I had the idea, I had the plan and I even had some talent lined up. New York Comic-Con was coming and I decided that was when I was going to start pitching this book to creators who weren't friends of mine.
I needed to make a great first impression.
I put my suit in the dry cleaners. I'm a fan of the suit and I busted out my most stylish one - this dark brown, pin-striped, wool suit - fits great. I bought some new brown leather Adidas; they have Goodyear Tire souls and look fresh as all hell. Got a new black Puma messenger bag to hold all of my gear. Redesigned my business card and bought a shiny silver case for them. A new Kenneth Cole belt - reversible belt buckle with a styling design on both sides. Went with the salmon colored shirt, no tie - takes a confident man to sport salmon to a comic convention. I even had on my new Movado Luno watch that I got for my birthday, a present from my parents who wanted to show their appreciation for the way I helped them out over the past year.
Basically - I was styling.
And I think it worked - people commented on the suit and the bag - allowed me to stand out from all of the guys in Punisher t-shirts and ripped jeans with mustard stains on them. But you know what everyone liked the most? The brochure.
Yes, I made a brochure.
I can't deny its effectiveness. I'd walk up to someone's table or see them outside smoking a cigarette and I'd shake their hand, tell them how much I loved their work and when the time was right, hand them the brochure while I gave them the pitch.
The brochure was expertly designed by the always impressive Jason (Jaco) Hanley, who'll be doing the letters and pre-press work for POSTCARDS. It was the kind of thing that you put into someone's hands (I had them printed at Overnight Prints, a nice glossy, professional looking finish) and they just knew this was serious - I wasn't some cat that wanted to create a resume piece for Marvel comics - this project is my baby. This is something I believe in - this is something I'm going to put all of my spare time into (as I have been, sorry Robin).
The brochure had a simple flow - it set up the premise of the book, talked a little about my experience, talked about The Hive and then gave a link to a website where the creator can get more information. As I was talking about the book the creators would flip through the brochure, linger on the postcard illustrations and note how old they were.
When someone pitches to you at a con and you don't know them, you tend to zone out. The brochure served as a contingency plan in the event the creator did zone out - the only thing they had to distract their attention was the brochure I just put in their hand. And whereas most people said they loved the idea for POSTCARDS and some people said they dug the suit or the kicks - EVERYONE said they loved the brochure.
It ended up being better than a business card, better than a postcard - it looked great and it was entirely functional, one of the best decisions I've made so far - it brought a lot of creators to me in the long run.
I went ahead and put a digital copy of the brochure up for you to check out - you need to click and drag the ends of the pages like you would a book. Also, the website that the brochure refers people to has been moved to here, so you can check that out as well (ignore the POSTCARDS' webpage it refers people to, as you can see with this blog I'm going for a completely different design).
And here are some pictures of how the final product looked:
Like I said, I plan on telling you all what I felt worked and what didn't. The brochure was the first big win for this project and I see company brochures taking over the postcard - at least amongst people who are smart enough to see it as well.