Saturday, 21 November 2015

Thought Bubble 2015 - Last Convention of the Year.

It's always great to end the year on a high, and last year Thought Bubble was certainly that, with our best TB show ever from the perspective of sales made.
We are always a little nervous before a show, and looking around at the quality of comics on display on the many stalls around the New Dock Hall we were more nervous than normal. The quality of the whole independent comic book 'industry' just seems to get better and better. The concern is always one of, 'With so much to choose from, would customers actually have any cash left by the time they got to our stall ?'
Saturday the doors opened on a cold Yorkshire day and people quickly filled the hall. New Dock Hall being one of three, I wondered if the other halls were similarly busy and a quick dash around them later in the day actually proved this to be the case. The Convention has grown year on year and this year I actually felt that the number of halls and stalls were justified by the number of people looking to buy comics.
This year we were sandwiched between the very impressive Improper Books, who have a whole range of very nicely printed books of great quality, and Do Gooder Comics, with their great little Dungeon Fun comic.
For the first time I brought some of my own sketches to produce some limited Stephenson's Robot sketch and Tarot card packs and the sketches worked a treat, encouraging people to buy the first two issues. This works so well for WesterNoir I thought it worth trying.
During a busy day I managed to spend a few minutes catching up with Andy Bloor at his stall, selling copies of Midnight Man and his new 'Andy Thology', which includes along with some of his Accent UK anthology contributions, sketches and a couple of new Midnight Man pages. It's great to see Andy at his table enjoying the Cons.
Saturday ended with us looking at a very productive day, and we celebrated with what is becoming a traditional pub meal with Lucky Target Comic's Sumyra and whoever happens to helping at her stall. No Chris Dingsdale this year though, I hear he was out of the country on a Yak drive or some such, but we were joined by long time friend Tony Hitchman. A late night talking comics lead nicely into Sunday.
Scott and Colin acting out a scene
from Scanners....
Sunday is always more relaxed, giving me time to spend longer looking around, and spend some money. This year however my purchases were limited to The Wrenchies (which I queued to get signed (and a sketch)) from Farel Dalrymple (I've been a fan of his since Popgun War), 2 Sisters (which I got signed by Matt Kindt along with my copy of Pistolwhip) and the first three issues of Dean Beattie's great Random Trials. I have to limit spending at these events, which is really difficult, as I need to save as much as I can for the next WesterNoir and Stephenson's Robot print bills.
Sunday, whilst not as successful sales wise as Saturday, was a pretty good day. We got to meet a few great new artists who we may well work with us on some future books and I also got to chat to Dave Hitchcock and show him the colour effect I'd added to his pages for a future Stephenson's Robot back story, which he was very happy with.
I disappeared from the table for more than an hour and caught up with an old boss from my day job. Rosemary lives in Leeds and yet I've never mentioned the fact that I go there every year for TB. That is until this year. It was really great catching up and hard to believe that 15 years had passed.
Looking back over the two days it was great to have so many people buy the WesterNoir sketch packs but there is nothing more rewarding than have customers go straight to issues 5 and 6 (which weren't available at last year's event). People are really getting into the story.
So, another great Thought Bubble end to the comic con calendar on what has been by far our most successful year yet.
Thanks go out to everyone who has come to our stall over the year and talk comics and maybe try some of our books. Hope to see you all again next year.

Monday, 9 November 2015

WesterNoir Issue 5 has been reviewed over at Down The Tubes.

Just in time for this weekend's Thought Bubble, Jeremy Briggs has posted his review of issue 5 over at
With issue 6 just printed, there will be two new WesterNoir books available at Thought Bubble this year, I love it when a plan comes together.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Getting ready for Thought Bubble.

Next weekend Accent UK will have a table at Thought Bubble, our last convention of the year.
I've been busy doing some Stephenson's Robot sketches for a limited number of sketch packs and painting some of Gary's great WesterNoir sketches and as is the always the way, time is fast running out so there won't be a whole lot of either...
Where does the time go ?

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Skeletal wings.

