Though I missed it (again), this past weekend up in Chicago was Terry-Con 2012. It’s not a large convention, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of it. In fact, it’s pretty much limited to one neighborhood in the Chicago area, so there’s a good chance you don’t know about it unless you visit (or knows someone who visits) Third Coast Comics.
Here’s how TCC owner Terry Gant described this year’s event…
For those who do not know, TC2012 is simply my birthday party BUT instead of going to a bar and being limited in my entertainment, I throw a party full of all the things I love and invite all of you to, for one day, enjoy those things with me!He’s essentially turned his birthday into a store event. Which, I might note, is a distinctly separate event from the shop’s anniversary earlier in the month!
This year, we’re including some HP Lovecraft, Bruce Willis and Lucha Libre, among other things!
I’m a pretty big music fan as well as a comics fan and running a comic shop doesn’t allow me the time I used to have for going to live shows BUT this year at Terry Con, one of my favorite musicians, local guitarist, Joey Derus is performing in store at 4PM!
This is really an elaborate way to get you to meet comics writer & drummer of Daemon Familiar, Wendi Freeman who’s here to introduce you to the comic, Bandtholgy! She’ll be here for you at 2PM
We’ll also have Tom Kelly in the house at 2PM doing sketches of your favorite characters as…”Kitties”…you know…like you’ve seen around the shop!
Movies, Games, Grilling, Wrestling, Live Music, Comics, Art, Doctor Who, and More, all in the Shop & Courtyard of Third Coast Comics!
There’s a couple of take-aways I’d like to point out from the idea. First, Third Coast has plenty of events going on at the store all the time — from large, annual bashes like this to weekly knitting nights. They’re creating/have created a destination that people return to as a gathering place specifically to meet with other people. The notion of comics and pop culture is basically just a veneer around which they superficially congregate. The REAL reason people keep returning is to see the other people who are also there.
Second, this particular event is very much tied to the owner. It’s his birthday party, after all! He’s recognizing that his shop is an extension of himself, and that he is one of those people others keep returning to see. You go in the shop as much to see Terry as you do to buy comics, even when there isn’t an event. You see this with a lot of the bigger, long-established shops too — the owners are significant personalities themselves: James Sime, Joe Field, Brian Hibbs, etc.
Just some things to think about it you think you’re just selling comics.