David Hailwood will be reporting on the Bristol Comic Expo specifically for downthetubes in due course, but in the meantime, here’s some links to just some of the reports on other comic sites:
• Comic Book Resources has an article by James Hunt describing the event as “delivering the same idiosyncratic slice of comics industry shambles that can only come out of the UK,” but still “an unmissable experience for all British fans.” His report includes Dave Gibbons feelings about the new Watchmen movie. Dave says that the film, if anything, “exceeds the level of detail in the comics” and said that he’ll be “very surprised” if the film is anything other than fantastic.
• Joel Meadows, he of Tripwire fame, also delivers an initial report on his Walls and Bridges blog, with some great pictures and a promise of more to come. “Mike Allwood and David Morris have transformed the show into a decent weekend with lots to see and do and a good selection of American guests,” he says.
• Jas Wilson of Smuggling Vacation, which we’ve already reported on — the book is now at the printers — offers a short first timer account on his web site.
• Terry Hooper has plenty of pics — including a scary one of Brian M. Clarke holding up a copy of the comics magazine Crikey you might need sunglasses for — on ComicBits Online, including news of a potential rival to Comics International, if it gets beyond dummy stage, called Mask, the brainchild of Martyn Parkinson. Terry gives his dummy a big thumbs up. “I don’t think we have a good general magazine centred on the massive comics industry in the UK since the late 1980s/early 1990s,” he argues. “This is it.”
• New indie publisher C2D4 launched their books at the Expo and offer their report on the event here. The brainchild of cartoonist and comics artist Tony Wicks, keep your eyes peeled for all-original serialised titles such as Last of the Chickenheads, Jack in the Box, Crowman, The Hack, and many others.
Tony is currently collaborating with script writer Martin Buxton co-creating original comic strips available on the internet at C2D4, and at the UK comic conventions they regularly attend.
• Another indie publisher, Itch, also have their own report. The brand new, small fry comics and manga publisher from the UK had a great time, with the event offering many networking opportunities.
• NCSoft’s Stephen ‘Rockjaw’ Reid, Creative Concepts Manager at NCsoft Europe, has his report on the event — with more pictures – here. His team were on hand to promote City of Heroes once more – their fourth year at Bristol. “Comic Expo is what I’d call a real British comics show,” he recounts. “It doesn’t desperately want to be anything else. While the organisers want it to attract more people year-on-year, and want it to have a decent profile, at the same time it is at its best when it’s simple: when it’s just people getting together who love comics. Who love to talk comics, look at comics, buy comics, get comic sketches, and just generally geek out about comics.
“You can see why I like being there.
“We started to attend because we felt like we’d probably have a decent crossover between our core gaming audience and comics fans, and generally we’ve found that is the case. In addition, the concept of Draw the World Together probably fits in better there than at any other show… people at a comics show want sketches. Often quite badly. So the fact that we’re offering them, and the money you pay for one goes to charity… well, that works out quite nice.”
• Stacey Whittle reports she went to the 2000AD panel hosted by Tharg. “It was chaotic and hilarious and I have developed a massive crush on Al Ewing – A says this is perfectly acceptable because he has one on him too!”
• “Mr Twig” reports the event was was “bloody good fun meeting up up with friends and seeing them in their element, even if some of them don’t realise just how good the really are. I ended up buying some interesting comics too; the Eleventh Hour Anthologies by Orang Utan Comics, Cages and Layer Zero (both published by Insomnia Publications), The Hunter from Dare Comics and Hope Falls by tonylee.” Some good recomendations there – Eleventh Hour is well worth hunting down in our opinion, too.
• Jim Boswell reports he got arrested by stormtroopers (twice) but still enjoyed himself, singing the praises of the official venue, the Ramada.
• Over on the Tim, Defender of the Earth site, we’re told the the Expo was, unsurprisingly, quite a restrained affair compared to the recent New York shenanigans. “But it was great fun. The awesome Roger Langridge was there, who is always a pleasure to speak to (though possibly not for him – he looked a bit knackered!) And a particular highlight for me was meeting one half of the creative partnership that is Ian Edginton and D’Israeli, who are responsible for some of the finest comics I’ve read over the last six months (SCARLET TRACES, LEVIATHAN and KINGDOM OF THE WICKED, to name a few).”
• Robert Bloom has posted some of the sketches he had drawn for him on his blog, including work by David Lloyd and Walt Simonson.
• If it’s moving pictures you’re after, Jimmy Aquino of the Comic News Insider interviewed Leah Moore, John Reppion and Paul Cornell (the latter of Doctor Who, Wisdom and now Captain Britain fame) which can now be heard at cni.libsyn.com/
“Amazingly, we don’t even sound all that hung over…” says John. Hmm…
• The indefatigable and energetic Oli Smith of London Underground Comics has also delivered a visual take on the Expo (below): for some reason it’s playing rather jerkily on the new ‘beta’ YouTube player, but maybe my connection’s a bit off. Although, knowing Oli, admittedly only in a ‘encountered him by email way’, it could be a deliberate…
• Comic book artist Sofia Falkenhem is just one of several mainland European to offer her view on the event on her blog. “I thought it would be maybe a bit messy and busy, with not very much opportunities for spending time with your friends,” she reports. “But not at all, it was the perfect combination of big/small, big enough to wander around, picking up interesting minicomics, and listen to fairly well attended panels, but small enough to find quiet moments with frhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifiends, new as well as old. I will treasure those late night-conversations in the warm summer-air.
• French web site Comic Box has a great report, in French, packed with photographs from the event, which it describes as “une jolie fête des comics.” Indeed, and, thanks to Kev F Sutherland, we have the Sock Puppets to prove it…
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
Categories: British Comics