Sunday, 30 April 2017

Stephenson's Robot Issue 4 is nearing completion.

Yep, it's true.
And here's the cover just to give you a hint at the events it'll contain inside...
..oh yes.

Accent UK got two pages in Comic Heroes.

This month's copy of the Comic Heroes magazine has an article where Miles Hamer interviews me across two pages in the Indie Spotlight section.
It's great that magazines on the shelves of stores like WHSmiths dedicate pages to show your average shopper that there's much more going on in the world of comic books than the 20 Avengers or Justice League books every month.
I do feel that the market is changing.
I confess that I was once a Marvel Zombie, well more specifically an X-Men Zombie, Spending my entire comic budget on the ever increasing line of X-Men related books every month. As I've always been employed I was able to increase my budget a little to accept the odd crossover event, but one day I realised that actually they actually weren't very good. There were a few gems at the time, Bill Sienkiewicz's run on New Mutants for example, but a lot of them were actually very similar and the stories overblown in what felt like an excuse to bring in as many characters as possible, to get me to buy more comics than I wanted.
One day I just stopped.
I picked up Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller), Marvels (Alex Ross), Weapon X (Barry Windsor Smiths's version) and Elekra Assassin (Mr's Miller and Sienkiewicz again).
I actually enjoyed them. Cover to cover.
I read that Marvel sales are slipping whilst Image sales are up on a lot of their books, Saga being a great example.
I think the days of dedicated fans are over,
I think the big two killed them off by greedily trying to drag more an more of their money out of them, throwing out that weren't very good, quantity over quality.
I'm old enough to remember when there was one X-Men book. I don't have the time or the inclination to count the number out these days.
I get my Marvel fix from the thoroughly enjoyable movies,
I'm sure I'll pick up a Marvel and DC book now and then, but it'll be because they've had great reviews or are recommended by someone, not because Wolverine is in it.
So, rant over, it's great to get at least our name out there in a magazine like this.
Distribution is a challenge but we're trying to crack that by doing as many shows as we can across the country.

Kinder Egg Surprise.

Well I got tempted to pick up one of the Justice League special Kinder Eggs last week, and true to the advertising I was surprised...
... to see that for some reason the Wonder Woman toy (I didn't get her, I got The Flash) has been given a beard. Very strange, Superman has managed not to get a beard.

Then my mind started working overtime and I pictured a Freak Show Travelling Carnival version of the Justice League where Wonder Woman was The Bearded Wonder, Superman was The Strongman and Batman was... The Batman of course.
This must have been done already.

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.