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RETURNING TO THE FRONTLINES OF CONVENTION WARFARE

BACK TO ENTRIES

Chinese-American martial arts exponent Bruce Lee (1940 - 1973), in a karate stance, early 1970s. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

“Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

                                          -Bruce Lee

YI SOON SHIN has now sold out at over 50 comic book conventions all over the world!  The winning streak continued at Emerald City Comic-Con last weekend where we sold many more books this time!   Within four days, we slung 1250 books making this show YI SOON SHIN’s second highest-ranking sales performance following New York Comic-Con 2016 where we sold over 1500 copies at a single convention and successfully completed the 1500 COMIC BOOK BATTLE–a challenge of my own design.

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THE ECCC 2017 CHALLENGE

1250 COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

AND NOW T-SHIRTS!

After completing the greatest challenge of my career I realized that despite the growing worldwide popularity of YI SOON SHIN, now was not the time to sit back and relax!  Especially since we still have four more issues of the series to produce followed by two graphic novels. Our fight was far from being finished!

In a couple months we plan to launch a brand new Kickstarter campaign to leverage the costs associated with printing up the YI SOON SHIN: FALLEN AVENGER Graphic Novel so that we can continue our triumphant march to the top and complete the final arc of our series–YI SOON SHIN: HUNTER AND DESTROYER!

After the 1500 COMIC BOOK BATTLE, I took some time away from conventions to reflect and prepare myself for the upcoming challenges ahead.  I immersed myself in the studies of Zen and Budō and discovered how to incorporate their core principles into my way of producing and selling comics.

Through this inward journey, I read about various martial arts masters who dedicated their entire lives to perfecting their art by taking on impossible challenges and committing everything to their training. I learned that the objective of Zen is to enter a state of complete and total togetherness of body and mind while Budō is all about mastering the Way of War.

In order to further evolve YI SOON SHIN, I needed to master myself.

My hope is that the experiences I am about to share with you will encourage you to take the plunge!  No matter the costs!  Stop waiting for tomorrow and get out there today and live the life you were designed to lead!  Do not look back with any regrets!  Live your dreams!

I dedicate this post to the Dragon himself, Bruce Lee, who despite his short lifespan, continues to serve as a major inspiration to myself as well as millions of people all over the world.

Hours before returning to combat, I paid my respects to Bruce and his son Brandon at their graves. I do not believe it was a coincidence that the battle ground for YI SOON SHIN’s latest fight took place in Seattle.

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PRELUDE TO BATTLE

The day I left for Seattle, my heart was racing. I got news that my books had arrived but the boxes I packed them in were severely damaged. I was freaking out on the plane. I had literally dreamed about this moment for three months. I was determined for victory…but was this an ill omen?

My time away naturally made me nervous.  What if all the books were damaged and I wouldn’t be able to sell anything at the show.

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THIS WAS HOW I FOUND THE BOXES OF BOOKS I SHIPPED WHEN I ARRIVED IN SEATTLE.

Miraculously, nothing was damaged!  It was a good omen! I got lucky!

But I was still filled with nervous anticipation going into battle — I had stacked the odds against a sellout higher than ever before at Emerald City Comic-Con. Could I do it? Could YI SOON SHIN do it?  This was going to be a fight to the finish whether I sold out or not.

DAY 1:

I woke up in the morning and remembered what I had learned from the legends of Budō masters. When it came time to go to war the only objective was to win.  I had a job to do and I wasn’t leaving Seattle until it was done.

When I arrived at my booth I was focused solely on setting up shop.  My attention was on my booth as this was the only area in the entire convention floor that I had control over.

I setup everything exactly as I had strategized after having numerous conversations with my consigliere and business partner, David Anthony Kraft.  At 1:45 PM on Thursday, YI SOON SHIN was open for business.

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READY FOR BATTLE!

I had some great neighbors at this show!

Miles Greb, author of the independent series CLOVIS walked over to my booth and introduced himself. He took pride in the fact that the scientific information in his comics was thoroughly researched. After glancing through his books, I was very drawn to the art and story!  Now my kid loves his work!

