To make things worse, the low ticket-cost and proximity to other tourist attractions meant that there were a lot of con-goers that seemed to have little knowledge of comics and almost no respect for the efforts of the creators - they were simply there to get free swag and comics they clearly weren’t going to read signed.
Of course, once you could squeeze in, you may have been disappointed to find that nearly every shop was shilling the same recent variant covers and 50% off trades. There were some $1 boxes, but pickings were slim, especially if you were looking for anything specific. If you were looking to buy action figures or statues, you were almost completely out of luck. Plus, with less competition, sellers were less likely to haggle and the prices were considerably higher than the dense marketplace of a larger convention.
Some creators did really well with this plan, quickly filling up a queue of sketches for the day, but, for the most part, the most sketching was done by the few artists willing to do a free sketch (and most of those sketches were only requested because they were free, even if the fan had no idea who the artist was).
The vast majority of artists that were charging $30-$50 per sketch found their tables being avoided by fans who weren’t willing or couldn’t afford to shill out the cash. It makes you wonder if charging $10 for a less detailed sketch would’ve made their booths a bit more popular.
Even the artists who were getting work at $30+ a sketch could’ve benefited from lowering their prices to meet the silent demands of the crowd. After all, isn’t it better to do six $10 sketches in the time it would take you to do one $40 sketch? You’d make a lot more money and you’d make a lot more fans happy.