Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Nottingham Comic Con and Thought Bubble Con reports

As the year draws to a close it's time to reflect on my last two cons of the year.

It was my first time at the Nottingham Comic Con, and what a fantastic time I had there.

Despite the road being closed where the car park was situated (and the sat nav sending me back up the same road all the time!) I finally parked up and found my way to the venue thanks to a fellow exhibitor who helped me carry my stuff in.

The venue itself was great and the staff on reception were very helpful and I found my table very quickly and got to work. I was sat next to the extremely talented Dean Beattie (check out his Random Trials series) and Matthew Harrower, another extremely talented artist, both were great company on the day.

As the day progressed, sales started strongly and I had one of the best days I've had all year. Lots of great comments about the books and my work (which helps!) and the venue itself was spacious, bright and full of people there to buy comics, which makes a change from some cons!

Managed to meet up with friends like Chris Imber, Chris Jenkins (of the Reckless Hero stable), Gavin Mitchell, Emily Owen and lots of others.

Hats off the organisers, Kev and Kel Brett who put on a great show. I also got my copy of 'Forest Tales' the anthology I contributed my hastily created four page strip. Some very talented folk in there.

All in all a great day, and the best con I've been to all year without a doubt.

As long time readers of my blog will know, I wasn't selected to get a table for Thought Bubble this year, but thanks to Dave West getting in touch and letting me know fellow artist Barry Renshaw wasn't able to attend, there was a chance of a table after all.

A little while later Barry decided to do the Saturday and me the Sunday, which suited me as it saved on accommodation costs. When we finally got confirmation from the organisers that we would be splitting the days it was only then I could say I'd be at Thought Bubble again (if just for one day!).

As the day got closer I admit to being in two minds about going, a general feeling of tiredness and wondering whether just doing the Sunday (usually the slowest day) had me concerned.

On the day I decided to go and set out nice and early on the Sunday, having been there before I knew the way there and easily found my way to the area to collect my pass. Obviously there was no record of me taking over the table, so I had to dig the emails out to prove it - not a good start!

It felt weird going to the venue and setting up when everyone else was still recovering from the Saturday night parties, but I decided to make the most of it. I was sat next to a couple from Canada who produced very nice work and some comic back issue sellers right at the back of the hall which wasn't ideal.

The day started very slowly, and carried on that way but it was great to catch up with friends from previous cons, and many people again had nice things to say about my work and bought some comics and art. I even got some paid sketches to do which was really nice, one guy bought my stuff over the years and sought me out for a sketch. The other guy saw his sketch and wanted one for himself, which was great!

Comic sales weren't great but I more than made up for it with art sales, so all in all a slow day but I was glad I went.

At the moment I'm very undecided about carrying on next year, I only have two cons booked (True Believers in February and ICE in September) but I am wondering if all the effort - and expense - in doing all this (on my own essentially) is worth it now.

My other options are to collaborate with others and share the cost that way, but at the moment it's very uncertain whether I will carry on.

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