Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Comments on Strange Times Book 2.

I just received these words from Michael Lindal Andersen, who asked where book 2 of Strange Times was every time we visited the Copenhagen Comics event... This year his 6 year wait was over...

I just finished Strange Times a few days ago. Only took about six years. Anyhoo. I really like the kind of science fiction that it represents. The more cerebral kind, where science doesn’t equal magic. I think you pulled it all together quite nicely at the end – avoiding the big action-y showdown, where everybody fights and stuff explodes. Even though one of the characters tries to form a superhero team. That made me smile. It means you are better than Mark Millar, who ends all his stories (clever, not so clever and most often rather stupid stories) with everyone fighting… again. So there is that. Not sure what an action scene drawn by Dave West would look like, truth be told. Your style in art seems to pull the story in the right direction. So yes. I really enjoyed it. It doesn’t look or feel like any other comic, I have ever read, while at the same time it feels like all the (good) science fiction, I have ever read. Yey.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

A trip to the National Army Museum in London.

Well, I confess that I knew what I'd find on display in the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London.
Accent UK co-founder Colin Mathieson had been keeping me up to date with progress on a project that he had taken on, producing a comic that reflected how 'War' had been represented in comic books through the years.
The museum has had an amazing face lift. All the exhibits are informative and well spaced out. I wandered through a number of areas looking for Colin's comic, it wasn't in the War Paint exhibit but as my eye spied the 'Society and the Army' exhibit I knew that's where it would be.
As I entered the area I could see the comic in pride of place.
The pages of artwork had been printed into laminated pages that themselves were fixed securely to the table ... drat ... no way I was going to sneak off with it then.
The colouring from Matt Soffe and the change in format page by page by Colin really gave the reader the sense of the passage of time, and true to any comic, there was a theme flowing across the pages that brought them all together in a poignant way.
It was great to see Colin's work on display in a museum, as part of a large exhibition that will be there for many years to come. I really can't think of a writer/artist in comics today who would have produced a more thoughtful and accurate comic.
As to the museum itself, wow, very impressive. I thoroughly recommend a day trip. I was also pleased by the friendliness of the staff, and they had Earl Grey Tea in the Cafe 😁.

Liverpool MCM

This was the second MCM event in Liverpool.
No road race this year meant that our expectations were that there would be less confusion and congestion ,,, so more customers.
Saturday did feel busier and we found there was good interest in the whole range of books we had on the table. Plenty of return customers and as is always the case with MCM events, plenty of new ones.
There were plenty of Cosplayers parading around and a few, like Close Encounters of the Third Kind above, and the costumes certainly liven up the whole event.
I'm not sure who Frank was calling but it was great to see something from one of my favourite films.
Sales on Saturday were very healthy, not quite as good as last year but still pleasing.
Sunday, as is always usually the case, was quieter for us. We talked to a lot of interested people, comic buyers and general passers by and the table was rarely quiet. Sales were less but the day passed quickly and we enjoyed it.
It was good to see Steve Tanner of Timebomb comics at his table, and for the meal on Saturday night. Steve has had a couple of operations on his eyes over the past month and we did wonder if he'd make it, or it in fact it was wise for him to do so. There he was though, the same old Steve, doing what he loves to do, selling his comic (which has a Robot in it ;o).
We had a great time and I even found out who wins the Game Of Thrones.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A new Wolfmen review.

It's amazing that people are still discovering these books for the first time, and enjoying what they find. Check out a new review over at A very fair review, I had always intended the second book to be told in the first person from Jack's girlfriend's perspective but it just didn't work out.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Risk of playing Risk.

Well, last time I was at Colin's he got the Risk game out and then proceeded to beat Scott and me over the course of a couple of hours.

I'd played it a couple of times before over the last decade, but was very rusty. As I played however a plan of attack formed in my mind.
Next time, I promised myself, would be different.
And 'next time' arrived.
Colin got the Risk game out.
I chose Green again.
I implemented my strategy.
I stuck to it.
My strategy worked.
My Green army swept across the board.
Pushing the Blue and Orange armies out of Europe and down through North America into South America.
Where I finished them off.
Scott knew it was all over but Colin still looked for a way out.

