Well, now - that was just fun!
The first-ever London Super Comic Con is now in the record books, and I'm pretty sure we can chalk it down in the Win column as a score for the Good Guys. It has to be a mountain to climb organising an event on this scale, with thousands of ticket holders to satisfy and, by any credible standard, just about the biggest celebrity in the history of comics to wrangle. That it happened at all is little short of a miracle. That it came together so well puts us well into unicorns-vomiting-rainbows-made-of-crystallised-cancer-cures territory.
So yeah, on reflection, I had a pretty good time.
With no table of my own to manage and no books launching at the show, this was an extremely low-stress event for me. No-one was relying on me for anything terribly important, and no-one was expecting anything major of me in terms of my personal conduct. I actually got to walk the floors for much of the weekend, which is something I'd almost forgotten how to do over the last couple of years - and there was a capital-H Hell of a lot to see. I spent a fair bit of time hopping between the tables of Stephen Downey, Barry Nugent and Dan Thompson/Steve Penfold. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere, and getting plenty of interest from the convention-goers.
Barry, in particular, deserves special mention here, repeating his well established convention trick of selling out his entire supply of books long before the end of the show. Fortunately, UKComics' awesome Stuart Gould was a blur of hyperactivity throughout the weekend, restocking Barry and generally networking the Hell out of the gig. Everyone Stuart works with sings his praises, and watching him work it's easy to see why.
I was glad to be able to spend some time chatting with Nick and Jane from the excellent Monkey on my Back podcast. I always find it a weird experience to meet in person people to whose disembodied voices I've become accustomed - and it's a proven scientific fact that weird experiences are the only ones worth actively seeking out - so it was deeply cool to put faces to those voices at last. I should also mention that their faces suit them rather well.
I was booked for two one-hour signing slots with Stephen Downey over the weekend, which gave me an excuse both to sit down and to stay close to Nic, who was staffing the Markosia booth throughout the show. I was amazed to see the level of interest that our Cancertown book (a first professional graphic novel for both of us) was still capable of generating - competing well with newer books and ending up as one of Markosia's top sellers of the show. I took every opportunity to mention the upcoming sequel, and show off its colourist, Peter Mason.
I had White Knuckle previews to flash around, and had to keep reminding myself to mention the pre-order offers currently running for the book (email me to be added to the list) . Stephen was also selling sketches for a tenner a pop and going great guns with those. His rendition of Black Cat seemed to be a particular crowd-pleaser. I should really learn to draw...
Speaking of upcoming books, Nic Wilkinson, Yel Zamor and I officially signed our contracts for Phantom Lung & the Garden of Dead Liars on the Saturday. All we need now is the autograph of artist, Simon Wyatt, for the full set. The scripts for this book are complete, so it's all down to the art and lettering team now.
Finally (more or less), after making first enquiries at Thought Bubble last year, I took the plunge and secured the services of an agent. What exactly this will mean in terms of the kinds of work I'll be taking on in the future remains to be seen, but it feels like an important step.
So, that was my London Super Comic Con experience in 700 words or less. I had a terrific time, and got to meet a load of creators I'd been hoping to for ages (Andy Briggs and Magnus Aspli spring to mind). Can't wait to see what they come up with for next year...