Friday, July 31, 2015

TRUE Believers Festival 2015

Inaugural Comic Festival

Hi everyone,

Well, earlier this year found me winging myself down in the early hours to Cheltenham Race Course where, following a Tweet I had posted. I received an invite to appear as one of its official guests at its inaugural event - True Believers from its main organiser, Stuart Mulrain.

It is a long trip from the mountains of Cimmeria here in the North of England, but I soon found myself with dawn’s light just rising, as I arrived outside the venue and ready to set up.

It was a well organised event and the venue was great with pretty much everything in easy reach of each other. We were taken to the Panels with the organisers so there was none of the finding your own way to them, as many of the UK ones can end up being.

The venue was a huge, modern, high-vaulted roof affair.

I was the first person there and was immediately allowed to set up. There was adequate room for cars and vans to unload and load and I soon found myself due to this with a fully-functioning table of Wizard Keep Wares on display.

It was a very busy day with me sketching and speaking to the folks visiting, all about Worlds End. Towards the end of the day I once again joined with two of my favourite comics-creators, the wonderful Emma Vieceli and Kate Brown on a panel about self-publishing.

From the response I certainly got after the panel we delivered just what the folks there wanted to hear and they found our discussion highly informed and entertaining, thankfully.

The event was well sign posted and it was well branded too with all the banners, posters, signage, etc. matching the website, which made it look very professional and every bit the larger convention organisation. It certainly didn’t look like a first one at all.

I was told later that over 500 visitors came through the doors, certainly enough for them to do the same again this coming year in 2016.

It was thoroughly enjoyable day made all the better with a meal afterwards with Mike Collins, Emma Vieceli, Paul Duffield, Kate Brown, Dylan Teague and Lee Garbett. It was well turned midnight when I left the restaurant/pub and set off on the homeward journey back to the Keep.

It was foggy and a section of the motorway was closed on that night only, so by the time I had made the detour, which was incredibly badly signposted – I have to admit to feeling a little like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone – would I ever escape the loop? I had been delayed by approximately two hours.

Well eventually I did escape, and after unloading the wares, went straight to bed, just as a lot of folks would be getting up.

Was it worth the trip, well following a couple of none-events the previous year it didn’t have to do much to attain that for me, but thankfully it proved to be every bit as exciting and great an event as the organisers had said it would be. It certainly didn’t feel like an inaugural event at all.

I can’t make it to the next one, as I am too busy with the painting and production of the second volume of the Worlds End graphic novel series – A Hard Reign’s Gonna Fall, but I hope to make it along to the one following in 2017.

I’ll leave you with my final thoughts for the guys – thanks for the invitation to attend and I wish you all the continued luck in the world with this festival.

And now, a few photos of the occasion:

Next time: WONDERLANDS – The UK Graphic Novel Expo

Until next time, have fun!

Tim Perkins…

July 31st 2015

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