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???????!

Well…

SILENCE! #40

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.

listen.

click to download SILENCE!#40

SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the two greatest comics shops on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton and GOSH COMICS of London.

SILENCE! #32

September 24th, 2012

I’M CRUSHING YOUR HEAD!

This is it people – the ultimate listening experience you can do with your ears…comics, people, people talking about comics, comics talking about people, people talking about comics again….IT’S ALL HERE! IN SILENCE! no.32!!!

After the usual shit-bubbling from the two half-wits that pass for presenters on this farrago, the SILENCE! News comes and goes like a sex pest in the night, with a digression into Chuck Jones and Pat Mills. With nary a thought to listener safety or interest the podcasteers catapult themselves midrift first into the weeks comics. No muss, no fuss, let’s do this:

James Stokoe’s Godzilla, Justice League! no.0, Daredevil, Jordan Crane’s Uptight, The Shadow, The Walking Dead, Ghost, Revival, AVX: The Avengers, and Nite Owl.

The SILENT Question comes from Frank Castle and the answer involves Jim Woodring’s Frank, Jonny Ryan’s Prison Pit and Zenith: Phase 1.

Lactus reviews his underpants in notcomics, and after that adventrure in undercrackers The Beast talks up Nick Abadzis’ wonderful Hugo Tate collection and recalls Deadline in general. Then there’s a nod towards a fascinating interview with Brit comics mover and shaker, Dave Elliott, and Lactus pimps his wares like the painted French tart he so clearly is, with another Comedy Spot.

SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the two greatest comics shops on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton and GOSH COMICS of London.

click to download SILENCE!#32

 

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.


click to download

 

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.