Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Belfast 'catch up' comic report

Okay been busy, busy these last few weeks and sadly no room to properly catch up with many of the fun things we've been up to, so I'll stick to the recent comic shows attended, starting with Belfast!

A Belfast view from City Hall

The trip for the new MCM show there was amazing, I didn't expect Belfast to be such a great wee city nor the people to be so friendly and really into their comics. It's strange as, despite being fairly well travelled, Belfast just wasn't on my radar at all and if it wasn't for the MCM show I doubt I'd ever think about visiting. That's me being honest as growing up in the 70's you have a negative view of the place which, now having been there, I feel really guilty about. I'm sure, like most cities, it still has problems but don't let that put you off visiting its got much to offer.
Colin n Dave try to hide the fact they'd not packed the AUK banner!

Dave, as always, did a timely report on the show here, so I'll just add that, yes we did have fantastic sales, second only to the recent MCM London, so were pleased to discover a new audience. Special mentions to MCM regulars Jenika and Jeremy Biggs for also making the trip and being good company and also new friends, Leeann Hamilton, Danny from Uproar Comics (The Voice of Derry!), 2000AD's own P J Holden and Patrick Brown, whom I've long admired his work since his Tamara Knight days and was chuffed to catch up with his long running historical series, The Cattle Raid of Cooley and many more. It seems there's a really healthy indie comic scene in Northern Ireland, although maybe more creators were from Derry than Belfast?

Paddy Brown himself!
Jeremy Biggs surveys his dwindling stock...
The talented Cool Bean lady herself - Leeann Hamilton

Special thanks to our old friend (the original) Jeremy Briggs who had flown home to his native Belfast for the show and cordially gave us an informative tour of the city and introduced us to the delights of its Red Panda Chinese restaurant - see Jeremy's Down The Tubes reports here & here.

When Jeremy's collide - Jeremy Biggs meets Jeremy Briggs!!
Several titles sold out including these last copies of Zulu!
The show had a great atmosphere with many families in attendance and everyone seemed so upbeat that Belfast finally had its own big comic show. Exhibiting there had a great sense of comradery that you don't always get at the bigger shows (although with over 16,000 attendees this was clearly still big!). There was lots of banter amongst punters and exhibitors themselves and both Dave and I found ourselves moonlighting at other folk's tables to gave them a break and there was much sharing of food and coffee runs etc. It reminded Dave and I of the early Bristol shows when you pretty much knew everyone and supported each other and its a credit to both the organisers and the people of Northern Ireland that this big show had the same fun informal feeling. We'll be back!

Dave moonlighting at Jeremy's Subversive comics table
Col moonlighting at Leeann's Cool Bean table
My Belfast haul - all books not just Irish creators but Irish based stories!

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