Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Thought Bubble ... how was it for us ...

We never do particularly well at Thought Bubble conventions. We don't know why, unless it's due to the incredible number of great comics on other stalls competing for the customers' pennies. But the cold fact is that Thought Bubble is our usually our worst UK Con.
Or it has been until now.
This year we were determined to break the cycle and timed the launch of three new books to coincide with the event, as well as enlisting support from a couple of extra creators for the full two days. Oh and there was the surprise in store for people outside the hall as mourners of Thaddeus Mist entertained.
Where to start then ?
OK, the beginning.
Saturday morning was cold and damp, and following a typical Holiday Express breakfast I stepped out, accompanied by my daughter, Jemma, to lug four boxes of comics from my car (on the 5th floor of the multi-story car park) to the venue. That and a few extra bits and pieces, the banner, the raffle prize (a piece of original Gary Crutchely WesterNoir art, which I was not at all happy to part with), and some Thaddeus Mist posters.
A few trips later, I am getting weaker as I get older, and we were all set.
That is we would be once the three new books arrived, and as is typical, we'd left it all so late that Stuart Gould, of CITRUS CREATIVE & UK COMICS CREATIVE, was bringing a number of boxes of each to the Con for us.
And there he was, with a smile on his face that told me that once again he'd come through for us.
A few trips to his car later and we now had more boxes under the table than could really fit and a whole load of comics to shift, but what great looking comics they were. Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist ?, WesterNoir 2 and Missing - Have You Seen The Invisible Man ? all looked fab.
Owen Johnson, the driving force behind Thaddeus Mist and Gary Crutchely, the driving force and artist on WesterNoir arrived pretty soon after all the hard work lifting and shifting boxes, and helped set up what stock we had on an over crowded table.
Gary talks to a Customer about WesterNoir whilst in the
background Owen discusses Thaddeus Mist.
And then Colin turned up expecting help carrying his three boxes of stock from the car park. I think one look at my tired expression helped him to decide that he'd best do it himself and so by about 10.30am we were all ready to go, with even more comics on the table.
Our best sale of the day was pretty much our first as a customer bought pretty much one of every book we had (leaving out the few he had brought from us before), a fantastic start to what turned out to be a very busy day. Owen and Gary helping energise Colin and I, and Gary's special sketch packs really doing well to clinch the deal with anybody who hesitated over whether or not to buy both issue 1 and 2 of WesterNoir.
Gary and Colin ready for anything...
The actors that Owen had persuaded to come down from Carlisle and act out the Thaddeus Mist Funeral scene were on stage, we'll in the area between the halls, around lunchtime and they were really very good.
The Thaddues Mist mourners...
I didn't know what to expect but must confess that I feared the worst. How wrong could I have been ? They were great, and certainly helped generate interest in the book, and additional sales (thanks guys .. and girl).
I won't attempt to list all of the contributors to Thad who stopped by, but it was nice to see designer Danielle Horton at what I believe to be her first ever Con.
An incredible day drew to an end and we almost collapsed. It had been a draining but very rewarding experience.
A quick trip back to hotels to refresh and then we were off out to meet up with Sumyra of Lucky Target Comics and her crew at The Palace. A pub that was allegedly only 10 minutes away. Thirty minutes, a walk down by a canal and a rat sighting later and we all knew that I'd taken us in the wrong direction. But everybody was understanding and decided not to throw my into the canal (or river... it was too dark to tell) and so a mere 30 minutes later we were sat in the pub drinking and waiting for the food to arrive. A great night followed talking about comics and telling convention stories.
Sunday was a quieter affair, as Comic Cons always are, but we still did pretty well, and at the end of the day we'd had probably our most successful Con ever, not just from a sales perspective but also in meeting creator friends, and chatting about and developing new projects with a couple of them.
Biff and Gary draw winning ticket, Dave is kept well away
through fear of him trying to fix the result...
We got Biff (of ACE Comics) to draw the Raffle ticket, and number 300 came out of the hat... the winner has since been emailed, and I'm already missing the artwork that used to sit in my room.
All that's left then is to thank everybody for making it such a great Con. Gary and Owen for all the help, The Funeral Mourners, creators popping over to say 'Hi', Chris for being Chris and all those who stopped by to chat about our books and buy a couple.
See you all again next year.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Thought Bubble

