Saturday, 14 July 2018

Kickstarter.

Well our first ever Kickstarter campaign was a success.
We hit out £500 target for Enter The Asylum steampunk anthology in less than a day, if memory serves.
The tiers helped it get over the target and it made me aware that had we not had Stephenson's Robot reward tiers then we would have jut missed the target, something to remember for future campaigns.
All's well that ends well though and we made it.
As I type this the special print cards and the comic itself are with the printer.
It is a lovely looking little comic and I can't wait to see it in the flesh.
Hot on the success of Enter The Asylum we are in the middle of our second Kickstarter campaign, Hard Country.
Hard Country has been Gary Crutchley's pet project for a good many years and we've Brough the tale into the WesterNoir universe and published it as a Tales of WesterNoir special.
You can check it out over at Kickstarter.com, it's doing pretty well, hitting the 92% of target mark in a week. Pop over and watch the great video that Andy Bloor pulled together for us.
So, all's looking good on the Kickstarter front.

London MCM.

It's been a busy couple of months, what with Conventions and Kickstarter.

Since my last post I've been to two Conventions, wildly different in appearance and connect but both going to.

London MCM was, it has to be said, a little down on last year. It just didn't seem to be as busy and whilst I'm trying not to, I'm wondering if the concerns about what state the country will be in post Brexit are causing people to be a little more cautious with their spending habits.

Everything seems bigger at the MCM in London...
There was the usual display of costumes and I always respect the time and effort that goes into the Cosplays, regardless of how effective they turn out to be.
The Green Soldiers from Toy Story as impressive...
as this version of the Powerpuff Girls...
was disturbing.
Sales were tough, maybe because we had only a single table and were tucked behind an artist with one of those table displays that effectively blocks ours if you were approaching from the left or maybe because we had nothing new out.
Regardless it was a tough 3 days for Jemma and myself but we soldiered on and did ok in the end.
It did hit me that everyone is looking younger these days, a sign of getting old I guess, even Judge Death was looking like he was too young to leave school...
All in all we had a good time chilling with our friends and chatting to returning customers, but it was a long tiring 3 days and I was glad when it had finished so I could put my tired feet up and have a good rest.
I didn't forget my hammer on the way out though.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? Reviewed.

Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? has been reviewed over on www.comicbooknews.co.uk.
I accept that art is very subjective, and have no problem with David's comments, but I love the way Marleen captured and added to the story with her great style and technique.

Monday, 14 May 2018

The Comic Publisher Landscape (2018).

Jason Thibault, over at JasonThibault.com has mapped US and UK publishers and AccentUK appear on the list...

Really great to be acknowledged in this way.
In other news, the Kickstarter is coming along very nicely, now almost 200% of target.

Friday, 11 May 2018

The first ever Portsmouth Comic Con.

Last weekend saw the Accent UK A-Team, or Team-of-One (that's me then), drive down to the first ever comic con in Portsmouth's Guildhall.
I set off extra early as I had little idea of where I was going, how I'd get there, how long it would take and what I'd do if, be some fluke, I should find the place.
Yep, I was a Team-of-One.
Actually, I guess I was a Team-of-Two. GoogleMaps was along for the ride and so I did actually make it in pretty good time.
The omens were good.
I had the sense that my Stephenson's Robot, in that it features Isambard Kingdom Brunel, would do pretty well as the pub across from the venue was advertising for me.
Even on my own I managed to set the table up in about 10 mins, which is actually quicker than normal as normally Colin spends the next 10 minutes re-arranging things :o)
Having one table meant that I could only take limited sock and that I had to make use of a comic box on the table to hold back issues. The comics on the table itself were pretty much all the latest issue of a series or imprint. It seemed to work pretty well though.
And there I was, set up between Mr Lego and The Back Issue Brothers (who actually ran the local comic shop (Room 237) and took some Accent UK to consider for their store).
In the main hall, Comic City 1, there was a real mix of tables and I wondered if I'd suffer because of that. Comic City 2, the room behind me, was more Independent Comics based.
I did, however, get to see the comic stars as they made there way to the signing area, and managed to get a copy of ...
signed by the man himself. An excellent start.
I decided to not only try to sell comics but also try to promote our Kickstarter and so as people stopped and chatted, whether they bought anything or not, they ended up walking away with one of our Enter The Asylum fliers.
Some people were happier to do so than others and there being a great Steampunk presence, courtesy of The Gosport Steampunk Group, certainly helped.
Saturday then was a good day, a decent start sales wise but very long.
It was due to finish at 8pm.
The organisers took pity on us however and let us leave at 6.30pm due to our good behaviour I think.
Sunday was pretty much the same. Sales were good, people were more than happy to stop and chat. I think there were more families checking out what was going on but the number of people looked to be about the same.
...and of course Steve Tanner was there selling boxes of his Flintlock comic to everyone.
It was great to catch up with Russell Mark Olsen and pick up the latest issue of his great Gateway City comic, to have breakfast with Mike Garley and Martin Simmonds, to trade quips with Dave of Timebomb Comics and meet John Freeman (DownTheTubes.com) again after many years.
I also made contact with a sculptor which will hopefully lead to something quite exciting in the not too distant future. I'll keep the details close to my chest for now but I'm pretty excited, well, as excited as an English man gets which is typically not noticeable to anyone else.
Reflecting on the Con as I was driving home I realised that it had been probably the most successful first attempt at a Con of that size that I've ever been to. I think most stalls did good trade, most people had a good time and Portsmouth benefitted from the extra business.
Congratulations then to Joel Meadows and his team on a great Con.
I've already registered interest in next year's event and can only hope I'm accepted.



