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!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Blood Blokes #1 - A review

So this blog initially started up as a place for me to post my Last Frontiersman webcomic. That soon changed into a place for me to just post any art I do in general but now as I take a day off to recover for the weekend at Bristol Comic Expo, I have decided just to use this blog as a place to write about comics in general.

This brings me to the whole point of this blog update - The Small Press Comic known as "Blood Blokes" by Adam Cadwell.

The Blood Blokes Issue 1 cover. Obviously.
When we got to the Bristol convention we in Team Scannon were conveniently sat on the table next to Adam so as the weekend wore on we had the opportunity to talk to the man behind the comic and I can say he is a thoroughly nice chap. He is also up against us in the Eagle Awards "Favourite British Black and White Comic" categorie.
And a well deserved nomination it is too.

In a Post-Twilight world where the market for the vampire genre has gone from "Vampires are cool" to "Oh God. Please no. Not another fucking vampire story..." anyone who wants to create within that genre has it stacked up against them to give something new... Or fresh. A lot of Vampire stories seem to quite happily sink in to what is expected of them. They're made to look gothic, or horror, or as it would seem in recent years... Shiny.
Blood Blokes has managed to avoid sinking in to these pit falls or traps if you will. Of all the vampire things I have seen or read lately, I can actually relate to this comic more than any of the others.
The main character is a chap called Vince who is so distinctly average that he reminds me somewhat of me. Just a guy trying to get by with nothing particularly special about him. He's someone that most of us could probably relate to on some level. The setting is end of 2000 too and it seems that all of the interests he has mirror mine from that time period too.
I guess what I mean to say is that the character is totally believable. The way he reacts to his girlfriend, his boss... It all feels like Adam Cadwell is writing the real world. Things I daresay at somepoint he may have experienced himself. Though I have to say Vince's courage in the comic as he talks to his boss is something I could never quite bring myself to do. The vampire element is there but so far that is a sidenote to the character development. I loved that about this title.
I don't want to waffle too long as I am prone to do as I may end up giving away spoilers but what I will say is that I thoroughly enjoyed this comic and it really has left me wanting to read issue 2 (Which as Adam told me at the con, should be available within the next month).
If you were to ask me for a feel to this comic, what sort of vibes or styles I would use to describe it, I would say it has the atmosphere of Scott Pilgrim with an art style that is reminiscent of Richard Moore (The Creator of the Indie comic "Boneyard") of whom I am a big fan.

If you see it and you like the Indie genre/Small Press titles, buy it. I doubt you would regret it.

More to follow on the Bristol comic Expo!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Hey y'all.
               Been a while since I posted but I have actually been absolutely swamped with work and it doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon. Which is nice!
I actually have someone who wants me to draw up and tattoo on them a Lou Scannon drawing! They want Crysta and Lou to go on one of their legs. That's quite the thing I wont lie to you!

Issue 4 of Lou Scannon is mostly going to plan though I must confess that this issue I have put far more effort in to things like the backgrounds. This is mainly because I 1.) wanted to test myself a little more and 2.) since the issue is a Aliens homage, I really wanted to capture the vibe from the film and get it as close to source as I possibly could.
This though, has unfortunately meant that each page I draw for the comic is taking on average a day longer to complete than with previous issues which is puching me behind a wee bit.
However I think it has been worth it!:
I hope you guys agree!
Lets get some comments going on this blog folks! Things you would like to see more of/less of etc.
Remember though that this blog is specifically for my art and not so much for my rants (Of which there are many...) although I may occasionally go off on one.

Now... Back to tattoo designs... PEACE!

P.S Avengers is fucking AMAZING. If you haven't seen it yet then it must be because you're dead.
Or dumb.