Convention Report – Nottingham Comic Con 2014

Nottingham Comic Con Logo 2014Saturday the 4th October was the second Nottingham Comic Con. Previously known as ‘Nerdfest’, along with a name change there was also a change of venue, moving  to a larger and much more convenient venue at the Nottingham Conference Centre. Still in its infancy it’s fast becoming one of the best conventions for comics fans in a now packed yearly calendar.

Refreshingly comic centric and without “Third Stormtrooper from the right” or “E.T’s finger operator”, it fixes its sights on comics and comic art and boasted some great mainstream comics talent with artists such as Gary Erskine, John McCrea and Marc Laming in attendance – while also catering  to the indie and small press crowd.

The aforementioned McCrea and Laming kicked the day off in style with a panel they shared with Porcelain’s Chris Wildgoose. Covering topics such as “drunk convention appearances”, “the comics that first turned your head” and “if you could marry one comic character who would it be?” It was a chucklefest with all three guests waxing hilariously.

Chris Wildgoose, Marc Laming and John McCrea at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond
Chris Wildgoose, Marc Laming and John McCrea at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond

The venue is full of space and the exhibitors and talk area were spread nicely over two floors. The organisers had cunningly spaced professionals and small press out throughout and there wasn’t the usual crammed in corridors and lack of wiggle room over long boxes.

Vince Hunt, the creator of "The Red Mask from Mars", at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond
Vince Hunt, the creator of “The Red Mask from Mars”, at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond

I caught up with Vince Hunt ( aka @jesterdiablo on Twitter). The creator of The Red Mask From Mars, he’s always great company. His book is a smash ’em up monster fighter book with a big dash of Savage Dragon crossed with B.P.R.D. He’s got a new issue in the works as well as a really interesting music and comics project lined up for release at Thoughtbubble later this year.

You can find issue 0 of Red Mask for free at his website: www.theredmaskfrommars.com

Marc Laming at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond
Marc Laming at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond

Marc Laming is fresh off critical triumphs on Planet of the Apes from Boom Studios, Kings Watch from Dynamite Comics and All New Invaders and Fantastic Four from Marvel Comics. He hinted at a few upcoming projects at Marvel and showed me some breathtaking covers he is working on for Dynamite (look out for the Zorro covers!).

He’s also got a Robert E. Howard strip with ex Anglophile Alex De Campi that’s coming soon in Dark Horse’s Savage Sword of Conan. A busy man indeed.

Have a look at www.monkeymarc.blogspot.com for examples of his work or find hi on twitter @monkey__marc

Kill Screen writer Mike Garley at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond
Kill Screen writer Mike Garley at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond

After reviewing Kill Screen here recently, I was keen to chat to chat to it’s writer Mike Garley. Always hugely enthusiastic, he showed me a peek into Issue Two, which takes the book on a little twist and a long walk. The art for issue two looks amazing as well so watch for a future review on here when it’s released.

Find his work over at www.mikegarley.com

Chris Wildgoose and Laura Trinder at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond
Chris Wildgoose and Laura Trinder at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond

I managed to spend a huge chuck of time with uber talented Chris Wildgoose and his equally talented partner Laura Trinder. The secret is well and truly out there that Porcelain (reviewed here on downthetubes) is one of the best books of the last few years (and a personal favourite). That first volume has just been released by French publisher Delcort in a gorgeous oversized hardback version – a deal announced last year that means the story has been extended to a trilogy – and the production quality of Porcelaine: 01 Gamine makes me want to learn the language immediately.

Chris hinted at the release of Volume Two in the series, entitled Bone China, and will be handing out previews at Thoughtbubble in November (from the Improper Books table).

Pop over and see Christian’s work at www.Christianwildgoose.blogspot.com or find him on Twitter @MrRiktus and Laura at www.lauratrinder.co.uk or @xbirdyblue

Mike Jackson at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond
Mike Jackson at Nottingham Comic Con 2014. Photo: Antony Esmond

I met Mike Jackson last year and was chuffed to see him back again this year. Always hilarious and great company, he was busy all day with barely a break on commissions and selling Now That’s What I Call Curly Moustache Man Volume 1. (‘He has ‘a lovely moustache and a bow tie and likes sausage rolls‘). Pop over and see examples of this mad man’s work at www.mikimusprime.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @Mikimus_Prime

Credit has got to go to the organisers round this convention. It was meticulously organised and full of helpful and friendly volunteers. I hear rumours of bigger and better things for next year so you really need to add it to your Convention Calendar.

By the way. The “Who would you marry?” answers were as follows.

Christian Wildgoose – Gwendoline Stacy
Marc Laming – Richie Rich
John McCrea – Storm from the X-Men

Now, who says romance is dead!?

Thanks for reading.

• Nottingham Comic Con is at www.nottinghamcomiccon.co.uk and here on Facebook and here on Twitter

Antony Esmond

Antony Esmond

Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.

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