Friday, 4 May 2018

Portsmouth and Kickstarter.

I'm off to the impressive looking Portsmouth Comic Con tomorrow morning, very early.

I'll be on my own as it's too far south for the Scottish part of the team 😄.
Hope to see you there.
In other news, our Kickstarter campaign is doing very nicely and has now reach 50 backers, beyond my expectations it must be said but then I can be a 'glass half empty kinda guy'.
Kickstarter is proving an interesting ... world. I've so much to learn but it's nice to find that there are lots of people out there looking to help.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

'Enter The Asylum' Kickstarter is live...

..and it looks great.

Kickstarter

A big thank you to Andy Bloor for the fab video and Matt Soffe for the great print card stretch goal (I think thats's what it's called .. I must get better at this Kickstarter stuff).

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Kickstarter.

Accent UK are launching their first ever Kickstarter on the 1st of May. The new comic, titled 'Enter The Asylum', features 4 five or six page stories about the Steampunk persona that you'll see at the Asylum event in Lincoln in August.

WesterNoir review from C2E2 purchase.

A great little review of WesterNoir from The Pullbox.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

C2E2 ... the comic show that is bigger than a lot of villages I've been to.

We thought it was about time that we tried to get into a Con in the USA again. The last we did was a few years ago now, MOCCA in New York, which although we enjoyed a lot turned more art and crafty year on year and eventually we stopped going as our books didn't really fit.
So.
Which one should we try to do?
New York?
Seattle?
Chicago?
Well we've actually been to the Emerald City Con (a long time ago), we've been to New York (MOCCA) and so it was an obvious choice really.
We've never been to Chicago.
All of the trips would involve a long flight and Chicago took some 9.5 hours (as we were flying via Zurich (it was cheaper)). I managed to watch a few films on the plane, the best of which was the new Jumanji and the worst being the latest Star Wars. The guy next to me was watching Jumanji too, but I made sure mine was slightly ahead of his, so I got to laugh first. I know. I'll never grow up.
I managed to use public transport to get from the airport to the hotel, which was Downtown. My aim was to not use a taxi for the entire trip.
The weather was actually colder than that which I'd left behind in London and I lost count of the number of people who told me it wasn't typical for this time of the year. Still, I'm used to it being cold and had the right clothing with me, albeit in limited quantities as the suitcase was mostly full of comics.
I did have an uneasy feeling about some of the locals however.
But had good hopes for the 3 day event.
I did some touristy things on Thursday before taking the stock to the venue. In Millennium Park I came across The Bean.
Quite a draw with loads of people taking photos of their reflections at strange angles. I took the opportunity to get a few myself,
but couldn't shake the strange chap who kept moving up next to me to get in my photos.
Thursday afternoon was set up time and so I went back to the hotel, picked up my suitcase (full of comics only this time), confused the hotel staff (who thought I was checking out already) and got on the right train to the convention centre area, Cermak-McCormick Plaza.
A short walk later and I was there.
And it was huge.
Turns out I'd entered the wrong side and it was a 10 minute walk to the right side of the centre.
It was huge.
I found the hall of the event, well it was pretty well sign posted...
and had set up in my usual quick time.
Wandering around the comic village I was stunned.
It was huge.
Competition looked fierce.
So much, such good quality... ah well... I decided to go, have some food, some beer and see what tomorrow brings.
Oh yeah. That strange chap followed me there. Still, he turned out pretty useful setting up the stall and seemed to know what was going on...
I told him he could help on the table the whole weekend. This seemed to please him.
And then Friday arrived and we got to selling.
If I had to describe the event I'd say it was a huge MCM.
There weren't as many cosplayers wandering around, and those that were were all pretty friendly...
And like MCMs the Friday was OK sales-wise but not amazing.
The creators around us told us that Saturday would be incredible and so our hopes were up that we wouldn't be taking a lot of stock back with us.
Saturday was incredible, if a little cold.
Sales were better but not amazing and wandering around the venue we found that the majority of people were browsing the merchandise stalls, of which there were plenty. Very much like the MCMs but with the Artist Alley (their version of Comic Village) positioned at the back it was much less busy.
Still we sold better than Friday and had gone through about half our stock by the end of the day. We'd made some interesting contacts and met up with old friend Mike Perkins, who invited us to a party afterwards with some of his mates.
It was great to see Mike again after about 20 years and we had a great evening.
And then it was Sunday.
Last day of the Con.
And that was when we got hit by as many, if not more, customers than we had the last two days combined. We had a great day and sold out almost everything we took over with us.
The suitcases were much lighter taking them back to the hotel. We'd pretty much done all we'd hoped to do.
As a celebration we went to Giordano's for tea.

