Sunday, 1 December 2013

The Last Comic Con Of The Year.

So, we'd managed to get ourselves into the Main Hall at this year's Thought Bubble comic convention in Leeds.
We'd nearly missed out on the whole thing as tables were sold out within an hour of being announced, and for those of us with a day job we found out too late. But we got lucky as we moved from the 'hoping for a cancellation' list, through 'a table in the 3rd Hall' list, to 'a cancellation has actually happened in the Main Hall and you're in the Main Hall' list.
Our concern had been that in the new 3rd Hall we might not see as many customers as we would in the Main Hall and so we jumped at the chance.
The event had a really good vibe, with the banners etc.
Putting all of the worries behind us, I picked up Colin at around 8.30am and with Jemma in the back of the car getting excited about meeting Mark Buckingham and Kieron Gillen, we set off, and for once there were no roadworks (to talk of), no heavy showers, no lorries trying to squeeze you into the central barrier and... ok.. we did have a little diversion when we missed our exit from the motorway, but it was a good journey.
We had arrived about 30 minutes before opening time and had no trouble getting our tickets (including the extras) and finding our table. A great start.
Gary Crutchley, co-creator, co-scribe (well, he does most of the actual scribing) and artist on WesterNoir arrived not long after doors opened, which made for an even better start.
Me and Gary Crutchley.
We were good to go.
The only question was, as Colin mentions over on his report, would the extra (3rd) hall draw in extra comic enthusiasts or would it just mean that the number of people that came last year would have more to choose from.
Thom Ferrier (Ian Williams) and Colin catch up.
Well sales weren't bad. They didn't hit last year's number, but we had fewer new titles out this year, but sales were better than the year before that, so I think it's an upward trend (hmmmm... sounding a little too salesman-like). We had a lot of repeat customers (which is great), met some really nice people (and very talented they are too) from Portugal, caught up with a lot of friends in the Independent Comic scene and Jemma got her Mark Buckingham Fables sketch (Bigby) as well as Kieron Gillen's signature on her Journey Into Mystery TPB.
Gary was happy with the response to WesterNoir...
Westernoir issue 3 sold really well, to those who had the first two issues, those who picked up all three or those tempted by Gary's great sketches to buy a sketchpack. It was great to have Gary around on Saturday, and of course we manage to talk about future issues over a coffee, you can read Gary's report of his day over on his blog.

Colin and Gary.
As we weren't sure where we were going to be this year, or even if we had a table at the event, we'd decided not to book hotel rooms and so it was a quick drive back across the Pennines for a little rest and restocking.
Sunday started badly... for me.
On putting on a clean shirt (that'll teach me) I disturbed a Queen Wasp, who had decided to spend the winter in one of the shirt sleeves. My wife watched me dance around the bedroom, trying to take the shirt of without getting stung too many times, looking more like Lee Evans than John Travolta I sorry to say. Anyway... I think I only got stung once and the wasp was then introduced to the outside of the house (she was alive and buzzing when I last saw her).
Queen wasps are not small creatures.
Anyway, manning up (with a little Savlon and an anti-histamine pill from Colin's wife Karen) we were once again on our way back to Leeds.
Jemma had a new Fables book to get signed and a new character to get a sketch of.
Jemma hiding...
I had to find James McKay to get my copy of Dreams Of A Carbon Future (see my blog for more details) and Colin had a lot of people to catch up with and small press books to buy (as is his way :o).
Sunday was quieter than Saturday.
We did attract some attention with our 'Accent UK in Lego' display case, and had some fun with people matching Lego figures to Accent UK books.
Looks like the Invisible Man is missing...
We did sell enough books to make this a good Con (and I was really happy to see so many WesterNoir and Robot Shorts books selling) from that perspective, Jemma (as a fan-girl) got some quality sketches, we caught up with friends, creators, readers and would-be creators and are certainly looking forward to next year's event.

The wrist bands allowing entry always looks a bit worse for wear after 2 days.  


  1. Great write-up Dave but that Queen wasp gets bigger with every telling!

  2. Well, I've seen smaller dogs... been a great year for Cons hasn't it, and looking at the potentials for next year it looks like 2014 is going to be just as good ...