CURRENT SOUNDTRACK: Tori Amos: Strange Little Girls, 'I Don't Like Mondays'
Not that I've recovered yet but since I've uploaded the photos, thought I'd actually say something about the Bristol Expo this past weekend.
Fantastic art above from D'Israeli (disraeli-demon.blogspot.com), though there were no Martian tripods nor Spiderbunnies in attendance at the venue. Maybe next year. There did seem to be a massive upsurge in visitors: the saturday in particular was incredibly busy. I didn't expect to do so well as not having anything new to sell except REDEYE 6 (which was released in March at London Webcomixthing), and my first attempt at a 30 copy limited edition sketchbook, printed literally two days before (which meant I had no sleep from wednesday to friday). The sketchbook, inspired by my friend Lorenzo's, went down well, whether sold seperately or half price with RE6. Even Jeffrey Brown picked up a copy of both which was rather satisfying.
Saturday went by in a blur, and after a number of sketches I realised it was suddenly three in the afternoon and I'd not left my table. When I did have a quick run round, it was great to see another increase in new faces, new publishers, and new fans. As the boxes emptied of RE6 they filled up quickly with review copies.
Some of the standouts though in the pile was the latest anthology from AUK, ZOMBIES, which is without a doubt the best of the run so far, strongly designed and fantastically put together. However I think Dave West and Andy Bloor's THE WOLFMEN just surpasses it, great work from both creators that just shows what quality is out there right now. Highly recommended.
Saturday night of course was the highlight of the day as I finally got to spend time with old friends who I don't get to see often enough. After a few ridicously expensive drinks at the hotel bar we headed off to an Indian resturant where binky bonkey ensued. Binky bonky is all the rage apparently. Some of my favourite photos from that night:
Matt 'Bat Madam' Badham
Mark, Lorenzo and Rob of Blink Twice with pre-Eagle Award nerves
Stephen 'Mythos' Aryan and Bridgeen 'Mr Maximo and Rabbit' Gillespie
There were only one pair of bunny ears believe it or not, though they seemed to go round everyones head that. Only Bridgeen managed the divine glow.
Though Paul 'No Time Like The Present' Rainey brought some stately poise to the look
Joel 'Tripwire' Meadows and Paul Rainey toast Binky Bonkey
Sunday is always a calmer and chilled affair as everyone nurses hangovers and emptied wallets. The energy never fades however at the Blink Twice tables as Lorenzo sketches his hand to a stump. There was also a teasing preview of the gorgeous artwork Lorenzo is doing specifically to illustrate his interview in REDEYE 7....
I go on quite a bit about just how great Lorenzo is. I don't apologise about that because it's all justified. Another person I never stop bigging up is Chris 'Rock Star' Staros, here on the sunday with Jeffrey Brown, with previews of his new book.
I managed to get a good number of new books including a handful of manga, thanks to Sean Michael Wilson's guidance and introducing us to the Umisen-Yamasen group and Misako Rocks, in preparation of an upcoming article in REDEYE on the rise of Yaoi (or boy-boy comics) so popular with teenage girls, a trend now starting to appear in small press titles.
Sean will also be talking to us in RE7 about his new book with artist Lee O'Connor, IRAQ INCORPORATED, with an extended eyecandy preview on the project.
Although by the end of Sunday many people had gone home, a small hardcore contingent headed to the Spyglass resturant for our tea, so thanks to Leon, Dave, Paul, Dan, Joel, and Declan, for helping to celebrate my upcoming thirtieth this week over ostrich steak, Dr Who conventions, Bon Jovi and chocolate fondu.
Next on the convention calender is the Birmingham International Comics Festival (BICS) in October. You never know, there maybe Spider Bunnies there.