Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 Comics !
Forbidden Planet's 2013 logo
Inching towards the end of the year and I'm pretty pleased on the whole with 2013, although it really zoomed by, but maybe that's just my age!

Anyway last year I posted my favourite comics of the year (see 2012 here) but as the eagle-eyed may  have noticed that the, always interesting, Forbidden Planet blog have already done the job by asking me to contribute to their annual 'best of' postings which you can read here.

It is quite an honour to be included so thanks to Joe and Richard for the invite and it'll be interesting to see what the 'poll of polls' will reveal about what caught people's imaginations this year. Looking at my list, my 'best-of' and honourable mentions were all graphic novels and perhaps more oddly, all my choices were by a single writer/artist creator and also all ones that I'd been fortunate enough to meet at various comic shows I'd attended, probably just coincidence but the truth is I do most of my buying at shows these days as a great way to both discover new works and meet creators in person.

Anyway here's my full choices with a page of their interior art to encourage you to check them out for yourself if you haven't already;

The Nieuport Gathering - Ivan Petrus

Sailor Twain - Mark Siegel


The Great War - Joe Sacco

Cursed Pirate Girl - Jeremy Bastion
 Gigantic Beard That Was Evil - Stephen Collins

 Pachyderme - Frederik Peeters

There was a great many more that I enjoyed last year including finally catching up with Posy Simmonds Tamara Drewe, Cinebooks excellent Scorpion and Spooks series, re-reads of Charley's War and new to me 'discoverys' Kings in Disguise and Freddy Lombard.
I once again didn't read any traditional 'pamphlet' comics from the so called mainstream publishers, but instead picked up and enjoyed new works from the likes of Doug Noble, Rob Jackson, Connor & Lizzie Boyle, Ellen Lindner, Jim Alexander, Boulet and latest find, Jessica Martin and no doubt others that slip my mind at the moment.
There is thankfully a host of great comics out there and hopefully you've found some time to catch up with some of them yourself, if not what are you waiting for!

Best wishes and See You in 2014 !

Friday, 13 December 2013

US Comic show exhibitor analysis
A taster of The Devastator's analysis - its much clearer on their site!
(click the above image for link) 
The always interesting Beat blog has a great link here to The Devastator's analysis of recent comic shows from an exhibitor's sales point of view. This is a rare if not unique occurrence and for anyone interested in comics, festivals and a bit of clearcut comment is fascinating.
Being a US site it of course concentrates on American shows of which only the Emerald City Con in Seattle is one that Accent UK have exhibited at (and it has to be said we found it slow) but its still pretty useful. The site's compilers are at pains to point out that the analysis is based on those exhibitors who responded to their survey, some 46 in total, so the results are not overly scientific but interesting nevertheless.

It would be interesting to have a similar UK survey but as recently commented on, sales, while obviously important are not always the only factor which determines if a show is successful or not. Certainly for us while our Seattle sales were disappointing we were breaking new ground with our first US show and had we been able to follow up, we may well have grown our audience there, similar to what we achieved with our European shows in Copenhagen and almost achieved with New York's MoCCa but its a difficult thing to sustain on available resources, particularly now that our 'home' UK market has a vibrant convention scene of its own.

Enjoy the article and analysis and perhaps give your own findings some thought?

An eager looking Accent UK in Seattle 2010
Howard Burke of Seattle's Zanadu Comic shop has a surprise Accent UK vist
(Zanadu were already stocking our books - Yey!)
Dave made a few new friends on our Seattle trip including the famous Pike Market Pig !

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Mandela Salute!


The loss of Nelson Mandela is certainly touching the world and rightly so, certainly one of the immense figures of our modern age who influenced so many people and effected a massive change in his troubled homeland.

While visiting South Africa in 2010, I witnessed a nation still very much finding itself in terms of economic and social parity but from what I learnt from others who had lived under/with apartheid, even this 'imbalance' was a million years from that experienced a relatively short time before. In fact one of our party whom was making his first return to South Africa since those troubled times was quite emotional after chatting to, joking with and having photos taken with one of our young female guides stating that such open friendliness between white and black would just not have been possible and may well have lead to imprisonment or worse.

Sobering thoughts indeed and while difficult for us coming afterwards to fully understand we can all of course appreciate the difference Mandela made and he will of course be long remembered.

While not himself a Zulu - (Mr Mandela's father was a chief with the Thembu tribe, part of the larger Xhosa nation who along with the Zulus are probably the best known of South African's tribes) - I'm sure I can be forgiven for posting the above salute from a Zulu warrior.