A bunch of people have been saying that they're excited to see me at Kumoricon again this year. I've been doing the Kumoricon artist alley since before Modest Medusa, and I love the show, the attendees, the volunteers and several members of the staff. But...
I won't be at Kumoricon this year. Artist alley was so horrible last year that I won't be returning until they move it back to a proper room instead of a 90 degree parking garage with no restroom, air circulation, or water fountain. We were buried in the back of the garage, hundreds of feet from the nearest entrance. To find the artist alley you had to go to the parking garage (and why would you ever do that?), go past registration, go past the dealers area. Artist alley itself was split into two parts, the more visible section and the section hidden back behind a staircase. That's where I was. We had to bring our own fans for air circulation. It was so hot that my clothes were soaked through with sweat each day, which isn't ideal when you're trying to sell your artwork. A friend of mine passed out and had to be taken away by ambulance. The volunteers were very helpful and understanding though. They always do a great job.
I sent an email and a facebook message to Kumoricon staff expressing my concerns, but I never heard back. That's fine though. They don't need to respond to every complaint, as long as they hear it. Back during the winter I had a chance to speak directly to one of the organizers when I ran into him at Red Castle games. I told him everything I mentioned above, and he said that he didn't really think it was a problem. Artist alley wasn't a priority, and it would be in the same spot this year., although it might change next year. I repeated that the heat was pretty unbearable, and that my friend had been taken away by ambulance. He said that this wasn't true. I think he meant that he hadn't heard about the indecent, but saying that it wasn't true made it feel like he was calling me a liar. I don't think that's what he meant, but I was pretty astounded by that. When I said that I didn't think I'd be coming back to pay for a table until artist alley was moved to a better location he said that there's always someone else who would pay for the table instead
So I won't be back until conditions improve. If you like Kumoricon you should really demand better conditions for artist alley.
Here's some photos from the con of my booth and the area right in front of it. You can see that everyone is sweating, right? you can see how crappy the garage is?