Archon 33

Archon 33 was held over the weekend of October 2-4, 2009, at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, Illinois, one of the St. Louis metro east suburbs. Due to the hotels becoming unwilling to allow room parties and some other issues, this will be the last year for this location. Next year Archon will be moving to a Sheraton in St. Louis proper.

We arrived on Thursday and checked in at the motel where we were staying. Then we went over to the convention center to see if it would be possible to get my art on the art show. However, the art show staff was just beginning to set up, so we headed back to the motel for supper. Since we didn't want to drive back and forth yet again, we decided to just stay put for the evening and I worked on notes for a novel I'm writing.

Friday morning we headed back to the Gateway Center and loaded in our merchandise. Because Archon starts dealer load-in relatively early, we were able to get set up in plenty of time and I was still able to get my art on the art show before the dealers' room opened for business.

Although I didn't have much time to look through the art show, one piece in particular really caught my attention. That was Mike Burke's Procession of Souls Sentenced to a Life on Earth. This large-format painting featured a row of little green figures walking before a tall, bearded man in a hooded robe, holding a staff reminiscent of that of a wizard. On the robed man's shoulder crouched a monkey-like creature pointing at something beyond the right edge of the format. Although the little green people were all blindfolded and gagged, one of them had turned its head as if appealing to the robed man. In the background was a glass tower full of tiny green shapes (perhaps more of the little green folk) and a volcano from which flowed orange lava.

Although we were fairly busy once the dealers' room actually opened, the individual sales were smaller than they had been in previous Archons. We got a lot of single-item purchases and relatively few people buying whole stacks of books. The effect was that we were constantly busy with customers but made relatively little money.

After the dealers' room closed for the evening, we dropped in on the artists' reception, but the food was pretty well gone. Then we headed back to our room to get some real supper before turning in for the night.

Saturday we headed back to the Gateway Center to get our tables in the dealers' room opened for business. Sales continued to be brisk but small, so we had a huge amount of busy for relatively little income. Then there was a guy trolling the room asking people if they wanted to buy a knife. We were worried he'd stolen it from someone's table, but it turned out he just didn't have a table but was trying to make a quick sale of a homemade knife.

After the dealers' room closed for the evening, we headed back to the motel to get supper. Since there were no parties, we just stayed there and read in the evening.

Sunday we got up early so we could pack up and get our personal belongings out of our room. Then we got checked out and headed back to the Gateway Center. We got out tables opened for the final day's sales, but were disappointed at how little there were. At first we hardly even had any traffic at all. Slowly things picked up, but they remained disappointing until I went out to retrieve boxes from the van.

Although we started packing relatively early, we still weren't finished by the time the dealers' room closed and they opened the loading dock door. So I had to start loading out by myself, but we still were able to get done in good time to hit the road back home.

Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel

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Last updated October 21, 2012.