The following post reflects my own personal opinions and perspectives. It is not intended to represent the views of the Minnesota Comic Book Association.
When I first encountered the Midwest Comic Book Association, originally the Minnesota Comic Book Association, in May of 2015, I stepped into an organization in the midst of an identity crisis. Less than a year before my arrival in Minnesota, the leader of the group, Dominic Postiglione, passed away suddenly. Without him, there was no clear unity of goals, image, or vision for the MCBA and its future. For more than a decade, the MCBA had been synonymous with Nick Post.
Midwest Comic Book Association (MCBA)
Following Nick’s death, a number of dedicated volunteers assumed leadership roles to continue the twice-yearly comic book convention in his absence. Though the hard work and passion of the volunteers was without question, I immediately observed that the organization was beginning to struggle. No organizational hierarchy or structure was in place to guide the group moving forward.
That the MCBA might outlive Nick must have felt unthinkable.
There is no need to cast blame for that state of affairs. It is my experience, in general, that few people make a habit of considering what would happen in the event of their demise. Nevertheless, any organization — more so one dependent on the efforts of volunteers — must have clear messaging and a central mission to rally around. That is the glue that holds everything together when account balances dwindle, when conflict arises, and when disaster strikes.
The MCBA, lacking that unity, began to fracture. It was a process I witnessed from the inside after I became an active volunteer myself in 2016.
Midwest Comic Book Fans (MCBF)
Based on my experience with successfully building my own brand, in 2017 through 2019 I repeatedly approached MCBA leadership about modernizing the organization’s branding, messaging, and website. For whatever reason(s), I was never given the authority or creative freedom to make a genuine attempt at achieving those goals. This resulted in much frustration on my part.
In early 2020, the organization rebranded itself as Midwest Comic Book Fans. I was not involved in the decision in any way; indeed, I found out about it months after it had been decided. I did my best to create imaging and a new website for the organization using the art assets and instruction I was provided with.
From 2016 through 2021, I donated hundreds of hours of my time.
I ended all personal and professional ties with the MCBF in mid-2021.
The Midwest Comic Book Fans permanently closed its doors in early 2023.
I wrote last year that I was finished with comic book conventions, and for the most part, that remains true. There are no plans for me to ever return to tabling at shows. I have released the idea that I am “supposed” to enjoy or want that attention. I am content with my day job and marketing my work online.
The one thing I truly enjoyed about the MCBA was volunteering. Being estranged from my biological family, and having moved almost 1200 miles from Houston, TX, to Saint Paul, MN, the MCBA was my adoptive family for many years.
To watch it waste away, and then say goodbye, broke my heart.
Minnesota Comic Book Association (MNCBA)
Evidently I was not the only person to feel that way. As the MCBF was winding down its operations, several long-term volunteers were already in the process of creating the next incarnation of the MCBA. With a return to the original name, the newly-reformed Minnesota Comic Book Association is also a true non-profit.
When I received news of the new organization, admittedly, I had to consider for quite some time whether I was able and willing to become involved again.
Rebuilding a fresh organization from the ground up presented a unique opportunity to achieve the goals I was shut out from previously. After assessing the situation through conversation and volunteer meetings, the temptation of such a challenge proved too much for me to resist. I was all in.
Last March, I presented a formal proposal outlining many of the ideas I had brought up beginning in 2017. I presented an action plan, mock-ups of art assets, and I created a website in time for the SpringCon convention on April 29th. Much to my excitement, my branding and marketing proposal was accepted.
I am working in the role of Creative Director for the new MNCBA.
I am honoured and humbled to be a part of the team of volunteers bringing SpringCon and FallCon back to the Twin Cities under the banner of the newly-reformed Minnesota Comic Book Assocation. I know they were missed.
My personal objective is to do everything within my abilities to help build an organization with its own independent and stable identity, resilient enough to endure the coming and going of individual members. I am dedicated to serving the local comic book community, as well as my colleagues and aspiring comic book creators, through the MNCBA’s events and other resources.
I will work tirelessly to nurture and grow the MNCBA.
The Minnesota Comic Book Association was, and is, something special and valuable that should be preserved. I hope that I do not disappoint you with my efforts to help accomplish that. If you would like to join myself and others in this mission, please consider signing up to become an MNCBA volunteer.
If you wish to work on art assets, please contact me directly.