So slow on getting round to doing this but I've been beavering away on page 5 of Metronaut as well as putting in the main shapes onto the Derby City Mural (development photo's of which you can see on my facebook account for those who have it). This years Leeds Thought Bubble was once again with Claude, my co-agent of spite: www.gronkcomics.com/
We were ably assisted by Dev who helped flog our wares, promote our presence and grab our tea's.
As you can see by Sunday Tea had become a very important lifeline as sleep deprivation started to kick in.
This years show was as always fun as I crashed with Neil & Chris yvash.deviantart.com/ on the outskirts of Wakefield in the Skyfall House for our rapidly becoming traditional Saturday night roast dinner with Neil's Mum as we shot the shit about the year's show. The general consensus: Busy.
Thought Bubble has been my favourite show for a few years now. Even if I only manage one show a year I manage Thought Bubble. But this year with so many exhibitors and the expanding to a third hall to accommodate it felt like things had reached critical mass. Putting nearly all of the big name guests in the back end of New Dock hall had the negative effect of causing massive queues that blocked access to a lot of small press guys table. The combination of such huge names in comics and more small press exhibitors than ever resulted in it being a lot harder to make a return on your investment in table and transport costs than ever before.
I think a lot of the was circumstantial as opposed to the organisers trying to get as much table money as they could. I genuinely sensed the organisers didn't want to let the public or the exhibitors down so tried to please everyone with more guests and more comics. It just felt too large and unwieldy, but the Thought Bubble organisers has always been pretty sharp guys so I'm fairly confident they can manage their resources better next time.
Being positive though Leeds was a great laugh as you get to see the comics community at their happiest. Check out Owen Watts of the Psychedelic Journal of Time for instance:
See? Just happy to be there.
I was personally overjoyed by all sorts of things. One of those things being a chance encounter with Peter Milligan whose comics Bad Company & Hewligan's Haircut I read voraciously when I was a teen only to later discover The Enigma and Shade, The Changing Man in my early 20's. Here he is, holding my copy of The Best of Milligan & McCarthy and even a copy of Fecal Depot 3
Most of my weekend was catch up time with all to brief encounters with likes of Kate Coope www.ktcoope.co.uk/ (please come back to Comics man, we all miss you), Nick Llwellyn armosknight.tumblr.com/, Bex Burgess rebeccaburgess.co.uk/ , Dan Lester www.monkeysmightpuke.com/ (who was kind enough to give me a free Schmurgen comic!) and even Sarah Burgess www.smackjeeves.com/profile.ph…
In fact, Sarah was kind enough to pull her best Dredd face behind a Metronaut postcard:
It was also nice to have some surprise encounters such as Alasdair Stuart www.sfx.co.uk/author/astuart/ who gave me possibly my best ever review earlier this year for the SFX website. He popped by to ask if the review had had any impact on my comics and how far along I was with The Yorkshire Cowboy.
I even met new people such as Sajan Rai's Childish Butt-Vomit sajanrai.co.uk/cbv/ With a title like that can a Fecal Depot/Childish Butt-Vomit crossover be in the works?
Following on from Melksham I've been trying to get into the habit of drawing sketches at conventions. Partly because after years of shows people have now started asking for sketches and partly because it helps me with my speed and consistency issues. I find it helps to draw things I've drawn repeatedly to help with familiarity so this convention's sketch was The Yorkshire Cowboy for Dev
So that's me all done for this years cons. Next year? I dunno, table prices are rising and my drawing pace is chronically slow so we'll have to see. Hopefully I'll have at least something new for next year but I don't want to play my cards until nearer the time.
Cheers & Lovely,
Aaron "Smurf" Murphy