It was awesome.
I came with fresh samples (everything in my portfolio was (at most) three weeks old) and more confidence than before. The first day was open to professionals and exhibitors THREE HOURS before it opened to the public. After about ten minutes of wandering, I realized what a great opportunity that was. I ran to all the publishers I wanted to talk with and got as many portfolio reviews as I could before it got too crowded with all the regular con riff raff
Over the three days at the con I talked to every publisher I wanted to, chatted up people I had met at other cons, stalked Artists Alley, and even got a few panels in. It was great.
For the first time EVER, I got more positive feedback than negative. I was blown away. Thank you SCAD and Tom Lyle for kicking me into shape (and continuing to do so - I'm doing this to give my brain a quick break from days of straight drawing). Instead of getting the general "Work on anatomy, reference, storytelling" etc that they give you when you're hopeless, I got actual pin-pointed advice. Specific things I was doing well and what I needed to work on.
Needless to say, this was great to hear. I'm going to kill myself to fix those problems. My plan is to get a handful of submissions together before next March (when my Con season starts back up again) and hopefully have worked all my issues out.
Major thanks to Robert Atkins who gave me a ton of great advice and feedback (and let me hang out at his booth with him for a bit). It was a great time and very encouraging, for once.
I cannot wait for next year.
Now, back to work...