I came across the remains of some poor bird whilst walking the dog.
Looks like a pretty grim end for it and the fact that the skeletal wings were about 5 foot off the ground in a hawthorn hedge seems to point at a bird of prey being the killer, not that I'm trying to pin the blame on anyone in particular.
Sad though, and I almost didn't spot it as it all seemed to blend in.
My dog was, of course, none the wiser as she's more interested in hunting for mushrooms these days. She's given up on rabbits that run across the road in front of us now and then as they move too fast, that and the fact that I'm on the other end of the lead making sure she gets nowhere near them. No, mushrooms move much slower.

Monday, 26 October 2015

MCM London - the last MCM of the year for us.

Last weekend Accent UK had a couple of tables at the London MCM event in the Excel Centre.
We've been to a few of these events now and yet we still find ourselves somewhat stunned by the number of people who attend, dressed in costumes that range from Arthur Dent through all manner of Anime characters that I'm not familiar with to Galen from the Planet Of The Apes.
This event now spans three whole days in order to cope with the number of people who want to attend is without a doubt the most colourful event in the Comic book calendar,
But it's not just a media show. London MCM has a very impressive Small Press Village that has grown into a Small Press Town really with a huge array of great looking comics, fantasy art and all things in between.
Competition is fierce.  
So, we never really know how well we'll do at this event.
This time around I missed Friday, with Colin taking all the stock down on Thursday and setting up on his own. Joined by his son Scott later that night the two of them manned the stall all of Friday and sales weren't bad and slightly up on the previous year's, showing how the Friday attendance is steadily growing each year.
Jemma and I arrived on Friday night and were ready for a busy day on Saturday.
Like all Cons, Saturday is the busiest day and at the London MCM usually so crowded that it takes forever to get anywhere once you're inside the hall. This year was no exception. It was crazy busy. This year however the organisers had opened up another hall and so it didn't feel as oppressive as it has done, which was nice.
The interesting thing, as the day flip-flopped from quiet periods to very busy ones, was that once again we were meeting a lot of new customers. Maybe it's because there is so much for people  to look at or maybe this is the first time that they have been to the Event I don't know but we sold a lot of WesterNoir sketch packs, which contain issues 1 to 4, and Tales of WesterNoir 1 along with a great sketch from Gary Crutchley. It was also very rewarding when returning customers picked up later issues of WesterNoir and Stephenson's Robot, which quite a few did.
All of the titles sold well really, with the anthologies doing best, which they tend to do at the MCM events. By the end of the day we'd had a good day for sales, pretty much the same as last year, which is a good sign.
We ended the day with fish and chips and a cool beer in Greenwich with Steve Tanner of Time Bomb comics, talking about the UK comics industry, kickstarters and events we'd been to. A nice evening chilling out.
On the Sunday, refreshed by the extra hour due to the clocks going back, I quickly dashed over to the Walking Dead area to see if I could interest some Walkers in our ZOMBIES anthology...
I'll just say that they were tough customers, more interesting in eating the book than reading it, and I seriously doubted that they had the cash to pay for it anyway.
I had time to chat to Mike Garley, picking up the latest copy of his great Kill Screen and my only other purchase which was of an intriguing book called Skies of Fire which reads as good as it looks. I try to limit my spending at Cons to as few books as I can but couldn't resist those two. Another highlight was chatting to comic legend Bob Layton, and getting my Iron Man Omnibus signed. He's a very likeable person and was clearly enjoying himself at the event.
Sunday was a little quieter but we still had a good number of interested people at the table, I did manage to sell a copy of ZOMBIES to a Walker in the end, so maybe my earlier trip to see them hadn't been a waste of time...
A very tiring event.
A very enjoyable event.
An event full of people who put as much effort into their Cosplays as we do into our comics.
An event that we'll definitely look to book a couple of tables at next year.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Monday, 19 October 2015

WesterNoir issue 6 ... update.

All is on track for WesterNoir issue 6. I've reviewed and approved the proof copy, and Stuart Gould has agreed a delivery date of Wednesday. One of the little bonuses that Stuart gets is that he sees a lot of comics before anybody else, and he has given issue 6 his thumbs-up :o)
All of this means that Issue 6 will be on the table at this weekend's MCM event in London's Royal Albert Dock Excel centre.
This issue introduces a very significant couple of characters. I can't wait to hear what people think of them.