Thursday, 17 May 2012

Bristol Expo 2012

Last weekend saw the return of the Bristol Comics Expo to the old Temple Meads train shed just outside of the main part of the train station. It's been a few years since the con was held there (Some problems with cost I have been led to believe through the grapevine...) and this was the first time I had been there with a table as part of Team Scannon.

It was pretty exciting to be a part of it as an exhibitor as I have been to this con a LOT in the past but always as someone on the other side of the tables. In that sense, being an exhibitor there didn't QUITE live up to my expectations as I found it exactly the same as every other con I've worked. I don't know why I thought it would be any different but maybe it's because it's the con I've sort of gone through my twenties with. Maybe.

It has changed a lot over the years it seems. I remember I went in 2004 at the age of 23 and you had the likes of Bob Shrek, Rodney Ramos and Jim Lee going to the Bristol con back then. No such names there this year but unlike a lot of people, I don't think it really took away from the event. If anything took away from it, I would say it's the unfortunate situation the organisers had of having Kapow the following week and then the MCM con the week after. I think this may have affected attendance a little and for the people who did turn up, maybe it stopped them splashing out as much as they normally might as they are saving for the bigger cons. I don't know, I'm just speculating.

Our table in the process of being set up

With Team Scannon being somewhat... skint for this con, we were kindly put up for the weekend by Team Scannon ally Dani (@Bintykins) Abram. She was pimping out a graph she had worked on herself at the con so she was happy to let us crash on her living room floor. Bless her heart. You can check out her blog here.

So with a slight hangover we opened on time on the Saturday thinking we were really lucky as we were right by the con entrance... Only to find out that this year the entrance had been moved to a door on the other side of the hall. Balls. The Saturday was so slow that sales weren't quite what we had been hoping for but that said, I had a great time. The thing I love about doing the cons is catching up with old friends and making new ones. Especially amongst the small press crowd. It's always good to get a fresh perspective from someone who is in the same boat as you.
I would specifically like to give a big shout out to the following guys for once again helping to make the convention a lot more fun that it may have been otherwise:
Jim, Kris, Joe, PJ, Drew, Luke, Ian, Rob and of course, my bromosexual life partner Gavin (Sexy eyes) Mitchell

Gav lusting over my work
As has become tradition at conventions we both attend, Gav and I drew each other a Monkey Island themed picture. The subject of this draw off being "Zombie Le Chuck"

Gav's is the more serious one, mine is the cartoon one with the voodoo doll.
So who wins the draw off this time around?..

The Sunday ended up being much better in terms of sales which we found unusual since normally sales plummet on the Sunday at these cons! Or so has been our experience. Granted we haven't worked a cajillion of them yet but that's besides the point... Sunday did give us the chance to chat or catch up with more people there though which was good fun! Even if they do mock you for a passing comment someone has made about you not wearing a hat (Kerry!)
As a thank you to Dani as well, I spent a chunk of my Sunday at the con doing a sketch for her. She was handing out a free seven page preview of a comic she and her bo Ian are working on so I based it around that. Here's the result (Though I did add a touch more after this pic was taken but not much!)

I was even asked by someone who bought all 3 issues of Lou Scannon if I would do a sketch of their own character for them. This was so cool that I of course said yes! Hopefully he liked the end result and wasn't just being polite but being a douche I totally forgot to take a pic of the finished article...
We launched the new cover for issue 1 at the con too and that seemed to go down fairly well...

Pencils and inks: Gavin Evans. Colours: Kris Carter.
I didn't attend any panels over the weekend as I spent most of my time on the stall with Kris and Jim but I don't feel I missed out simply on the basis that I had such a good time with the guys.
I am sort of questioning as to whether or not we should do Bristol again next year though. The good thing about it is it is so close to home for us unlike the London cons but if the London cons are so close to Bristol next year?... Well there's a chance we may get a good deal more exposure there or reach a vaster market so maybe they would be worth giving a go to see if we can expand our reader base.
At the end of the weekend every last one of us was completely wiped out I think it is fair to say. There were a few gripes from some people and valid though they may be, I do think that these people still had a good time despite this. Though your opinion may differ to mine!
A BIG shout out goes to my boy Rob from Fish 4 Comics for sponsoring the event and having a kick ass stall there! I'm so glad he's doing so well. He has been a staunch supporter of us working on Lou Scannon and really does push us out there and for that we have a lot of love for the guy.

I already think I have gone on too long but I'll sign off by letting you know that we now have Lou Scannon badges for sale!

If you see them, buy them! Or...

I'll send Kris after you! Grr!

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