When I was a kid, my grandmother used to drag me to flea markets and craft fairs, where she would sell her handmade crafts at a small table. From there, I learned how to interact with potential customers, handle money, stock inventory, and all the stuff that comes with running a small table. I got a chance to dust off those skills this year at San Diego Comic-Con, at Small Press Table #O-08 with Justin Harder and his CLAUS Studios.
What started as a tongue-in-cheek joke of me being Harder’s “booth babe” for a few hours during the convention turned into a great experience. To be honest, most of us on the blog are up for anything silly, given it’s a good idea. The idea gained traction quickly, and it was decided this would actually happen for an hour on Thursday afternoon. Of course, I was excited. Who wouldn’t be when you’re selling exclusives like this:
Clearly, the love for Jeff Goldblum is real.
He even brought his own pajamas. No, really! Just before SDCC 2018 kicked off, Harder was able to announce that he produced the artwork featured on Target’s new Marvel line in stores now.
But back to me, the booth babe.
I had a blast. One of my favorite aspects of Comic-Con has always been the ability to interact with the artists who create some of the most iconic images we’ve grown to love. Some artists can be stand-offish, which is their prerogative. However, there are those who will chat up people for hours if given the opportunity, just because they are so passionate about their work and sharing it with others.
Justin Harder is a prime example of the latter.
With someone else to handle sales, Harder was able to interact with people more, which is what he loves to do most. I got the opportunity to introduce people to his art, share our love and admiration for it, and see the smiles on their faces when they were able to walk away with a piece of it. That experience, while exhausting, was incredibly rewarding for me. I was supposed to only stay for an hour but wound up spending almost two there. Next year, if he’ll have me back, I’d stay for a whole day and not even mind.
When he’s not chatting up fans, Hrader is working on commissions. Yes, if you ordered a Comic-Con commission from Justin Harder, chances are really good that he drew your commission at Comic-Con. Harder does take at-table commissions and can sometimes bite off a little more than he can chew. This is simply due to the fact that he is the type of artist who hates disappointing his customers. He will work tirelessly throughout the con to make sure people leave his table happy.
It’s true when they say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, I loved being CLAUS Studios’ Booth Babe. If he’ll have me back next year, I may just have to set aside a whole day for his booth. I hope you’ll come visit us!