CURRENT SOUNDTRACK: Foo Fighters: Echoes, Silence, Patience, Grace; The Pretender
It's been a while I know but with lots going on at home with the impending arrival of Junior sometime in April, and work continuing apace on the Seven Sentinels series, I've been neglectibg my blog/facebook/myspace/comicspace et al. With recovering from BICS last weekend thought it'd be a good time to post some photos of the event.
With SS being the big push thiz year and next, we went all out on as much display material as we could, including this 5ft long poster:
Along with the newly reprinted issue 1, and special limited edition sketchbooks and tshirts, it went really well, due in no small part to new recruits Dan and Kenny, supporting creator Marc Olivent as they drew the crowds in, despite being first timers to a comic convention.
I managed to get down on saturday night ready for the future of British Comics talk on the sunday and to meet a hero of mine, Mike Mignola.
One of the main reasons I wanted to be at BICS was to meet Mike Mignola. Having followed his work for years after reading his Gotham By Gaslight and Bram Stoker's Dracula, and of course all of Hellboy, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I was amazed how easy it was to meet him expecting hundreds of fans around his table, but an orderly queue system (maintained by a security guard) ensured he wasn't mobbed, a credit to the organisers. I managed to get both my Seed of Destruction series signed, along with Baltimore and a Hellboy sketch (my only sketch of the weekend) along with a Baltimore print (and no, none of those are ending up on ebay). I was one happy Hellboarder.
The Future of British Comics panel went well, ably chaired by Leon Hewitt with David Baillie, Joel Meadows, Dan Merlin Goodbrey, Shane Chebsey and myself yapping away. Discussion started with the recently announced winner of the Observer short graphic story competition (entries for which can be seen here http://www.flickr.com/groups/551664@N23/) and whether British audiences are now more accepting of the medium. Ever present problems of distribution, marketing and general education about comics were raised, with some believing that the future of comics centres on graphic novels in bookstores, while others argued that the 'lost generation' of comic readers, those who grew up after the 90's crash, are important to reach along with the current generation still in schools.
With so much to cover we could have easily gone on for another hour, but we left I think with hope that things are slowly improving.
Later on I managed to get into the Hellboy talk with Duncan Fegredo, Mike Mignola and Pete Doherty discussing Darkness Calls. Mike compared his layouts with Duncan's fantastic finished artwork, and I left desperately wanting to get back to the drawing board and improve my own craft.
So another great, frantic but all to short festival, an improvement on last years event and hopefully enough of a success to enable the organisers to top it next year.
Back to the drawing board for me.