Sunday morning, I remember seeing a guy walking up the Armory's stairs with boxes strapped to his side, fumbling posters and coffee to set up just before the gates opened and hundreds of people began walking through to shop. And, it made me appreciate the physical challenge we "mom and pop" creators face at these conventions... "the set up"... waking early in the morning, lugging books and t-shirts and all the other merch, carrying it all miles from here to there, to set up shop shoulder to shoulder among PVC pipe make shift poster holders, hundreds of tables, cluttered ideas and styles. And it all reminded me of those nomadic merchants in 1500's who traveled to distant Asian lands, only to return to Europe to set up a makeshift weekend shop in a crazed dark market. I'm sure even back then they had mornings like I had on Sunday. Moments, in mid yawn, waiting for strangers to arrive en-mass... either to buy or rummage through the things we had brought to them from another world.
By Chris Mangun