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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Heatwave for Bristol Comic Expo 2010

Being stuck in a hotel on the hottest weekend of the year doesn't sound very enticing but the Bristol International Comic & Small Press Expo was such an enjoyable and laid back event that it was worth a bit of vitamin D deprivation.

Although the once-essential news mag Comics International has now confirmed it's folded, comics fandom still found out about the Expo and tickets had sold out before the show opened. Here's a few pix I took over the weekend. A Who's Who follows each set of photos...

1: Panini UK editors Simon Frith and Brady Webb had an impressive display of Panini Books and comics on their table. The biggest demand was for the first two volumes of Requiem by Pat Mills and Olivier Ledroit.

2: V for Vendetta artist David Lloyd promoting his crime noir graphic novel Kickback, a fine all-new book that everyone should buy.

3: Mike Collins, artist on Doctor Who Magazine, working all weekend as usual providing sketches for a legion of fans.

4: Writer John Short, who wrote Rex and Robin Hoodie for Toxic, enjoying the sun on the short walk to the small press expo at the Mercure Hotel.

5: In the bar of the Ramada Hotel on Friday night it was a reunion of Marvel UK creators. Left to right: Mike Collins, Richard Starkings, Dave Hine, Ian Churchill, and Doug Braithwaite.

6: Artists Rob Davis and Faz Choudhury use their combined mental powers to prevent my camera flash from working.

7: Artist/writer Laura Howell with Smallzone's Shane Chebsey. Shane is also one of the organizers for the October event BICS.

8: Gee, they got a band! Mine Power Cosmic rock the house on the Saturday night.

9: Artist Phil Winslade swaps his pen for a guitar for the Mine Power Cosmic gig...

10: ...whilst on the drums it's Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard (that's the title of the comic Charlie works on, not his physical state by the way).

11: Creator of Elephantmen, Richard Starkings flew over from L.A. as a special guest. It was great to see Richard again, who had been my editor on Combat Colin 20 years ago and, more recently, my editor on Brickman Begins and the Brickman back-up series in Elephantmen.

12: The brilliant Mike Ploog (Werewolf by Night, Man Thing, and other classic 1970's Marvel monster books) sketching for fans.

13: Doug Braithwaite, superb artist on Justice and now Thor, was also busy all weekend sketching for fans.

14: Knockabout's publisher Tony Bennett with the latest issue of Dodgem Logic, Alan Moore's latest project. (I'll be taking a look at Dodgem Logic here soon.)

15: It's Kez and Luke out of The Adventures of Kez and Luke, produced by Toxic's sub-editor Luke Paton.

16: Those zany small-pressers! Tom McNally with the current issue of his comic Semiotic Cohesion.

17 and 18: Scenes around the dealers' room at the Expo.

Above: The legendary Pat Mills made a rare and flying visit to the Expo on Saturday to give a talk about his Requiem albums. Originally published in France, Panini UK have the license for the English language versions. Excellent gothic horror and well worth buying, Requiem won the Favourite European Comics category in the Eagle Awards in 2008. (My thanks to Commando / Spectacular Spider-Man writer Ferg Handley for sending me this photo of Pat.)

The team behind Comic Heroes magazine were apparently at the Expo but as issue one has sold out and they had no stock to bring! However there was a preview of the second issue's cover at the show. Amongst the contents of the next issue I've contributed a brief history of UK humour comics. Comic Heroes No.2 will be out in mid-June.

Thanks again to Mike Alwood and the other organizers for another brilliant Bristol Comic Expo. I hope you enjoyed it as much as the rest of us clearly did!


The next UK comic event is the London MCM Expo this coming weekend. Unfortunately I'm unable to attend now for various reasons but I'm sure it'll be a great show!

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