date Carnivale restarted (I threw out the original beginning 14 pages): March 2, 2008
date Carnivale finished: October 7, 2013
number of publishers submitted to so far: 4
number of responses: 0
date of printed version: March 2014
number of reviewers submitted to so far: 3
number of reviews: 0
number of books sold: 1 sold on-line 4 sold at TCAF to readers 2 sold at TCAF wholesale to The Beguiling
This took me a long time and I’m bad at marketing it.
Everyone else sucks.
I spent almost eight years on something no-one cares about.
I’m 41-years-old and I’ve been doing comics my whole life and after all this time nobody really wants to read my work.
I’m already working on new stories.
I was at the TCAF for this and it was great. Johnston and Beaton tell some great stories. Watch all the way to the end, because Beaton tells this tale from American/Canadian history that is awesome. And Chris Butcher’s opening speech won me his lifelong admiration.
This book contains two stories: “Kit Kaleidoscope Goes to the Masked Ball” and “Kit Kaleidoscope and the Mermaid in the Jar”. In “The Masked Ball,” Kit stumbles upon an orgiastic party, but the revelers don’t disturb her as much as a play that involves a seemingly young boy. In “The Mermaid in the Jar,” Kit has a real job working in a graveyard, which brings her into contact with two brothers, one a recently deceased taxidermist and the other an idealistic sculptor. As an artist herself, Kit takes an interest in the sculptor, but the two have very different feelings about the meaning of art. Both stories are black-and-white and completely wordless.
• This is the best organized comics festival I’ve ever been to (though I’ve only done the APE and SPX). Lots of helpful e-mails, tons of volunteers ready to assist, a money changing station…
• The Toronto Public Library is amazing. A wonderful space. Big and full of modern equipment. The wi-fi couldn’t handle all of us, though. Still, no-one wanted to pay with a credit card anyway so that wasn’t a problem.
• Speaking of credit cards, the U.S. is way behind. Magnetic strips are a thing of the past. Canadian and European credit cards use a chip now. And restaurants have these nice hand-held gadgets to scan credit cards that let you automatically add a percentage for the tip.
• Chris Butcher is a really nice guy and he has a real vision for the festival. I was totally on board with everything he said.
• I stayed with my family at Saint Mike’s College. Beautiful campus with really well fed squirrels. The dorm rooms were bigger than mine in college.
• And Porter Airlines is my new favorite airline. The most civilized airline I’ve ever experienced since Japan Airlines.
• The festival was busy as soon as the doors opened and mostly stayed that way all Saturday. This was so different from the long lulls of the APE.
• I’m getting older and most everyone at the TCAF seemed like recent art school grads. So doing a table feels a lot like teaching: being ignored by college kids while trying to get them interested in something they are actively trying to avoid.
• My wife tabled on Sunday, and she felt there was a forced innocence. Both she and I remember desperately wanting to be adults when we were younger. The young people we saw at the TCAF seem to want to hold on to childish things as long as possible. In all fairness, maybe it’s a way to deal with the harsh realities of the current economic climate.
• Anime-looking and video game-looking art really attracts attendees. The Cucumber Quest table had a line to it all day Saturday. Mostly young people. Lots of women as well as men. If it wasn’t already apparent, superhero comics are out of touch with younger readers.
• I’m no good at doing cons. I just don’t have the right skills. My approach is basically to stand there and hope people discover me. That means that I place a work I’ve been working on for seven years, a piece of my soul, on the table and watch hordes of people pass it by without a glance.
• My wife took over on Sunday. She didn’t sell more books, but she went out and talked with publishers and handed Carnivale around. I’ve been trying for years to do that. My excuse was always I didn’t have the right book yet. Well, now I do and I still can’t do it.
• I went to the Toronto Zoo with my daughter on Sunday. That healed my soul.