Accent UK have a table at this year's Thought Bubble Con in Leeds, which is this weekend.
and for the first time ever, we are launching three new booksMissing - Have You Seen The Invisible Man ? is the follow up to Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? in that it is set in the same universe and is another in the Blessed/Cursed line of books. Written by Dave West with art by Joe Campbell.
WesterNoir issue 2 follows on from issue 1 and sees Josiah Black facing aligator men in the swamps of the Mississippi. Written by Dave West and Gary Crutchley with art by Gary.
Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist ? a concept anthology that follows the widow of Thaddeus as she attempts to find out who he really was by questioning guests at his funeral. A very victorian drama in every sense. Owen Johnson pulled this one together and wrote the main story with art by Conor O'Boyle, there are a number of other contributors who tell of Thaddeus through the eyes of his friends, relatives and even a mistress.
Over the weekend there will be a raffle for a piece of original art from Gary Crutchley, which recreates the cover pencils for issue 1. A raffle ticket will be given out with every purchase.
Also, we have a limited number of teaser posters for Who On Earth Was Thaddeus Mist ? signed by a lot of contributors that will be given to people who buy a copy of the Graphic Novel, until they run out.
and finally ... look out for actors dressed in victorian garb who will be bringing the funeral to those outside the convention hall.
We'll be at  Table 50 of the New Docks Hall for both days, so do come over and spend some time with us talking about comics.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Comiket, Pearly Kings and Nosferatu.

It was a strange trip down to London on Saturday for the winter Comiket. After a typical train journey (in that it arrived 15 mins late) we encountered a Pearly King at the Underground Station (which made more sense when we found out that it was The Lord Mayor's Show), who appeared to be being stalked by Nosferatu, which was not so easy to explain. Colin and I decided to keep well out of it, it never ends well for bystanders when titans clash.
We arrived with time for a coffee before setting up the table and being ready for the customers to start to enter the building.
It was a very slow start, and although the doors had opened at 10am, by 2pm we had sold less than 10 books. I must confess to being a little concerned that my joints would have to undergo yet more damage as we lugged all of our stock back up north.
But things picked up, and by 5pm we had sold almost as many books as we did in the Spring event. My joints we safe... for a bit longer anyway.
There was a little incident concerning Robots, which you can read about over on my Strange Times blog...
It was great to meet up with Olivier & Anders of Cinebook, ’J-P’ of London Horror Comics, Camlia & Taylor from Orbital Comics, Dave O’Connell, Andy from Broken Frontier, and Becky Bagley who created Tick, and provided a pin-up for Robot Shorts.
The Comica guys had put a lot of effort into yet another great event. I think the number of customers were down a little and I know some stalls suffered due to this. Clashing with the Lord Mayor's Show didn't help, and a friend of Accent UK, Matt Boyce, had struggled across London by bus adding about an hour to his journey. I'm tempted to write to Boris Johnson to see if he can't move next year's Lord Mayor's Show, but may have better luck suggesting that the organisers move the Winter Comiket instead.
All in all it was hard work but rewarding and as Colin and I sat back on the train home and discussed the future of Accent UK, we both agreed that it certainly included more Comikets.
Thanks to Megan Donnolley, Paul Gravett and Peter Stanbury and all their helpers for another event like no other.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Babble... the one that got away.

When Lee Robson brought his book Babble to our attention a while back, we were interested. Very interested. But while we were taking our time, discussing this between ourselves at Accent UK, Com.X nipped in. Lee knows a good thing when he sees it and so took them up on their offer, and who wouldn't, Com.X produce some great books.

So what is Babble all about ?

Carrie Hartnoll is a girl lost in a life going nowhere fast, until a chance encounter with an ex-boyfriend affords her the opportunity of a whole new career in Ivy League America, as part of a research team attempting to resurrect the language of Babel – a language, it is theorised, that can be understood by any human, from anywhere in the world.

As Carrie pieces together her fractured personal life, she becomes embroiled in the mystery surrounding the apparent suicide of the project’s original team leader, which propels her to uncover the horrific truth about the language and why it was written out of the history books…

Babble is an original graphic novel by Lee Robson and Bryan Coyle (both of whom have produce work for our snthologies in the past) due to be published by Com.X in December 2012.
You can pre-order it from comic shops now with the Previews order code OCT120971. Alternatively, you can pre-order it online here:
I've not seen the finished book, but I'll be picking this one up as soon as I see it based on what I saw back when we almost published it ourselves.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Accent UK will be at Comiket.

Colin and I will be returning for the latest Comiket Festival in London on Saturday.
We always enjoy this event as we get to meet so many new creators and manage to sell a good number of books to new and returning customers alike.
Pop in if you're passing...