November 29th, 2012
The Beast Must Die: So frazzled, bedraggled and maybe even bedazzled we all arrived safely back from this year’s Thought Bubble 2012 comics festival in Leeds, which once again proved itself to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone. It gets the tone just right – an even balance between mainstream and fringe, with the small press rubbing shoulders with industry pros. Girls, boys, seasoned fans, neophytes, kids, pensioners, cosplayers and the just plain weird, the TB crowd is diverse, good natured and one of the best aspects of the whole affair.
Attending something like Thought Bubble also reminds you first and foremost why you love the artform, a welcome shot of 4-colour adrenaline to enliven even the most message board weary fan.
The Mindless Ones were there in pretty full effect, with Andrew Hickey, Gary Lactus and myself joined by Legendary Weapons Bobsy & Illogical Volume, as well as Mindless Cadet, Mister Attack and the living juggernaut that is Plok. We were positioned on the right hand side of the newly christened New Dock Hall. Andrew was selling his arsenal of wonderful music and comics books, as well as a new volume of his short stories. Lactus had the collected full colour beauty of The Amusing Bros and Andrew & Steven in Knights Of The Realm, and I was touting Cindy & Biscuit, including the brand new 56 page issue no.3. Mr Attack had his comic Everyone’s Felt Like This Once for sale, and Bobsy brought along a free comic featuring both the current PM and Lord Horror no less. Together we formed like Bruticus and set about ensnaring the public.
On a personal level I don’t think I could have had a better time of it. The reception that Cindy & Biscuit received was heartening, and I sold almost everything I took with me. What was especially gratifying was the breadth of customers I had – I sold a lot to kids this year, which was ace. It’s great to think of them reading mys stuff at home, and I just hope they were all appropriately thrilled, amused or spooked by Cindy & Biscuit. Lots of nice people said lots of nice things about it too, from comics pro’s to fans who bought earlier issues the previous year. All in all I was pretty damn chuffed.
It was great chatting to friend of SILENCE!, Al Ewing, whose gift to us was surely the best comic con exclusive that has ever been. He and his lovely friends were all most accommodating to our frazzled selves in the hotel bar on Sunday evening. It was as nice to see Kieron Gillen as ever, and I enjoyed talking to ace 2000AD scribe Rob Williams about Low Life. I was too nervous to speak to John Wagner, and certainly too nervous to ask him to say ‘I AM THE LAW’ in his stentorian Hibernian brogue. We happened to be on the table next to British comics catalyst Paul Gravett, along with comics artist and scholar John Miers and his lovely partner Megan, who co-runs the Comica Festival with Paul. Paul was his usual enthusiastic self, and did the circuits with his usual charm and aplomb. John and Megan were also excellent company, and truly sympathetic hangover buddies on Sunday. John’s comics are here and info about Comica is here.
Add to that the thrills of our ongoing experiment in listener alienation with our SILENCE! Thought Bubble special, the epic drinkery at the post TB Saturday night bash at the Leeds Corn Exchange, and you have a pretty full weekend. As I stated earlier, the atmosphere at Thought Bubble is open, friendly and enthusiastic. I can’t rate it high enough, and will certainly back next year.
But really, I hear you pretty much scream, FOR THE LOVE OF AQUAMAN, WHAT ABOUT THE COMICS???????!
November 20th, 2012
WHEN I GET HOME FROM SCHOOL EACH DAY, I FEEL MY TIME SHOULD BE MY OWN…
Listen. I’m celebrity guest host Jonathan Cohen from TV’s Music Time. Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die have asked me to add my special brand of gently sensible fun education to this very special SILENCE! Thought Bubble 2012 Special. Listen. Gary and The Beast went to Leeds with a bag full of dreams and sat at a table for two days trying to sell those dreams. Along the way they met a host of exciting folk like Al Ewing and Keiron Gillen. They talked about the things they noticed about the table, on the table, behind the table, underneath the table and beyond the table.
These things include Cosplayers, Deadline, Crisis, Fantastic Four, Walking Dead, Roller Girls, Breakfast, Dinner and John Wagner doing star jumps.
November 6th, 2012
MMM…SKYSCRAPER, I LOVE YOU
Can’t talk, busy busy busy! Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 here to talk up the fleshy exploits of those lovable human rogues The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus in their BOOM! WHIZZZ! BANG! extra special November 5th/Fireworks special (it isn’t really special, but Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 likes themes and was away last week – just imagine there are fireworks going off while you listen and all will be special times. WEEEEEEEEEEEE!)
SILENCE! News with tales of treason and the All-Beard himself, Alan Moore no.1 teen heart throb.
<ITEM> Weekly Haul reviewing trash pamphlets a-go-go:
Action Comics Annual, Lot 13, Ghosts, Happy!, Masters of the Universe and TMNT annual, with digressionary discourse about Kevin Eastman and Tundra. Good times! Bad Times! Both Times!
Silent Question comes from Hawkman and Aquaman, and includes answers such as Flaming Carrot, Shade The Changing Man, Legends Of The Dark Knight, and long lost Brit comic, Crisis.
<ITEM> Beast’s Book at Bedtime isMarvel Comics the Untold Story from Sean Howe.
<ITEM> There are no more ITEMS!
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 OUT! (drops conceptual microphone and flounces offstage)
Click below for the SILENCE! Gallery…
November 4th, 2011
Here’s our latest Cartoon County podcast where we talk to Warren and Gary Pleece. The Pleece brothers have been doing comics since the late 80s and much of that early work is to be collected by Paul Gravett’s Escape Books in a new book, The Great Unwashed. They also talk about their forthcoming graphic novel, Montague Terrace along with a host of other diversions.
Gary and Warren, earlier.
Cartoon County is an association of over 100 cartoonists and comic artists in the Sussex area. Our regular meetings are usually on the last Monday of every month at The Cricketers, Black Lion St, Brighton, from 6 til late. If you’re a cartoonist or a comic artist, or use those particular styles of drawing in your work as an illustrator, animator or storyboard artist, you are very welcome to join us. next meeting Monday 28th November.
August 11th, 2009
or Crisis? What Crisis? (part one)
Think of him as 2000AD’s awkward cousin. He and Tharg used to get on great for a bit, but while The Mighty One went into his teens still drunk on the heady surge of Thrill Power, Crisis was always a bit serious. Self consciously so, you could say. You know the routine: went veggie. CND badge. Amnesty membership. Morrissey lyrics sung at high volume to that face in the bedroom mirror. Didn’t make friends that easily, and sometimes seemed to try hard not to be noticed at all, but on rare occasions he’d come out with something that would really be worth paying attention to.