Miles shared his booth with two other creators–one of whom I was already familiar with! I remember coming across the brilliant work of Ray Chou when he ran his Kickstarter for his incredible book SKIES OF FIRE and now has a brand new series called GLOW.  The art and presentation for both titles is glorious!  I really enjoyed both books.  Any fans of fantasy and steam punk will feel right at home with Ray’s comics!

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Next to Ray and Miles was Greg Parker Needham whose graphic novel MIXED SIGNALS looks fantastic!  This is right up my alley and all I need to do is find a block of time to set aside so that I can give this book the attention it deserves.  This is a treat I’m really excited about!

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At the end of the aisle was Dark Horse’s booth and they went ALL out this year!  For that I owe them a huge amount of kudos because they drew in big crowds all weekend, which made them indirect allies of YI SOON SHIN!

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This was Dark Horse’s setup.

The first day was a whirlwind and ended with 237 books sold in five hours. I was 13 units shy of where I wanted to be but I was okay with the results. But already my feet were killing me and the weekend hadn’t even begun yet. I made sure to get a lot of sleep that night.

 

DAY 2:

On the way to the show, I got caught in horrible traffic and made it to the convention center five minutes before the showroom floor opened. I lost fifteen minutes of selling time on Friday which was unfortunate.  But looking back would not help me move forward and so I shrugged it off.

Instead I focused on what I was there to do. I had a blast interacting with fans new and old!  I sold a total of 429 books that day and by the end of it all, I was hungry for more!  I was back in battle and slinging comics more efficiently than ever before!

I had now sold through half of my inventory and I still had all of Saturday and Sunday in front of me. At this point, I had now removed any doubt in my mind and was certain that I would sell through everything I had brought with me to the show.

Throughout the day there were periods when I was getting rejected numerous times. This was where my Zen training kicked in because I refused to allow it to have a negative impact on my performance.

Whenever someone rejected my pitch, I smiled, shook their hand, thanked them for their time, and invited them to return should they have a change of heart. I did this with EVERY rejection and soon realized I was actually getting rejected less and getting a lot more people to come back and buy the book.

This demeanor got me through the day and the entire weekend.

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Always remember–POSITIVITY ATTRACTS POSITIVITY!

 

DAY 3:

On the morning of Day 3, my feet were throbbing. I could barely stand let alone walk and my back was killing me.  I was limping everywhere. Unfortunately, this pain comes with the territory.  At least Baron Seo wasn’t trying to shoot me from ambush!

Baron Seo

A fighter who steps into any ring can expect to get injured. The same can be said about comic creators who attend conventions. Whether you’re a writer pitching your work or an artist drawing commissions all day, it takes a toll on you both physically and mentally.

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Even Spidey loves YI SOON SHIN!

All you can ever do is just smile and shake it off.  This battle injury would only last the duration of the show.  The satisfaction of turning people onto a great comic series would last forever and was worth enduring the pain!

I made sure to take breaks and spent nearly an hour sitting in my chair and selling books from behind my table. It required me to get louder so that I could grab people’s attention but it also gave me the opportunity to rest up. The last thing I wanted to do was leave the show with an injury.

I sold 453 books on Saturday, which is the highest concentration of books I’ve  ever sold at any convention in a single day. I now had only 131 books left to sell and an entire day to get the job done.

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ALL THAT REMAINED BY SATURDAY NIGHT.

DAY 4:

It was now time for YI SOON SHIN to clean house and that’s exactly what I did when I got to the showroom floor. I kept myself focused and calm and within three and a half hours, I sold through the last of everything, bringing this show to a successful close.

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I headed home feeling content with how the show had played out. I was proud of the results and proud of my team who collaborated with me to produce something worth selling.

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TOTAL VICTORY AT ECCC 2017

Later this month YI SOON SHIN will strike at two shows simultaneously for the first time ever!  I’ll be at Wonder Con in Anaheim, California from March 31st-April 2nd, 2017 and my series co-writer/editor David Anthony Kraft will be at Gem-City Comic-Con in Dayton, Ohio from April 1st-April 2nd, 2017!  We hope to see you there!

ONWARD TO VICTORY!

Onrie Kompan

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