Monday, 21 November 2016

MacBeth's Second Act?

Well if you've already picked up Moments of Adventure: Collection One, you'll have been introduced to a certain Cornelius MacBeth who may just be having a bad day - see above! If you don't know who I'm talking about then you can grab yourself a copy direct from the Accent UK website here or make sure you catch us on the comic convention circuit next year.

Mr MacBeth is one of my oldest comic characters, created a long time ago, so I have been particularly pleased that many folk have picked up on him and let me know that they particularly enjoyed Come and Buy My Toys, the story he features in Moments of Adventure, and are intrigued to find out more.

One of my early Cornelius MacBeth drawings!

I have several further adventures planned and plotted so hope to have a dedicated comic for our Scottish Napoleonic Ghost Hunter in the near future, just don't hold your breath quite yet! I can confirm though that a further short story featuring Macbeth will be included in the forthcoming second Moments of Adventure Collection! This story is called Neighborhood Threat (yes that is the American spelling!) in which MacBeth has to decide whether a wrongdoer is ready to face the consequences of their actions.

This story has again been expertly coloured by Serbia's finest, Aljoša Tomić who has a very sympathetic palette for our hero. Find out more when the issue is released in early 2017!

Monday, 14 November 2016

Thought Bubble 2016

TB16's lovely banner artwork by Emmeline Pidgen

Phew, where does the time go? Already a week since the wonderful experience that is Leeds in
November for the Thought Bubble Comic Art Festival's Comic-Con! Dave, as always, has already done his own overview of the show and other recent events, which you can find here, so mine will maybe be briefer than normal, let's see!

This perp's says he's at Thought Bubble looking for comics!

We have been fortunate enough to attend each one of TB's ten shows so have witnessed first hand their growth from Leeds City Hall basement to the three hall sprawl at the Royal Armouries and more as it has deservedly taken it's pole position as the UK's premier event for celebrating the art of comics and graphic novels and the joy of the medium itself.

When TB started it was one of only a handful of dedicated 'pure comics' shows on the UK circuit and was clearly the new kid on the block compared to the established Bristol Comics Expo and the growing Birmingham International Comics Festival ('BICS') which, along with Paul Gravett's Comica, had filled the void by the demise of UKCAC, the previously long running UK event. Over the intervening decade though both Bristol and BICS ceased, (although both recently resurfaced in smaller guises), allowing TB to establish it's own identity, contrasting markedly from the various 'pop culture' shows which appeared, by retaining comics and comics art as TB's centrepiece.

Kim Jung Gi's live drawing was very popular....
....all done feehand in ink!!

This approach and some savvy organisation know how and industry contacts from the committee has seen TB grow and embrace the comics medium to become what it is today, a showpiece event that everyone with an interest in comics can enjoy. It's audience has similarly grown to what must have been only a few hundred back in 2007 to the several thousands, who now enjoy the show and the various programmes of events during the week of the festival. While other 'comics-centric' shows have appeared since 2007, TB is now firmly established as the premier one that everyone wants to be at and it's a great place for seeing so many familiar faces from today's comic scene and make new discoveries amongst the many exhibitors, which despite the high demand, the committee carefully curate to give space to new talent.

Always a delight to catch up with ACE Comic's Mr Biff!
Mr Kennedy & friend!
Sara & Matt and MULP #3!

I won't list the many folk I saw and spoke to or the sadly equally many that I didn't, due to the size and scope of the event, but TB16 was, I think, a successful year for most, including ourselves. Like previous year's, sales were concentrated on debuting books and new titles with several returning customers 'hoovering up' everything we'd released since TB15, thank you! My wee Moments Of Adventure sold well, particularly on the Saturday, and generated some lovely comments and the new WesterNoir trade also doing very well, becoming our top seller of the show, despite many folks already having the individual issues - Dave and Gary's sales patter and the bonus story & pin ups being too much to resist!

David, Andy, Neil & Stuart, the prolific Treehouse Crew - 3 new issues since TB15!

Like previous TB's though, the competition for attention and sales is huge - some 350 tables across the three venues - and many browsers understandably spoke about watching what they spent as there was just so much amazing work to see. This may be the hidden 'achiles heel' for TB as it's not a cheap show to attend and while very busy it doesn't have the infinite crowds that the 'pop culture' style shows attract but TB attendees are on the whole dedicated comic fans and will buy what interests them, it's just that their purses and wallets can't keep up :)

Scott takes The Pith at TB16 - note the lovely luggage display!

In the end, despite a couple of titles selling very well our overall sales matched last year, almost to the £, which was initially disappointing considering how busy the event was but we were pleased that our new releases had found an audience and also that our - Asylum inspired - luggage display was well received - we may even consider a Haberdashery Department for next year! That said, TB really is an essential showcase for UK comics and we are already planning next year's new releases accordingly, hopefully see you there!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

More Comic Reviews!


It's nice when someone you've met at a show takes the time to review your work and that's just what Ian Carter of Nerdspan has done following our meeting at the recent MCM London show, reviewing our two latest releases, Moments of Adventure: Collection One and the WesterNoir Trade: Volume One which collects the first four issues (or 'Season One' if you prefer!) of Dave West and Gary Crutchley's cult hit series, including a new bonus story, pin ups and introduction from Mark Buckingham.

Check out Nerdspan's WesterNoir review here and Moments of Adventure here!

And of course both titles can be purchased from Accent UK's webstore here.

Thanks Ian!

Friday, 11 November 2016

Remembrance Day

On the 11th of the 11th as we reflect and remember the fallen here's a wordless look at two of the newly coloured pages of my strip from Accent UK's first anthology, 'Remembrance Day' which will feature in my second Moments of Adventure collection. (Art by me, colours by Aljoša Tomić).

The full black and white version can be viewed here.

Friday, 4 November 2016

All roads lead to Leeds!

Aaah, busy, busy had a wonderful few weeks touring round Scotland (twice!) taking in MCM Glasgow then Stok-Con-Trent, a pit stop at The Lakes, then Dundee Ian Kennedy masterclass (wow!), The Broons, down to London for the MCM behemoth and, as they say, much more! I honestly don't know if I'll get a chance to properly write these events up as we're again preparing for a show this weekend, the delightful Thought Bubble in Leeds which celebrates it's 10th anniversary and we've been lucky enough to be at every one!

So, hopefully more details to follow, along with an update on current comic projects but in the meantime here's a wee pic of some of the character sketches I've done for Leeds, together with the handy annotated map of where to find us in New Dock Hall, right, more later but must dash!