Copenhagen Comics 2017

Every two years there is a Comic event in Copenhagen that started way back in 2004. We've been to every one. Not because sales are always fantastic, we only sold about 10 books at the first one, but because we have made so many friends over their and enjoy seeing how they're all getting on.
This year the Con had moved from the usual nice warm June to a pretty cold and damp late February. The venue had increased its costs and so a move to a more 'off peak' time slot made it affordable for the organisers. The usual questions arise when anything changes about a Con anywhere, will the change put customers off coming ? Only time would tell.
When we planned our trip we were the usual 4 man team. Colin and Scott (above) with Gary Crutchley and myself. Tickets were purchased, accommodation sorted. Holidays booked with our day jobs sorted, well, almost. It turns out that Gary's company had instigated a new Holiday Booking process, which seemed to translate to 'All holidays cancelled'. Gary had to drop out. It's a real shame that company's treat people like that. Accent UK would never do such a thing :o)
We did actually consider a replacement...
...but Mr. Normal was busy that weekend.
Arriving just after lunchtime we took our comic laden suitcases to the venue and offloaded. Well, actually we transferred our clothing to a backpack and left the suitcases under the tables.
As usual we were set up in no time, so checked into the hotel before making the trip back to the venue for the launch meal.
Colin, Oyvind (Norwegian), John Anderson (Canadian based in the UK),
not sure who is at the end of the table, Kim (Dane) and Arnie (Icelander living in Copenhagen)
It's always amazing to meet so many people from across Europe, the Copenhagen Con is certainly a draw (excuse the pun) for people.
From the UK there was Garen Ewing and Tom Gauld in attendance. Garen seemed to be at his table and sketching all day. Tom was attending panels and sketching but I never saw where. Both were enjoying themselves and remarked on how friendly the Danes were and how relaxed, and yet well run, the Con was.
Saturday then was usual for the Copenhagen Comics Con, and supported something we learned at our first event. It starts slow. There's no queue to talk of waiting for the doors to open. That's not the way they roll. By 1pm though it was pretty busy and we were selling well.
Colin and Martin Flink were busy sketching for people, another difference in Denmark is that people tended to wander off and come back for the sketched edition of the comic rather than queue. All very relaxed.
There was more interest in Stephenson's Robot this visit, last time we had the single issue and the presence of issues 2 and 3 certainly got people looking, and buying.
Colin sketches for a customer who did like to watch the artist at work,
the vast majority of the attendees were drawn to a presentation / discussion about
comic themed movies but sadly, for me, it was in Danish.
Sunday was pretty similar to Saturday.
The attendance felt about the same, sales were about the same and we had a really enjoyable time.
Sunday night we were invited back to Arnie's for a meal with his family, it's amazing how the two girls had grown in the 18 months wince we were last there, they remembered us though, mainly I think due to my separating thumb trick :o!
Monday was our chance to unwind a little and catch up with our good friend Soren Pedersen.
We got the train out to his town, a bit like a suburb in the UK, and enjoyed a meal and chat with him and his wife Bibeke.
We had a lovely meal at Esthers Spisehus and enjoyed a funny moment when Colin thought the lady owner's name was Esther. Ah well, that what happens when you make assumptions. Esther was the name of the street or area. As always, it was great to catch up with Soren (who used to own one of the Comic shops in Copenhagen) and spend the afternoon talking about all sorts, this year we discovered his passion for deer paintings, ornaments and ... even a large head (which he said he is looking after for his son ... we'll see if it's still in his house in 2 years).
And then it was Tuesday, and time to leave the city we have come to know so well.
With its bikes...
... it's store statues...
Colin proving he's not keen on dogs, even if they're made of resin.
its wall artwork (I don't think the word graffiti does them justice)...
its strange Dr. Who-like sculptures...
And now copies of the WesterNoir trade in Fantask...

Looking forward to the next show.
We may be going back next year for Arnie's Art Bubble event... let's say that we're very tempted.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Tales Of WesterNoir #3.

Issue 3 of Tales of WesterNoir is almost ready for the printers.
This is the special Willows Fall issue, which tells a huge piece of the backstory of Josiah Black. Gary Crutchley and I do the writing honours as always, and as always we have some talented artists helping us out.
Three new artists in fact : Ian Ashcroft (who produced the art for the cover), Gustavo Vargas Tataje and Chris Przygrodzki.
All work wonders bringing the stories alive in a larger edition than is the norm for the Tales comics.
The comic should be available at the Liverpool MCM event on the 11th and 12th of March.
See you there.