Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Moments in Dundee!

Dan's surprised that Colin's much shorter in real life!

Aye, Aye fit like? Oops sorry gone 'all Doric' after being home for the Dundee Comics Expo - that's what happens when Gentleman Dave isn't around with his Earl Grey tea!

Anyway I'm glad to report that the Dundee Comic Expo was a good one with decent sales for Accent UK, actually selling more books than the year before so quite happy. This may have been down to my son Adam's keen promotional skills as he joined me on the table for the first time since last year's amazing Glasgow MCM, but probably was more to do with the joint manga/anime event taking place across the quadrant, Dee-Con, which attracted big crowds which were shared across both venues.

A glimpse of the Dee-Con  crowd after the queue had gone down!

Actually next to the beast that was Dee-Con, the Comic Expo was a modest affair with less exhibitors than the year before and no 'big' comic names in the way that Bryan Talbot, David Lloyd, Gary Erskine (and others) had previously provided. There wasn't a huge attendance but rather a steady flow of folk which made for a nice relaxed stream of browsers and buyers. Many were new to Accent UK but there were also returning readers, so the show was great value to us in showcasing our books north of the Border.

The obligatory 'stand by your table' picture!

The University of Dundee's Chris Murray and Phil Vaughan deserve great praise in organising and setting up the Comics Expo. They ensured that the cream of Scotland's independent comic creators were there in abundance including Black Hearted Press, Planet Jimbot, Rough Cut Comics and Team Girl Comics alongside D C Thomson's Commando and Glasgow's Plan B shop and others. It's a shame that their fine programme of talks and panels wasn't better attended but that was probably just a symptom of the casual flow of visitors into the expo making things seem a little sparse at times.

Jim Alexander holding fort

Being based 'doon sooth' I'm still finding my way round the Scottish comics scene so was pleased to have time to chat to many of the other exhibitors especially the likes of Jim Alexander who I've met a few times now and like me had his son there to help him out!

Colin and Treehouse Comic's Andy Herd do a bit of neighbourly sketching

Our table neighbours were new to me, Treehouse Comics, a recently established Dundee based collective who have already released their second anthology title, called of course Treehouse issue 2! They were a fine friendly bunch with 4 or 5 of their creators in attendance playing table tag. It was enjoyable chatting to them and hearing their enthusiasm and I'll be very interested to see what they come up with in the future.

Can you tell what it is yet?

I also caught up with Graham Neil Reid and Jeremy Briggs, Allan Lowson (of Back Street Heroes biker magazine fame), and a few others which is always fun and another valuable part of these shows. Adam's help meant that I wasn't stranded behind the table as I'd largely been the year before but the friendly relaxed atmosphere encouraged lots of conversations but maybe that's just the Scottish friendly nature?

Kirsteen, Colin and Winnie!

To my delight, my Zulu:Water Cart Rescue comics again sold well and I was even asked to do a special Zulu themed sketch of Winnie the Pooh which I enjoyed doing - thanks Kirsteen! Actually my Zulu comic stocks are now very much depleted so I am seriously considering a reprint to bring both issues together in a single volume? Of course I also desperately need to produce something new which an event like this always inspires me to do, so let's see what I come up with. I think maybe that July's Glasgow Comic-Con is a realistic deadline to aim for finishing one of my in progress projects....

Anyway thanks again to the Dundee Comics Expo team, I hope that they were as pleased with the day and that it becomes the regular comic event that Dundee deserves. Thanks also to Adam for his fine company and for taking the day's photos!

Zulu Pooh reporting for duty Sah!

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