Melksham Comic Con 2016

Melksham Comic Con 2016

Two weeks ago, I launched Unfamiliar Skies at the ever amazing Melksham Comic Con!  I can confidently say that Melksham celebrated it’s fifth birthday in style with it’s usual combination of hilarious panels, an impressive focus on comic-related guests and exhibitors, as well as what’s possibly the greatest team of staff members of any convention – the mighty Brians! The Panels As an exhibitor, I didn’t attend many panels.  That said, I did participate in this year’s Comics In Just A Minute, hosted by the Paradox Comics Group.  The panel certainly lived up to it’s legendary status, seeing high levels of attendance and frequent hilarity.  It’s been a staple of the show for a number of years now and I sincerely hope it remains that way!  To see how I got on, check out the video below: I also hosted a panel of my own, Economics of Indie Comics.  While I was recording it, my camcorder sadly decided to die halfway through.  If you’re curious, it was based on an article I’d previously written on this very site, which you can check out here.  It was definitely educational. While I didn’t attend any other panels I’m relaibly told that the annual Pictionary contest was a good time for all, Sonia Leong ran some high quality manga workshops, and many interesting topics were discussed over the weekend, such as reboots and the constant deaths of superheroes.  Despite it’s small size, Melksham continues to utilise the space available in the nearby town hall, as well as the King’s Arms pub (a new addition for this year), to offer a wide variety...
Putting the Con in Comic Con

Putting the Con in Comic Con

How much comic content does an event need to have before it can call itself a “Comic Con” and what should count as “comic content”?  It’s a very heated discussion within the UK indie comic scene at the moment as we see more shows crop up than ever before. Some of these events have heavily advertised TV and movie guests, as well as replica Batmobiles, DeLoreans and Game of Thrones… thrones, while having very few, if any, comic creators, back issue sellers and actual comic books and graphic novels.  This has left a sour taste in the mouths of many creators who feel that the title “Comic Con” has become an umbrella term for nerd and geek culture events. I can’t help but wonder why that seems to be the current state of play and I’ve certainly seen frustrations from both convention organisers and artists.  Naturally, I am somewhat biased as a creator but I’m going to try and be as objective as possible. What’s Gotten People Angry? As previously mentioned, several events which have labelled themselves as Comic Cons have had very little to do with comics.  I’m going to show some specific examples, though I have obscured usernames, avatars, etc. as I have no intention of starting a witch hunt.  I must also stress that I am not commenting on the quality of these shows. Here’s a convention organiser admitting, on their Twitter account, that they don’t read comics apart from the Beano.  Their event has “Comic Con” in the title.  As you can imagine, this caused quite a stir, with the main question simply being “How can you run...

The Economics of Indie Comics

This is a post I debated putting up, however after thinking about it I think this information needs to be out there for the benefit of: Aspiring and existing indie comic artists, Consumers, fans and con-goers, Convention organisers and staff. This post will talk, very frankly, about the costs of creating and selling independent comic books in the UK.  Prices will be in GBP and based upon my personal experiences, as well as conversations I’ve had with other creators.  In the best interests of all involved there will be absolute anonymity.  Additionally, this posts aims to be positive, proactive and, where it does highlight problems, suggest solutions.  Let’s go! How much does it cost to sell at a convention? The cost of appearing at a convention varies wildly from show to show.  There are also multiple costs involved.  Below, I’ve broken down the common, recurring, costs that apply to pretty much every convention (yes, some conventions have costs unique to them) as well as the most and least I have ever personally spent on that item.  After talking about the costs, I’ll talk about how I decide whether those costs are reasonable. Table Most conventions supply a 6ft by 2ft table, though you need to bring your own tablecloth.  You’ll be charged for table hire and use of the space around your table.  The least I’ve ever paid was £0, yes I’ve had a ‘free’ table before although it was on a condition that I run 2 panels over the course of the convention lasting at least 1 hour each and appear on a 3rd panel which was basically...
Joe Cape #3 & New Etsy Store!

Joe Cape #3 & New Etsy Store!

Joe Cape 3 launched at Melksham Comic Con and people are loving the new issue, which completes the first arc of the series! For those of you who can’t make any of the conventions I’m attending, there’s good news!  I’ve set up an online store through Etsy!  You can order all 3 issues of Joe Cape there and I’ll be adding my art prints in the near future!  I’ve also added a Store link to this very website that’ll take you straight to the Etsy...

Free Preview of Joe Cape #3!

Hey guys, Joe Cape #3 isn’t quite ready to be released just yet but I’m so excited about how awesome the issue is that I wanted to share this free 3 page preview with you! It can be downloaded right here: Download it.  Download it now.  It’s great! One of the first things you might notice is that there’s a slight new twist to my colouring technique and it’s really making all of the pages pop!  I’m also trying to pack in the best backgrounds the series has seen so far.  In that regard I really wanted to share page 4 but there would have been far too many spoilers! In other news, I moved recently and now have an awesome studio attic room all to myself where I can draw to my heart’s content!  That’s going to help me deliver higher quality comics to you more frequently and that kicks all kinds of arse!  Rock on...