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Comica’s Autumn Comiket 2012

If you didn’t catch it, the powerhouse organisers behind Comica Festival’s Comiket put on another amazing event this weekend at the Bishopsgate Institute Great Hall in London. It was a one day extravaganza of incredible art, story telling and comics people coming together.

One of the really fun, and very different things that the Comiket does is invite artists up for 30 minute segments to draw live and have the process projected before the day’s attendees. I was humbled to be invited to participate and do a little public drawing. You’re also asked to bring along 30 minutes worth of music to liven up the festivities. It was lovely.

The strangest thing about it for me was sitting up there and suddenly being transported back to sixth grade (age 11-12 for Britons). That was the first time it became apparent that I’d been spending a little more time drawing at home than my colleagues in elementary school and thus could draw a little better than them. It was also the first time I got a little attention from girls that was anything other than as an object of ridicule. This felt a little like that. Just blissing out drawing, listening to music and occasionally being reminded that people were watching it. The drawing is totally absurd but another in the “why my daughter won’t forgive me when she grows up” collection. Corinne, my myriad editor made the solid suggestion that I ought to have drawn something from my book for the crowd, a solid piece of advice if ever there was one. But the power of an infant Judge Dredd was just too much to fight.

Beyond that, it was a great day connecting with fellow creators. I held down the Myriad Editions fort with Daryl Cunningham, author of the fascinating, myth debunking books Psychiatric Tales and Science Tales; Science Tales has also been nominated for British Comics Award; wish Darryl luck! Also saw Thom Ferrier, a doctor, a cartoonist and soon to be a fellow Myriad Graphic Book Author.

I got to say hello the Bryan and Mary Talbot (and I also had the hard task of following Bryan in the drawing parade!). Bryan was premiering his another anthropomorphic, steampunk, detective mystery in his latest Grandville book, Bete Noire and Mary chatted about how things are going in her second graphic novel (after an entire successful career an academia she’s finally be properly bit by the bug of her husband’s career and is embarking on one for herself).

We were sat next to Josh and the Gosh Comics crew, Gosh being one of the great comics shops in Central London. They are the lovely shop that sponsored a limited edition bookplate version of my book when it came out (you can still get one through them via their website).

There were lots of other lovely people and great cartoonists including Joe Decie, Paula Knight, and one man publishing powerhouse Neil Gibson among them. Incidentally, if you’re in London on Thursday, Neil is going to be doing a “Made on a Mac” presentation at the Apple Store on Regent Street. He’s a fascinating guy as he gave up a lucrative career in the City to go into writing and publishing his own comics. He’s doing great stuff and truly building his own small comics empire. Definitely stop by and check out his talk! He also was kind enough to shoot the picture of me drawing…

Finally, This was also my first, Baby-at-home, you’re-now-a-knackered-dad comic show so I was a bit slower round the corners than I usually am. But I’ll be back in better form for ThoughtBubble in Leeds next week (though, oddly, the convention that is going to be in the exact same place as last year won’t be taking place in Savile’s Hall…).

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