Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Comic Conventioneering Bag

Maybe it's just me, but I have yet to find a bag/holder of any kind that seems to work well for my convention-going needs. I always find the bags I use lacking in several capacities, and I spend far more time than I'd like sorting through things during the convention itself. Here's what I'd like to see in a conventioneering bag...
  • Protective. Let's face it: this is for carrying around paper goods. You don't want something that's going to allow said paper to be easily damaged. I'm not saying the thing can't be soft-sided, but it needs to protect whatever I'm toting from getting dog-eared.
  • Good size. Ideally the main bag area should be able to house a variety of comic sizes easily. I'm thinking the height and width should be able to accommodate a CGC-graded Golden Age comic, and it should be deep enough to handle at least two Essentials books. Maybe have it expandable, so that it would normally hold one Essentials but could accordion out deep enough to hold up to three?
  • Easy-access top opening. If I run into someone in an aisle or something, I want to be able to get to whatever I need quickly. No fold-over flaps, no complicated latches. I'm thinking Velcro would make the most sense; quick release, but noisy so no one can sneak into your bag when you're hunched over a row of long boxes.
  • Exterior pouch for bottled beverage. Definitely want this on the outside so your comics are safe if said bottle happens to develop a leak.
  • Camera pouch. Should allow for relatively quick access (when you turn a corner and run into a great costume or something) and won't force you to wrap on of those wrist-straps around your arm all day.
  • Multiple interior dividers. When I'm carrying books around at a con, I try to separate them into "Stuff I Want To Have Signed" and "Stuff I've Already Gotten Signed." That way, I can get to books a little more quickly when I walk up and talk to a creator, by skipping over my "Already Signed" section. I expect others would want to categorize their books more, so it should have multiple dividable sections to creator as many categories as the individual deems appropriate.
  • Exterior envelope pouch. Something to drop business cards in quickly. Maybe a second envelope to carry your own cards as well.
  • Extra/optional open bag. Basically, I'm thinking that you'd want something decent sized to hang below/behind the main bag. Nothing complicated, just a larger open area to drop in bulkier purchases like action figures or statues. But separate from the comics you want to keep flat.
  • Slim, hardcase, art attachment. Another optional/extra attachment that might hang below/behind the main bag for original art and over-sized prints. This could be slimmer, of course, but would need a solid exterior to protect the art.
I certainly haven't perfected this idea, nor completely thought everything out, but something like this quick sketch I whipped up...It does look something like a regular laptop bag, and that's what I've used in the past. But the specifics and dimensions of all the laptop bags I've used preclude it from being really working well for a comic book convention.

Question 1: What do YOU all use to carry around loot during a convention?

Question 1A: What's worked best/worst for you in the past?

Question 2: Anyone know of someone who might be interested/able in putting something like this together?

1 comment:

Pj Perez said...

Storage/carrying options at ANY conventions have always been a problem for me, let alone comic cons. Last year at SDCC i just took a flip-top Gap backpack, which was fine for the pile of dollar comics I bought, but had I more stuff that needed care such as artwork, no way.

I think you should definitely find someone to collaborate with on this and then patent/market it. A good comic con bag would sell the f*ck out at any con!!