Blog  10 Types of Fans Artists Meet at Anime Conventions

10 Types of Fans Artists Meet at Anime Conventions

This article was originally published on Goboiano but it seems that they have removed it. ^_^; So here it is, republished, on our own site.

CDS is an indie illustration studio that runs artist booths at many events across Asia. We’ve sold doujins at Comiket but we’re most known for creating manga, Seika-chan, and Internet Explorer’s Inori Aizawa.

CDS at AFA 2014
CDS at AFA 2010

My role, as the ‘manager-san’ of a doujin circle, is to keep our artists and the buyers happy. So being on the front-lines of the convention warzone, I have met quite a number of interesting characters at events.

1. The Fellow Artists

Barakamon / Kinema Citrus

Start of the day! You are setting up and getting ready to meet your fans! Who will be your first customers of the day?

Chances are, you might be able to make your first sales before the event hall even opens. Remember, your fellow artists buy things too. During the event itself, artists usually don’t have the opportunity to visit each other’s booth so before the opening of the hall is when the inter-booth transactions takes place.

They are usually your buyers at the end of the convention too. Towards the end of the day when the crowd dies down, the chance to relax also comes with the opportunity to walk around. Here is when you study your competition, catch up with them and even exchange products. Many friendships are made that way.

2. The Epic Special Guest (whom you fanboy/fangirl about)

The ever popular Ying Tze

I’m not sure how it is for Western conventions but for conventions in Singapore, the special guests tend to have a wall of security around them. Either that or the wall of photographers.

Very very rarely, one of them manages to break free, wander around the hall, and maybe visit your booth. Here is where you gurgle like a desperate fanboy/girl, gush over their presence, try to give them one of everything and go “Hagadabla“.

3. The Enthusiastic Fan

Fullmetal Alchemist / Bones

Do you know that person who just can’t stop talking to you? They are your best supporters and they will keep you entertained for long hours during the quieter moments. The more introverted artists might find them annoying and yes, their presence might discourage new buyers from approaching your booth.

However, sometimes, the best enthusiastic fan becomes the perfect self-appointed sales person for you. They will encourage others to come over and tell them all about why they should buy that new doujin product you have just released. When you find one like that, treasure them (or heck, recruit them into your circle as the dedicated sales).

4. The “I have no money” Fan

K-on! / Kyoto Animation

Occasionally your Enthusiastic Fan as well, they will spend plenty of time at your booth, drooling over your art. However, when asked if they want to make a purchase, they will deny having any cash on them or that they are too poor to buy anything. Maybe they will take photos of your booth as a substitute to getting the sweet print.

Generally harmless but makes you wish they will buy something.

5. The “I have no money but can I have this for free?” fan

Love Lab / Dogakobo

A subset of ‘I have no money’ and possibly the more annoying one. There will be those who REALLY like what you do but they REALLY don’t have any cash to make the purchase. But pretty please can you give them that print?

It’s up to your discretion if you want to give in to them. Doing this often encourages more of such people to go to your booth asking for free gifts, but once in a while is fine.  

Sometimes, it’s just so hard to say no.

6. The “Can you draw something for me?” Guy

Hyoka / Kyoto Animation

There will be this infamous convention attendee who goes around the artist alleys with a filled sketchbook and approach all the artists to draw his or her OC. Sometimes they are willing to pay and other times they are the ‘I have no money but can I have this for free?’

Since it’s a common practice for artists to take on-site commissions, those who are willing to pay are fine. You get what you paid for, after all and a unique, one-of-a-kind traditional piece of art makes a perfect gift.

There are those who requests for free art. Like the “I have no money but can I have this for free?” fan, it is down to your discretion to entertain their request. The worst ones might ask for some weird fetishes that will turn the artists off.

To deal with the ones whom you don’t really want to draw for, you can either request that they approach the ‘intimidating’ manager figure (here, that’s me) or to give some really expensive quotation. For case number two, if for some reason they accept the expensive quotation, at least you’ve made a pretty good sale!

7. The Artist Card Collector

Yu-Gi-Oh! / Toei Animation

They don’t buy anything but they roam around the artist alley trying to collect every single namecard they can find. You’ll find that after a day or two, they will start following you on your Facebook, dA or Tumblr.

8. The Business Man

Idolm@aster / Aniplex

He is the guy in a business suit, walking around and giving out namecards. They will occasionally try to strike up a conversation and then offer a business deal with you. Sounds intimidating?

Sometimes they are out to scam you with promises of exposure. Other times, they are really genuinely offering you a wonderful opportunity. It is up to you to decide if it is a good deal. We find that it pays to listen to them first and then ask them to follow up with an email. The ones who really mean business will do so.

That’s the partial story of how we ended up doing the officially unofficial Internet Explorer mascot, Inori Aizawa!

This was produced by us based on our character design

9. The Silent Supporter

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya / Kyoto Animation

According to the team, these are sometimes the best visitors you can have. Minimal contact. They come; they buy; they go away for you to entertain the next buyer.

10. The Enthusiastic Cosplayer

Sometime ago, there was an online rant about cosplayers at comic events. We have nothing against it though admittedly, cosplayers usually don’t buy doujin while in costume (because those costumes don’t have pockets!) When they do buy, we are very happy about it.  

We traditionally have a policy of giving away our doujin products (or give massive discounts) to any cosplayers cosplaying the fandom we are drawing. So for example, Asuna cosplayers get extra badges when we are selling SAO badges in exchange for photographs.

The photographs make great PR for us too! From EOY 2014

It is a something extra that we do to encourage cosplayers to buy our stuff and we figured that it attracts others to our booth.

I once got hugged (or gromped, depending on who witnessed it) by an overly enthusiastic Ciel cosplayer because I gave her our publicity sign featuring Kuroshitsuji at the end of an event. It was not a bad experience even if it was somewhat unexpected!