Monday 21 November 2011

Methought Bubble

Last weekend, Ian & I exhibited that the Thought Bubble Festival Comic Con in Leeds. I had neglected my friends, family, personal hygiene and proper sustenance for three weeks to draw the first story of my Catch a Fairy project to be published independently of Ian's anthology Sea Mouse. I delivered the finished artwork to the printer at the latest possible date, and unsurprisingly, almost turned up to the convention without a comic to sell. My parcel was left at the print house by the courier & I had to pull my first-ever 'angry customer' strop to persuade the printers to make an emergency delivery to Ian's house on Friday night. Thankfully I arrived at Ian's place to find a modest box of pamphlets to rip open eagerly.

On Saturday morning, we trudged through the frosty fog to the Royal Armouries, wherein we set up shop for the weekend. Ian regretted having not spent the previous week making miscellaneous merchandise, despite filling his half of the table with piles of two different 'Sea Mice', and half-a-dozen issues of his series Dishes; I had only copies of Killjoy #1 craftily displayed to take up the remainder of the tabletop.

Our first surprise of the con was having been allocated a spot beside the signing tables. We were frequently rubbing shoulders (sometimes literally) with eminent comics creators we hadn't heard of - but our first neighbour was a very familiar name, the lovely Posy Simmonds, beside whom Ian posed for a photograph. We gave her a handful of comics.

(She wasn't the only name we recognised. We also saw Dave Gibbons on both days - naturally, a very popular guest. Respect to the Gibbons.)

The event was more indie-centric than I had anticipated; my only experiences of comics conventions in recent years have been my two spells at Angoul√™me - at which the exhibitors run the gamut from photocopying mavericks to commercial monoliths - and I'd forgotten that most British cons other than the major expos are populated by small presses and independent self-publishers. This made the fairly high proportion of cosplayers somewhat incongruous, but I guess that it was all 'part of the fun' even if the Judge Dredds and Stormtroopers felt a little far removed from the bulk of the material being exhibited. (I was actually eager to sell something to a costumed visitor, but all my customers were individuals in everyday dress.)

I could tell the whole story of our weekend, but I'll avoid any rambling and simply state that I consider our turn at the con to have been a modestly successful one. We met many interesting people, and sold a fair few comics to a host of lovely (and gratefully received) customers - some of whom were more chatty than others, but all seemingly good eggs. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and made our first Thought Bubble experience quite wonderful.

(All photographs are copyright of Ian Cockburn - used without permission, but I'm fairly sure he won't mind.)

Monday 14 November 2011

Almost Killjoy #01

After three weeks of brush abuse and sleep deprivation, I've finally sent my first independent comic release in almost five years - Killjoy #01 - to the printers. The story therein is 'Cub Camp', and you can pre-order it at Shop page, where you can also have a gander at a three-page sample.

It'll be officially debuting at the Thought Bubble Festival Comic Con in Leeds this weekend (19 - 20 November), at which I'm sharing a table with my comrade Ian Cockburn, who'll also be debuting a new release: the second issue of his anthology series Sea Mouse (for which I have produced a double page strip).