Friday, 10 August 2018

The Harvey Awards

A nice invite has popped up in my inbox, inviting me to vote on one of the (American) comic industry's oldest and most prestigious comic awards, The Harveys! While it's not a nomination for any of Accent UK's titles it is indeed a small recognition that we are seen as part of the industry, for this year at least, so that's something.

Harvey Kurtzman, of whom the awards are named, was a comics legend behind the likes of the MAD humour magazine, Two-Fisted Tales, Frontline Combat, a series of hard hitting war comics, Playboy's Little Annie Fanny and much, much more. A more recognisable name in the states perhaps but influential nevertheless and a hard working trailblazer in his field.

So there we go, an unexpected but nice gesture probably triggered by our visit stateside earlier this year so nice that someone paid attention, now for some difficult voting decisions to make!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

A Hard Country's A' Coming!

Just launched on Kickstarter is a cracking new graphic novel from WesterNoir's own artist (and co-author) Gary Crutchley and Andrew Elliot, Hard Country!. It's been a long cherished project for the creators which a successful kickstarter campaign will bring to life.

Check out its page here  and also a preview of the art & prologue at Gary's own blog here.

Worth checking out and supporting for all WesterNoir and western fans!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Rare Remembrance Day!

An idle 'Accent UK' search on ebay surprisingly revealed quite a few of our titles on offer including a few out of print ones including the original first printing of Zombies which is now close to selling out of its second printing too!

What really caught my eye though was the very, very first release from the newly established Accent UK, Remembrance Days from March 2003 I think, celebrating our formation on Remembrance Day November 2002.

Rarer still is the fact it has been signed by - as far as I can decipher - almost all of the original contributing creators and Accent UK founders/alumni!!

The stories & art on this one will be 'raw' in part but it was our debut and was well received at the time. We printed 300 which in hindsight was pretty ambitious but they all sold out except for the couple of file copies Dave and I kept as a memento - I think mine were also signed so I won't be bidding on this copy! 

I don't know who the seller is but this is a nice seldom seen piece of our early history - 15 years ago, jings!

Friday, 22 June 2018

Comics & Steampunk Double Feature!

To make up for last weekend without an event for Accent UK Comics, we've two this!

Firstly, I'm delighted to return to Macc-Pow next Saturday, which I greatly enjoyed last year and is another fairly local one to me which is nice. This year's event is #3 and coincides with Macclesfield's bi-annual Barnaby Festival which I understand was the catalyst for organiser Marc Jackson to put on the first event in 2016. This year like #2 is free to attend and takes place in Macc's impressive Town Hall , which was a great venue for the comic workshops, artists and exhibitors, so I'll looking forward to this.

A nice offical event picture taken off me at last year's Macc-Pow!

Next up, the same weekend but on both days is the mysterious 'The Town That Never Was!' at Blists Hill, Ironbridge. This is a new steampunk 'wild west' themed event organised by those fine folks at The Ministry of Steampunk who are behind the mighty Asylum festival in Lincoln, the world's largest annual steampunk celebration!

The event had a highly enjoyable 'soft debut' at the same venue last year to test the waters (to which Gary & I and our better halves attended in civvies) and all were blown away by the response from steampunks, the public and the venue so a return was inevitable but necessitated a move from the previous July date to June which unfortunately for me clashed with Macc-Pow! (which itself had moved from July to match the Barnaby Festival dates), so the intrepid duo of 'Deputy' Dave West and 'Gunslinger' Gary Crutchley will be there both days, defending the fort until I join them on the Sunday - what could go wrong!

A splendid picture from last year's 'soft debut' event!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Wowed in Wythenshawe!

Just a couple of words about yesterday's first Wythenshawe Comic-Con which was fun, all the more so for catching up with various comic folks and being so local I could've (almost) have gone home for lunch - if they didn't have a 'green room' for guests that is!

