Cosplay and Conventions, that I will be releasing over the next few months…

You can find me on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/robert.henriksen1 where you can keep up to date on all my multi media projects including my new Book “The Park Slopian”.  Or my newest Venture TheVintageCarShow.com

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