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Recap from Bristol International and Small Press Expo

Godzilla takes a well-deserved breather...

Last weekend was my first foray to the Bristol Comic Convention and my third con in the UK. It was a lot of fun. Met some pretty cool people and just had a generally good time.

I ended up sharing a room in the Bristol Ramada with Tom Eglington, a lovely chap who is paying for his art career by writing comics stories for the likes of 2000AD!  Pretty good day gig if you ask me.  Key an eye out for his stuff because it promises to be top notch!

Second Time I've drawn Spiderman in my life...

Ordinarily when I go to conventions, I’m all business: at the table all day and then off to a bed to recharge for the next day. I don’t really often get out and mingle. This time however, Gertrude (AKA, Lyndsay, the wife) was away in the states. I’d met Tom at Kapow and he and I talked about sharing a room in Bristol. Tom, out of the goodness of his heart, invited me out with some of his friends on Saturday night for Chinese food and some beers. Some of his buddies included the crazily talented Boo Cook, a guy who’s doing a lot of work on Richard Starkings’ Elephantmen for Image Comics. The rest of our beer drinking, chinese food eating massive where devotees of Bournemouth and Poole’s Paradox Comics. It included Andy Hine, the owner and a whole bunch of cool, comic reading peeps!

First time I've drawn Spiderman my life...

Another highlight however was on Friday night in the hotel bar.  I’d been several nights without any sleep as demands of both the day and night jobs were pretty pressing.  So Friday night rolls around and Tom and I headed down to the hotel bar, but I’m three blinks away from total unconsciousness.

I ended up talking to fellow Brightonian Tim Pilcher and halfway through he brings Charlie Adlard into the conversation. Adlard is the illustrator on the Image Best Selling Comic The Walking Dead. I’d never met him before, but Lyndsay and I had heard him speak in Angouleme in January. He was pleasantly self-deprecating and one of the highlights of the show. So here I was having a drink with him and sundry others. Just next to Adlard was another guy who I definitely recognized and who was introduced as Sean. As the day job involves seeing and meeting thousands of people a week, I didn’t know if I had seen this guy in my shop. So I asked if he was also from Brighton? He gave me a rather wry half-smile, half grimace; and then it dawned on my why I recognized him. He was Sean Phillips artist of among other things Criminal, Sleeper and Marvel Zombies. Yes, I felt like a bit of an ass! So I used my fatigue as the reason to hightail it back to the room, sleep and try to start again Saturday.

Never drawn this lovely pharmacologist either...

The final fun highlight of the show was a curious turn of events where I was asked by not just one, but seven different people to do convention sketches in their sketchbooks.  I’d seen this at other shows, but not often been asked to contribute.  I’d like to believe it was the sheer power of my ninja skills that had people coming over, but it may also have been the fact that I wasn’t charging anything for the sketches.

But it was a lot of fun.  The most well prepared people actually had themed sketchbooks going. The first guy I drew for (but whom I didn’t snap a pic of) was collected a sketch book with interpretations of the The Shadow.  He got his friends into doing something similar so one guy was collecting Godzilla, another was collecting Cable from the X-Men and a third was collecting Dr Strange. They were all smart dudes because they brought reference to help. Anyway, these were my entries on the day. It was a lot of fun to do.

Nothing more embarassing for a telekinesthetic mutant than losing his keys...

Finally, I may hopefully have some news to share on publishing “Things to do in a Retirement Home Trailer Park…” in the next few days. Watch this space!

3 Responses to Recap from Bristol International and Small Press Expo

  1. Matt C says:

    It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance!

    Matt (from the Paradox Comics Group!)

  2. Faye Harmon says:

    Lovely to meet you, chapply! I hope we see you at more cons, I have this grand plan of exchanging money (sterling, not monopoly unless that’s preferable) for your book.

  3. James B says:

    Good to see that even Godzilla enjoy’s a good cuppa!

    Was good to meet you last weekend. Good luck with getting, and here I go from memory, “Things to do in a retirement trailer park when you are 22 and enemployed.” published!

    Was I close?