It's always nice to be invited as a guest to shows and this seems to be happening a little more often these days so hopefully we're doing something right. Doubly pleased that  John & Wayne (of Wow! Comics and the fine chaps behind the event) had extended this invite to Matt Soffe who you will remember is best known to Accent UK readers as our 'go to' colourist on most of our titles and covers. It's fairly rare for Matt to attend conventions so it was a great excuse to catch up with him, discuss our current projects and for Matt to display and sell some of his own amazing genre-based artwork as part of our extended Accent UK 'family' - even if he doesn't like his picture being taken!

Matt at his Accent UK stand!

And speaking of our Accent UK 'family', both Matt and I were pleasantly surprised when 'Uncle' Gary Crutchley was able to pop in for a little time and help us out and discuss his own projects with Matt - watch this space!

Spot the hat!

There was a steady stream of folk at this reasonably priced inaugural event held at a central theatre venue which perfectly suited the show's needs, big clear hall, stage, bar and little side room etc. The venue staff and the Wow comics team seemed pretty pleased with how it all went and the crowd they attracted so hopefully there will be plans to repeat the fun next year?

Cartoon Col! (photo by John Webster)

Speaking of fun, I had the privilege of hosting the 'Children's Cartoon Corner' for a wee while on the afore mentioned stage where much to my relief the kids weren't really wanting a detailed masterclass but simply wanted the opportunity to draw some of their favourite comic characters (and some of their own!) with a wee bit of guidance, which allowed us to go a little 'off-piste' by rendering a ghost or two and my favourite improv of the afternoon....nessie!

Wow Comics' John Webster from the stage with the show floor behind.

There were several other attractions too including green screen photography, voice sfx, Jurassic Park gates (waiting for my pic!) and a very popular cosplay competition for children & adults, all of which helped entertain the folks who came to see what it was all about. Good too to see that comics were front and central at the show with Beano regulars Nigel Parkinson, Lew Stringer and comic artists Mike Collins and David Leach in attendance alongside ourselves and indie stalwarts GM Jordan (Markosia) and Dan Whitehead (Frankenstein Texas) and a couple of newer indie folks among the back issue comic attractions of Lucky Target comics as well as Wow! comics themselves and others.

John even kindly marshalled his comic guests together for a wee photo shoot of which this is the only version I have seen surface since taken by John himself from the stage, you can add your own captions, several already have.......!

Oh and the ever prompt Lew Stringer has already written his own wee report on his enjoyable blog here and checkout the show's facebook page for more pictures and updates here.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Splendid Day by the Seaside?

Eeek! no sooner are we back from a delightful round trip to Aberdeen for Granite City Comic-Con, we're busy packing our trunks for a visit to the seaside for A Splendid Day Out, steampunk and ice cream, lovely! it's our first time but the event came highly recommended and is, I think, now in its 4th year with this year's expanded show incorporating the 'Arts of Steam', a celebration of the art & writing & crafts inspired by the steampunk genre/movement!

Actually is it a genre or a movement? not sure, maybe we can ask the man who first coined the 'steampunk' phrase himself, K W Jeter who is making a rare appearance to the UK for the festival. Many of course will recognise the name from his lauded Blade Runner sequel novels from a few years ago.

I'll be in the same venue as K.W Jeter in Morecambe's iconic Winter Gardens Theatre, a short walk from the promenade. I'm looking forward to the show, the venue and meeting new people which may well include (separately) a relative and an important Accent UK contributor!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Asylum Steampunk Comic Kickstarter!

Accent UK's first ever Kickstarter campaign is currently running here for the opportunity to pre-order our exciting new comic launching at this year's Asylum, the steampunk festival which inspired the concept and the comic!

Find out more about the project from Dave West here with incredible cover artwork provided by Gary Crutchley, coloured by Matt Soffe - dodgy fellow on the cover notwithstanding! The project both features and is inspired by real steampunk personas encountered at last year's Asylum Festival so is very different from our normal stories.

A further departure for me is that I have scripted a story to be drawn by a talented new artist Anna Francesca Schiraldi who I first had the pleasure of meeting at last year's Edinburgh comic festival and caught up with again this year.

There will be more news to come but we're delighted that the Kickstarter was funded in less than 24 hours (around 14 we think!) of its launch so its safe to say that the comic will definitely be coming to life in August when you can Enter The Asylum!