From the Vault, Part Four
Check this out... a flyer from the very first York-Con, back in 1989!
How did we get started doing these? Well, Ned and I had previously teamed up with the folks who ran the York Book & Paper Fair at the York Fairgrounds, where we added a "comic side" to the show and even managed to bring in the great artist Jim Steranko to meet with fans, with much help from Charlie Roberts, a long-time fan and collector who had contact info for him and encouraged us to give it a shot. After two shows, various issues cropped up, like Ned and I doing all the legwork for the comic book side of the show, yet not receiving any portion of the admission fee, so we decided to jump out on our own and run a pure comic book convention at a nearby hotel. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be... pick out a big enough room, tell the hotel staff how we wanted the room set up, plunk down a huge deposit, and start advertising the show through the store, placing ads in CBG, sending info to any dealers/retailers that we had mailing addresses for, and issuing press releases. (At this point we also began to accumulate a mailing list by putting out a sign-up sheet in the store, which generated a great list of comic and pop-culture fans.) Well, LO and Behold!, York-Con was a success! A huge crowd showed up for the convention, and the York-Cons began their 4 year, 12-event run! Eventually we added guest artists to the roster, which we will get to see as I post subsequent flyers...
Did we make a ton of money? Nah. The room rent was fairly high and we were charging $30.00 a table, I think. We really didn't sell a lot of our own comic books because most of the people that showed up had already seen our back issues and were looking for new old stuff... Ned and I usually made enough from the $3.00 admission fee ($2.50 with this flyer!) and the table rents to pay for the room, pay the artist (if there was one), pay for the advertising, pay for the flyers and their postage, and USUALLY had enough left over to buy our helpers (and anyone else who was floating around) pizza (with Stuff™) and beer at Westgate Subs. But, BOY, did we have fun! I met a lot of fine people at the York-Cons, many who are still great friends, and I've got a ton of stories and memories from those days... stick around, I'll eventually tell them all.
We ran the York-Cons three times a year, March, July and November, like the old York Book & Paper Fairs were run. The last one was in 1992, and attendance had slipped a bit... Ned and I had very little free time at that point, as we were in the process of planning the opening of the second Comix Connection in Camp Hill. But that's a story for another day... for now, bask in the glory of this gorgeous Steve Leach-drawn flyer, and remember good times rooting through boxes of old comic books... at York's first and best comic book conventions!