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I'm Cathy Leamy, a Boston cartoonist and medical writer. Check out my comics! They're mainly about health care and autobio stories.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

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Maine Comics Arts Festival: Conventions done right

This past weekend, I had an absolutely lovely time attending the Maine Comics Arts Festival. A bunch of pals from the Boston Comics Roundtable and I made the trek up north for the one-day show, where we peddled our wares and hung out with comics buddies and luminaries like Trees and Hills, Becky Cloonan, Kean Soo, and plenty of others.

Iím blown away by the fact that this was the festivalís first time around. Rick of Casablanca Comics and his team made the event run so smoothly and with such organization that Iíd think itíd been going for years. Iíd like to break down what I thought was successful, to take away for other events.

Organization


Support


Kid-friendliness
As BCR member Alexander Danner points out, the place was flooded with kids and their parents - way more than any of us anticipated. I think my sales wound up lower than usual as a result, since all of my comics are geared for older audiences (I had to shoo a lot of little fingers away from I Survived GWAR), but Iím happy to shrug this away to celebrate kids just loviní on comics and bringing new blood and energy into the scene.


Social opportunities
In addition to putting on the show itself, the MeCAF crew provided some great get-togethers for the creators to meet and mingle.


Attractions
My weekend in Maine ended up being flat-out fun and pretty to look at. Some of that was intentional from the MeCAF crew and some was just a side result of the locations, but in any case, I walked away having enjoyed where Iíd been and actively looking forward to the next show. This is a factor in my choosing conventions - what else can I do while Iím there, and will the space be comfortable?

Again, I canít get over how well-organized and on-the-ball the MeCAF crew turned out to be. My whole experience at this con was effortless and very enjoyable. Hereís hoping this will be the first show of many!

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