We'd been told about the Pizza pies by photographer Greg at the Timequake event the week before. We had to try it.
It was huge.
Luckily we followed the advice of the waiter and went for the small one.
Yep, that is the small one.
Half eaten.
It was challenge of Herculean proportion but we finished the thing.
And so a couple of well fed, happy Brits, made it back to the hotel.
Monday and Tuesday morning were tourist time.
We took in the city and had a great time wandering the streets, taking in the architecture, taking in the comic shops,
going to the top of Willis Tower (and Colin standing on the Sky Ledge (I discovered that I suffer from a bit of Vertigo I think)).
A great city.
A great week.
Great people.
A great Convention.
A city that lives in the shadow of the Trump tower.

We will try to go back next year.
It'll never pay for itself sadly and will always need to be considered as a holiday but we really enjoyed ourselves and introduced a lot of new people to our work.

Monday, 16 April 2018

It's a TimeQuake!

A new Steampunk event in Manchester?
Are we interested in having a table?
Hell yes.
Are we interested in doing something a little more involved than just putting comics on a table?
Errr... yeah... let us have a think.
It's one of the things we love about the Steampunk events. It's not just us turn up with boxes of comics, put them on the table and try to sell them. It's us turn up dressed as Steampunk characters and attempt to display our comics in new and interesting ways. And then try to sell them.
We've tried a few things before but this time (mostly due to Colins efforts) we went the extra mile.
We got lucky with the positioning of the wood panelling but the rest of it we brought ourselves.
I must say I thought it would look cool, but it looked fabulous.
We used the event to also plug our new comic, to be launched at Asylum X, called Enter The Asylum. It will feature comic stories about the characters that you'll see if you wander around the Lincoln event in August and will be our first attempt at Kickstarter in May.
We had lots of interest in the chair...
and got to meet a lot of interesting characters, some we wanted to chat to...
and some we didn't...
This event was unlike any other we've been to, in that it had the general Steampunk people wandering around with jet pack and googles but also Western and Post Apocalyptic Steampunk. There were all manner of contraptions on display and to be honest it would have been an interesting day for anyone, not just people into steam. It even had Dr Who characters and authors.
The funniest moment was when someone turned up and spotted themselves in our advertising picture, art by the talented Gary Crutchley.
Turns out this is just one of many costumes he wears, all of which are fabulous.
..and not surprising from a man who is obviously a creative wizard.
It was a long weekend but very enjoyable and successful.
Colin even took some time out at the end to try the chair himself...
... I think it, and the rug, might become a feature in his lounge.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

A visit to Glasgow to see Black Panther with Jemma.

A few weekends ago I popped up (I say 'popped up' but it's actually a long way) to Glasgow to visit Jemma and go and watch the latest Marvel blockbuster, the Blank Panther this time around.
As is usual when I visit Glasgow we spend a fair amount of time wandering around, having tea and chatting.
In Glasgow it's best to keep moving in case you get picked up by some giant.
In one of the cafes it amused me to see that you could buy 'Bean on Toast' and I remembered that time when Gary Erskine asked for 9 beans (I think it was) as a Premier Inn and was given exactly that. Looks like he'd have to talk the one bean up when in Glasgow City Centre though.
A bean on toast for only £2.50
It was also interesting to note that the film festival was on and the posters around the city highlighted mixing genres. This one reminded me of WesterNoir...
Maybe one day it will be, you never know.
I had a really enjoyable few days. We talked comics, film and books amongst other things. Jemma helped me with a book I'm writing and I, hopefully, helped her with a comic she's writing. The Black Panther was excellent although for me it was just pipped by the latest Thor movie.
And then it was time to go home.
And at the train station I noticed that Glasgow welcomed all, it even had a shower cubicle for Daleks. No idea why they get singled out...

Or maybe it's somewhere to hang you Dalek vehicle whilst you scuttle around the city centre.