As I said I would, I went to the city of Concord, state capitol of New Hampshire to investigate the city and see what it was like there. It’s a location I might want to go to live and work, namely to set up my own business to create and market Sunnyville Stories.
I should emphasize that my trip was NOT a vacation. I hoped to get a feel for this state and learn what the New Hampshire comics scene is like.
It was very beautiful. It is considered both the capitol of the state and country seat, but it felt more like a small town rather than some sprawling metropolis as many state capitols I’ve visited like Albany and Hartford. I spent most of Sunday exploring the town. Armed with a tape recorder and a digital camera, I snapped many photos of the place and made notes of vital services I’d need to support a comics-related business.
The town also has a lot of history behind it. Did you know the State Capitol building (pictured here) is the oldest state legislature still being used? It was quite visible too from my hotel given the gold dome. Over 400 state legislators meet here to run New Hampshire. Don’t worry – this state can afford it because these guys get an annual salary of US$100!
The place didn’t simply feel like another state. It actually felt like a whole other country! The state’s motto is “Live free or die”. This state was named as being one of the freest states in the USA, along with South Dakota (on another note, that’s a possible business location I want to investigate too – but that’s a whole other post). They don’t have motorcycle helmet laws, there’s no tax on alcohol, and what’s more is that there is no personal income tax or sales/use tax here! This would be a great location to run my business.
As for the New Hampshire comics scene, it’s quite small and tight-knit. My sources (namely Jetpack Comics of Rochester, NH) tell me that there are various comics creators, but no really big names since most will go onto New York, New Jersey or Massachusetts to make a name for themselves. There’s only one convention I’m aware of, held in the state’s largest city of Manchester, called GraniteCon.
While the New Hampshire comics scene sounds lacking, it isn’t. Besides the close-knit community, the state is in close proximity to conventions held in Massachusetts and Connecticut as well as the Center for Cartoon Studies in neighboring Vermont.
All in all, New Hampshire was a magnificent state. As much I adored it, it’s best not to fall in love with the state. I still wanted to investigate other business friendly locales like South Dakota.
The New Hampshire comics scene is small but it’s still there. That’s my goal here. I want to establish close, one-on-one relationships with vendors and readers to provide an experience that the typical superhero published just can’t give us all. That is why I may just become a part of the New Hampshire comics scene.