Skype hype: Writers innovate cheaper, more frequent appearances

While talking about the financial difficulty of hitting a lot of big conventions during the year, a group of comics writers came up with a potential new way to make creator appearances more frequent and cost-effective.

Jimmy Palmiotti started the conversation by noting that when most creators attend a convention, they do so on their own dime. And for writers it's especially tough, as they're unable to sell artwork to recoup costs. Ron Marz noted that even when the table is free, he still loses money unless the convention at least pays for travel and hotel expenses, while Steve Niles added that recovery time after conventions is also a factor. Time spent at a show (or being sick after a show) is time not spent on creating comics.

None of these creators prefers to stay home and miss meeting readers and other industry people, so Niles shared how, because he wasn't able to attend Comic-Con International this year, he Skyped into a panel and had a good experience. "I wish we could do this at stores to meet fans," he wrote. And then the conversation took off.

"I would do Skype appearances at shows with Amanda [Palmer Conner! I meant Conner! (So embarrassed) - Michael]," Palmiotti wrote. "That would be fun. Wednesday Skype shows... hmmmmm ..."

"You know," added Marz, "Somebody should arrange Skype store 'signings', with pre-signed books available via the retailer."

Niles pointed out that "a Wednesday Creator [Google] Hangout would be a lot of fun and easy (and cheap) for retailers. Could appear all over in one day." He also said that this is something he's been wanting to do for years and that he could do a couple in one day. Palmiotti suggested the name "Skype Hype."

There's more excitement about the idea in the Twitter thread, with talks of special workshops, variant covers for participating retailers, and several stores already wanting to sign up. It sounds like a brilliant idea and if you'd like to have your local store host one of these, just have them contact Niles, Palmiotti or Marz. Hopefully other creators will start doing this as well.

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