Thursday, October 18, 2007

Birmingham Comics Convention…

A Review of the weekend’s events…

Well I arrived on Friday late afternoon, early evening, meeting up with Jon Haward and going along for a steak at a wonderful nearby Italian restaurant and then on to the launch party at Bennett’s arranged by BICS and Markosia, which was great. Hunt Emerson and his band played music for a good hour or so and Michael Wright’s band all the way from America, also entertained the comic crowd.

The weather held off for us, over the two days I was there, which was great and I hope this continued on the Sunday too. In fact it was incredibly warm all the time I was down there in Birmingham.

It was great to meet up with folks again. I managed to chat, if only briefly to some, amongst them to Jon Haward, Lew Stringer, Mike Collins, Harry Marcos, Mike Molcher, Staz Johnson, at last after many years without doing so aside from the Internet, John McShane, whom I must say had me in stitches whenever we talked and I look forward to doing so again, Jim Stewart, Bryan Talbot, Lee Townsend, Clive and the gang at Classic Comics, Andrew Wildman and the guys at NCSoft, Sean Phillips, Charley Adlard, Dougie Braithwaite, Lawrence and Robin Etherington, Tony Lee, whom I met for the first time, our only other chats being via email and the networks on the Internet, Lewis Costello, one of my students on the FAU course, Kev F. Sutherland, Happy Birthday again Kev, Laura Howell, whom again I met for the first time having only previously chatted via email, Dave Windett, Ferg Handley, and if I have missed anyone, please accept my apologies.

Unfortunately I missed a good number of folks, amongst them Liam Sharp, whom I had really wanted to chat to at this convention, but I am sure Bristol next year with afford me that privilege. I did see him briefly on the Saturday from distance, but this is often what happens at these kinds of events. Another artist Simon had arranged to catch up with me on the Saturday and again I am sure the next con will sort that too.

One thing I really did miss was the company of my wife Margaret, who was unable to attend this convention, hence the lack of photos this time around. She generally sorts me out with these things.

I showed the Markosia job to Harry Marcos, and he is very happy with them so far. I plan to have the entire book laid out as soon as this latest Hot Wheels issue is finished later this week. We discussed some very exciting future projects and stuff so there’s plenty to expect from these guys over the next few months and next year.

I spent part of Saturday afternoon sketching for Andrew Wildman’s charity “Drawtheworldtogether”, which was great fun. I produced several sketch cards, including from memory, Hulk, Darkseid, Thor, Judge Dredd, The Beast from the original X-Men, and Conan, for auctioning and a full figure sketch for a fan of the games too. The highlight for me whilst on the stand was when a fan I recognised from my time as a comic artist before leaving the field for a while back in ’99, handed me a copy of Dark Dominion issue 5 to sign, which I thought was nice. It’s always great to see folks still looking at the stuff you did in the past as well as the new stuff.

There was a lot of interest in the “Worlds End” pages and my thanks go out to all those folks who stopped me and asked to see them and spoke to me at length about them in some cases. There was also a lot of interest in my new Hot Wheels pages as well and again my thanks go out to you folks that spoke to me about them.

Saturday night saw Jon Haward and myself going along to a nearby Thai restaurant across from Bennett’s. The food was superb and I would recommend that anyone going along to the next convention pay them a visit. It was a most enjoyable meal in a wonderful setting, with superb food served by wonderful staff, in a very relaxed atmosphere. I know both Jon and I will be returning next time.

The downsides and they are only minor and there’s not much that the organisers can do to solve this were:

1. The NCP car Park was about 20 – 30 minutes walk away from the Hotels, which is not ideal when you are carrying clothes and portfolios, etc.
2. The venue was a good ten to fifteen minutes away from the Hotels, which if the weather had been bad would have made things worse.
3. The signposting to the event building is almost non-existent as was the signage inside the venue itself.

The only thing that the organisers could do here is in regards the inner venue signage and I chatted to Paul Birch one of the organisers along with Jon to this effect. Paul said they had expected the venue to sort this, but obviously they didn’t, which was a shame. Something similar happened to me at an event I organised, but at least next time the guys can have this sorted. If someone builds a hotel nearby to the Millennium Point centre then all the above will be sorted, but like I say, this can’t be sorted by the BICS guys.

Overall a truly enjoyable experience for me, but one, which had to be cut short, due to deadlines looming, with me leaving on the Saturday night after the meal and a brief drink of coke in Bennett’s again to say my goodbyes to the folks there.

Thanks to all the guys in the comics fraternity that took time to chat, sorry it was brief sometimes, but that’s conventions for you. See you all again soon.

Thanks to all involved in the organisation of the show, including Shane, Paul, James, and Andy…Well Done guys!

BTW: This was written upon my return in the early hours of Sunday morning, but there have been some issues with Blogger, which I have only just managed to sort, so sorry the Blog’s a little behind times now.

Check out Lew Stringer’s Blog for more photos and informative stuff!!!

In the meantime here are a few photos of my time at BICS…

Andrew Wildman and me share a joke with a fan

Jon Haward, Lew Stringer and John McShane at the Launch Party

Nigel Kitching and Nigel Dobbyn at the Launch Party

Jon Haward at his hotel

Andrew Wildman and me discussing the "Drawtheworldtogether" charity

Jon Haward takes a break from sketching for Classical Comics

Me sketching on the "Drawtheworldtogether" NCSOFT stand

2000AD website Guru Wakefield Carter

Until next time have fun!

Tim Perkins…
October 18th 2007

1 comment:

chebbo said...

Hi Tim,

Glad you had such a good time at the show. Thanks for all your comments both good and bad, they help us make the show even better.

Hope you can make it to this years show too.

all the best,