ICE - The International Comic Expo kicks off this year on Sat 2nd August, in Birmingham at The Studio, 7 Cannon Street, just 5 minutes walk from New Street Station. This is a comic convention aimed at both fans and creators.
Longship is finally being given the push on Saturday. I will be there at the Studio with lots of famous names (!?) and various talks and seminars will be going on for industry and aspiring creators while the public can access the more comics-for-sale part of the convention simultaneously. A sort of front of house, back-office thing, that has confused me a little I must admit. So many websites??
The Longship team will be on a panel between 3.30pm and 5pm, sharing our experience of working on the book from concept to release(!) Come along and say Hi if you are there! I will be trying to survive the experience the best I can. Also when I'm not signing our 50 hard copy prints of Longship, or hiding in the canteen behind a large pot plant, I'll be selling limited prints of my best work, so snap those up while you can.
I am looking forward to meeting/seeing Joey Cavalieri again, he was someone who inspired me a great deal last time around in 2011at the similar Launch Pad event, which was my very first outing into the muddy pool that is British Comics. How fresh and excited I was!
Between us we got it covered. This is two thirds of the Longship team. Hello.
A local paper just popped up last month and they needed a cartoonist, so now I am drawing a strip for them. This is great as I like the challenge of having to come up with something for print once a month.
For the first of 'Vert', which is published in The Coleshill Post, I went with an anecdote I have heard told, about a local man who first discovered the Roman Settlement just outside the current town. I got in touch to ask if he'd mind me using his story. Not only does he claim to have met a centurion on the hillside (!) but he actually went on to discover pottery that was later dated from the second century and that led to a full scale dig on the site. Archaeologists unearthed a Roman Temple as well as a Bath House and various other Roman buildings. They think that the Roman Temple was built on the site of a pagan place of worship so it just gets more and more fascinating. Nowadays there is a housing estate built on the site, but the roads are named after various Roman Ceasars.
I also put together the crossword, for a bit of fun (it is just an easy one to start with).
Here is an updated preview of the comic I am drawing for Steve Tanner (TIMEBOMB comics) and Lawrence Rider (BEARDED writer). It has been through a fair few iterations which I could post here, though it's a bit like looking at frogspawn and watching it grow into a vertebrate creature which is kind of amazing but then the jelly stage is a little disconcerting.
Longship is a 52 page graphic novel about a Viking burial. It will cost around the £6 mark and it will be costing you that very very soon, so start saving your pocket money. Here is a link to six full size pages of Longship: IAMTHELINKCLICKME
I went to the comics launch pad today. It was quite something to hear about how it is done in the business first hand and I am exhausted from all the new information I took on board.
I met the Comic Book Alliance of GB who yes, knew all about Comics Alliance US and were (also) some lovely helpful people. I feel all together more at home now that I have gone into Birmingham and surprised myself by still knowing my way around...
My favourite talks were by Joey Cavalieri and Klaus Janson (see above working on Ed McGuiness' penciled Hulk). They have been in the business so long that their perspective is quite esoteric and philosophical by now. It was so cool to listen to Mr Janson get all dreamy about lines, watery lines and ones that start thick taper thin, that meet and merge or lines that just end in a blob!
I came away inspired and ready to get back to work.