ICON is a convention focused solely on independently created media that will take place November 4th through the 5th at The Concorde Inn in Clinton Township, Michigan. “We plan on having creators from every group imaginable at the convention, including comics, film, and music,” said organizer and promoter Varian Grant.
So it’s a small show, with a big show feel. – Varian Grant
Varian goes on to say, “I was really inspired by Bob Corby, the promoter of S.P.A.C.E in Columbus, Ohio. I felt that Michigan was missing a show that elevated or put the indie creators first. Thinking about it, I realized it had been a constant complaint that I had heard from a lot of indie or small press publishers. Then, I started speaking with a lot of other independent creators outside of comics and I found that they had the same issues so I figured let’s do an event where all the folks without million dollar budgets and marketing teams can be featured.”
A comic convention that focuses on independent creators is hardly a new concept but few are known to turn a profit for the promoter and in the worse of occasions the exhibitors.
Varian says he’s aware of that. “No disrespect to other shows, because I don’t honestly believe anybody sets out to put together a bad show, but when a show doesn’t turn a profit, there’s a very understandable reluctance on the part of the promoter to spend time and money in the following years to put together a “Triple A” show. They just start organizing a yearly event out of tradition. They treat it like a small get-together and ultimately that may translate to the way the exhibitors and just as importantly, the attendees see the show. That can have negative ramifications on attendee excitement and, at the end of the day, the exhibitors pay the price for the promoter’s lack of effort.” When asked how he’ll do things differently, he responded, “My team and I are putting the show together and exploring “Big Triple-A show” ideas. We’re dealing with smaller floor space than most shows with only about 60 tables, but we want those 60 tables to be filled with quality creators who are doing remarkable things. So, it’s a small show with a big show feel and my hope is that each year, we can grow and increase our size, like S.P.A.C.E, APE, SPX, and some of the others.”
Only time will tell if ICON lives up to its namesake. For those interested in attending the convention, the website can be found at www.icomiccon.com. Advance tickets are available at $5 for a one-day pass with a few extra goodies or a $10 dollar two-day pass. If you purchase the $10 pass in advance, it includes a special wristband, an exclusive print, and another mystery gift.
(Full disclosure, Varian Grant is the owner of Indie Volt Media, LLC)