The idea behind going was not only to have a weekend to just geek out at the awesome comics, fanboy gush over creators and generally spend all my money on all things comic books. No no, the idea was also to meet up with various creators we'd been getting to know, network and schmooze and maybe even spread the word on our comic, Stiffs (and maybe a little of The Pride too).
So really, it was a mix of business and pleasure, and you know what, it was rather brilliant for both.
(I also had to pick up some Christmas presents for myself from my mother, to be wrapped and given back to me on Christmas Day. What I managed to get was an original page by Marc Ellerby for his Phonogram: The Singles Club story and a canvas print of a cutesy Batman by Dave Evans Illustration)
(On an aside: I've today realised that with both Phonogram trades I read the Glossary first. No idea why I do that (aside from it being hugely informative and my music knowledge is a little lacking, and incredibly funny too))
Anyway, meeting back up with the guys (and retrieving my sketchpad with a new awesome Cadwell sketch inside) we moved on to a panel that Adam was on, about the ins and outs of Self Publishing. The panel also featured Tom Humberstone (who I'd just picked up all three Solipsistic Pop's from), Liz Lunney, Phillipa Rice, Kristyna Baczynski and Matt Sheret. This was hugely helpful stuff, and if nothing else has made me want to organise some kind of Drink And Draw style event in Cardiff. I'm going to be looking into that now, and will let you all know how that comes along.
Con sketch: Zombie Little Adam by Adam Cadwell
At this point, the group kind of split up for a bit, but not before Gavin showed me the full six pages for a The Pride story, that will hopefully be the first The Pride story available for everyone to check out. The six pages looked fantastic, and I really think that anyone who picks up the comic when it's done will be totally wowed by the fantastic work Gavin is putting into it. If only my words can live up to those pages!During this time, me and Paddy continued exploring and doing some fanboy style stuff, mostly getting sketches or signatures (I sadly only managed to get two sketches, Adam's and an excellent Generation X's Chamber sketch done by Becky Cloonan). Then, it was time for me and Paddy to get interviewed.
Becky Cloonan with her skecth's of 'Generation X's Chamber she did for me.
Yup, we were interviewed by Sidekickcast guys about Stiffs. It was a little weird, being interviewed about a book that wasn't out there yet, but also totally cool too. As soon as I hear anything about when that interview is available for listening, I'll let you know.Meeting back up with Gav, we dived back into the con to continue signature hunting, before the day finally drew to a close. The day was totally fantastic, really useful and fun for us in terms of what we were planning and want to do with our comics.
We checked out the afterparty in the night too, meeting up with the guys from Dead Star Publishing, and meeting new people as well, in the form of April Nash and Rhiannon Lucy May. In fact, I cannot possibly recount the host of new people I met (as my memory for names is pretty dire, plus I was pretty drunk by this point).
But the afterparty served to exemplify again exactly how I felt about the con and the UK comics scene: it's a community. And one I loved, and I embrace, and oh my god, I have found my place! It's awesome. I mean, anywhere I can be stood at a bar, listening as the theme to Quantum Leap comes on and then wind up having a huge conversation with a random stranger girl about QL and how exactly did it end, is an awesome community in my book.
We sadly didn't get much time to dance to awesome DJ sets being let out through the speakers, as our train back to Huddersfield was fast approaching. So after mingling at Warp Speed and saying a quick, slurry, drunken 'Hey!' to Adam, Marc and Howard, mine and Paddy's Thought Bubble 2010 was over.
Or sort of, anyway. End of the day, we met a lot of cool new people, got out a lot of info about the comics to such people, and also learned a great deal which we can now work on in our own efforts to get something out on that scene, and properly become a part of that community.
The biggest thing I think we learned is to stop freaking out about our comics and getting them out to publishers etc. To just try it, to put stuff out on our own terms, whatever that may be, and see how it goes. Learn from the mistakes, but have the courage to make them, and to realise that a comic as an artefact of art can be anything, whether it be a glossy American styled floppy, to a photocopied table napkin with a narrative. It's just a matter of DOING IT and putting it out there.
So thanks to everyone we met at Thought Bubble 2010, and thanks to the organisers for putting on a great show! Look forward to seeing you all next year, and hey, maybe next time we'll have a table too.