Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bristol International Comics Expo 2008

A review of the weekend…

Hi Guys, Well I am continuing to recover after the Bristol Comics Expo this last weekend and can report it was a great success for us.

The weekend had some brilliant weather, other than the thunderstorm on the Friday evening. The crowds of fans were queued right the way around the venue all day on the Saturday and at several times they were prevented from entering the hall due to fire regulations. Luckily the Star Wars Storm Troopers were on hand again to stop the rebels gaining entrance without being fully checked. Obviously folks are back reading comics again!!!

It was again great to catch up with folks in the comics business, although with some it was only very briefly. But this year I managed to get some time with Jon Haward, Mike Collins, Liam Sharp, Barry Kitson, Mike Ploog, Simon Wyatt (watch this guy’s work), Lee Townsend, Jim Stewart, Bryan Talbot, Sean Phillips, John McCrea, Simon Furman, Harry Markos, Brian Gorman, Lew Stringer, Ed Hammond (Congratulations again on the Eagle Award), Charlie Adlard (Congratulations on winning your Eagle Award too), Matt Smith and the 2000AD gang, Tony Lee, Laura Howell, Craig Johnson (well done with the Fete), Dave Taylor and his wife and lovely baby daughter, Dave Windett, Mike Conroy, Brian Clarke, Tom Sweetman, Martin Griffiths, Geoff Senior and his wife, Kev. F. Sutherland, Tommy Castillo, Rodney Ramos, Martin “Biff” Averre, and I am sure I will have forgotten someone, so if I have, please accept my apologies.

It was also great to see members of the "How Novel group" again. They paid a visit to the stand and once more bought lots of goodies.

On show we had the Worlds End Ashcan, the new Worlds End Figurines, “Gweldar”, “Ralf”, and “Master Chl’Atheeir, the new Worlds End Mouse Mats, The Worlds End Door Posters, Bookmarks, the last remaining copies of Dark Crusade from way back in 1995 (we still have a few copies left if anyone is interested – just drop a line to us at with your enquiry). We also had lots of Freebies as giveaways and of course we had the usual product ranges.

Speaking of the Worlds End Ashcan, anyone who wishes to purchase one (or more!!!) priced at £1.50 will receive a £2.50 voucher which can be redeemed against the price of the graphic novel when it sees publication in 2009. So depending on how you view it you get £2.50 off the graphic novel or your money back off the Ashcan and £1.00 off the book. The Ashcan contains some work which will not see print in the graphic novel, so it is a standalone comic. Even the sequential pages will see plenty of changes.

The Ashcan, Mouse Mat are available now from the Wizards Keep on-line shop and the Door Poster will be available in its new section sometime over the next week or so, as soon as the latest Hot Wheels has been completed. There is also a new section ready for the release of the Figurines. We have some Kit Versions ready for sale, but the manufacturers are still producing the others.

Congratulations to all those that took part in the “Draw RALF” competition over the weekend to try to win a one off Giclee of the Ashcan cover at original size. This is different to the regular one now being offered in the shop section.

The winner of the exclusive “What Now!?! Worlds End Giclee is: Thomas Warne Age 14.

We never have losers here at the Keep however and although we never announced this previous to, or during the event, everyone that took part are winners.

All the runners up win a signed “On the Run!” Worlds End Poster.

All the runners up names can be found on the Wizards keep website.

Congratulations also go out to one of my students, fifteen year old Lewis, who wrote his first published comic book
Galleon 43 with artwork by Sean Phillips’ son Jacob, which went on sale on the Saturday of the Expo. It contained a fantastically supportive foreword written by Bryan Talbot and sported a cover by yours truly. Well-done guys!!!

Well now it’s back to normal and this month will see me working on the next Hot Wheels and then finishing off the Markosia Project, then I have a series of Educational Bookmarks to finish and that should take me to June, when I will be returning to work on the pencils for the Worlds End graphic novel. Once these are finished I will begin the digital painting process.

The summer months will also see the Hall of Fame launch at last.

I would like to take the opportunity of thanking Mike Allwood for everything, which made the event so successful for us, including constantly answering all the questions I had regarding the Expo and the stand, the Spotlight position on the Bristol Expo website, charging my camera on Saturday morning, keeping a check on how things were running and inviting Paul and I along to the Eagle Awards ceremony, a first for me and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Thanks also to David Morris and Martin House for their work on the Spotlight appearance.

I would also like to thank Craig Johnson for all his on-line promotional work, all over the Internet for Wizards Keep.

I would also like to thank Simon Wyatt for his fantastic sketch of Ralf, which he gave me over the weekend.

I would also like to say a big public "thanks" to my best buddy, Paul Roberts, who not only manned the stand with me this time around, but also signed lots of issues of Dark Crusade for the public.

Thanks also to all the customers that took the trouble to stop by and chat and buy our products. Your support means everything to me.

I for one am already looking forward to next year’s Expo. In the meantime we have been invited along to the 2D Northern Ireland Comics Festival in June and the Leeds Thought Bubble Festival in November, so we may see you there. There is also a second Lancaster Comics Convention doing the rounds in the rumour mill of comicdom, so I will be letting you guys know whether this is on the cards or not ASAP.

Below you can see some photos, which hopefully show some of the fun aspects of this year’s Comics Expo:

Paul Robert & Tim Perkins man the Wizards keep Stand
Photo courtesy Lew Stringer
Lew Stringer & Tim Perkins at the Wizards keep Stand - Photo courtesy Paul Roberts
(Unsure if Paul was suffering with the heat, hangover or nerves in the prescence of celebrities)
He is offering to produce these SFX without the aid of Photoshop

Lew Stringer & Tim Perkins at the Wizards keep Stand - Photo courtesy Paul Roberts
(Paul still suffering from the heat, hangover or nerves in the prescence of celebrities)

Two photos of Paul with a vicious looking Chaos Marine

Fans kneeling at the Wizards Keep (Shrine) stand

There are windows in the venue...just too high to reach

Lawrence Etherington shows his skill with detailing

Studio Blink Twice - Brilliant guys

Convention Hall - Early Saturday morning

Me sketching

Convention Hall Saturday Midday - Lew Stringer speaks outside the WK stand

The Mighty Wizards Keep Stand

Paul works hard on the Wizards Keep stand (reading Dark Crusade) Friday afternoon

CRIKEY it's Tom Sweetman & Brian Clarke

Also please check out this little bit of madcap fun and frolics by comics buddy, Kev. F. Sutherland…barking mad, but then again aren’t we all…well done, mate. BTW: If you look hard you can see a Wizards Keep stand cameo, with two of our "Draw Ralf" contestants.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's Bristol souvenir video

Until next time have fun!!!

Tim Perkins…
May 17th 2008

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