mcm expo, day 3 round-up

Despite my appalling fan-girl faux pas yesterday, the marvelous Warwick Johnson Cadwell slipped me this handmade card just as Gary and I were packing up our stall. Happiness!

Lizz Lunney and Philippa Rice impressed us mightily with their knitted wizard beards.

Lizz Lunney, Philippa Rice

Lizz Lunney and Philippa Ricewith with Timothy Winchester

I snapped a couple photos of some of the Vern and Lettuce dedication drawings I made (oddly, on a piratical theme).

I was lucky enough to be seated near some of the genuinely nicest guys in comics: my studiomate Gary Northfield on my left and DFC Library colleague Neill Cameron on my right, then Robin Etherington one further along. It was fun watching Neill’s new book, Mo-Bot High go down a storm; here are some very happy visitors.

Edit: Here’s Neill’s writeup of the weekend!

You can see Neill walk you through his process of drawing Mo-Bot High on a recent entry here on the FPI blog.

I minded Neill’s table a few times and tried my hand at pretending to be him and drawing Mo-Bots on his sketchpad. Here’s me in Neill cosplay gear. I think I might get a flat cap. (I was a bit too worn out from this month’s events to get together a proper costume, a deficiency which rather pained me. Must do better next time.)

I was very pleased to meet Lisa Wood, one of the main organisers for the upcoming Thought Bubble comics convention in Leeds on Sat, 20 Nov. She’s letting the Leeds-based writer of You Can’t Eat a Princess! Gillian Rogerson and me set up a space-themed kids activity area. Everyone raved last year about Thought Bubble, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Leeds Thought Bubble organiser Lisa Wood

Here are a few of the comics and mini comics I managed to nab at Expo. I still have yet to read most of them in any depth, but I’ll let you catch a glimpse of what made me pick them up.

‘Kanj’ by Warwick Johnson Cadwell

Edward Ross and Luke Pearson

I’ve admired Luke Pearson’s cover to the recent Solipsistic Pop 2 anthology, so I was glad to meet him at Expo in person. He has a great sense of design and colouring. NoBrow press are publishing some of his work soon, and his look fits well into their gorgeous aesthetic that makes me people want to stroke the matte covers and sniff the pages.

Postcard by Luke Pearson

‘Dull Ache’ by Luke Pearson

‘Dull Ache’ by Luke Pearson

‘Some People’ by Luke Pearson

I’m such a sucker for wrapped-up parcels. This one’s about those shoes you see tied together and strung up on power lines or in trees. (We have a lot of those in my neighbourhood.)

‘A Simple Knot’ by Edward Ross

I always look forward to seeing the latest thing Philippa Rice comes up with. Her love of craft combines an almost child-like love of cutting things up with a gentle but sophisticated metafictive humour. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she’s snapped up soon by a good agent and/or publisher, if she hasn’t been already.

‘Doctor Bandaid’s Hot Guide to Romance’ by Philippa Rice

‘Cardboard Colin & Paper Pauline’ by Philippa Rice

Another supremely nice guy of comics, Joe Decie. He’s been doing some great things with washes lately, and I always love his lettering.

‘Grandpa Al’, ‘Pissing in the Wind’ and ‘The Rozbity Letter’ by Joe Decie

This is a dreadfully blurry photo, but I recently met Josceline Fenton at London’s monthly Comica Social Club. But today was the first time I saw her work, some really lovely stuff.

From left: Josceline Fenton, Josceline’s sister and Tammy Taylor

‘Hemlock’ by Josceline Fenton

‘Hemlock’ by Josceline Fenton

‘The Everyday: Collection Four’ by Adam Cadwell

I’ve been getting to know a bit of Paul Duffield‘s work because he’s the partner of Kate Brown, creator of the DFC Library’s Spider Moon. They both have their own ways of working, but the resemblances are striking.

‘Signal’ by Paul Duffield

I stopped by Sweatdrop Studios‘ tables and picked up a copy of Telling Tales, a collection of traditional fairytales in comics form by ten different members of the studio collective. That’s DFC colleague Emma Vieceli on the left, one of the key organisers of Expo’s Comics Village, along with her partner Andrew Ruddick (Pud), Anna Pederson, Matthew Sheret and David Thomas. Thanks so much for all the hard work you’ve done to make this autumn’s Expo and so many earlier conventions a success!

Emma Vieceli, Fehed Said, Faye Yong sign ‘Telling Tales’

‘Telling Tales’ by Sweatdrop Studios

One of the highlights of the show for Gary and me was meeting Simon Tofield, creator of Simon’s Cat, and his studio mates. While we’d previously admired Simon’s animations and comics, we’re now hardcore fans after seeing what a kind, down-to-earth person he is, and seeing hardworking, friendly vibe he shares with his team, who work together from a studio in Islington (central London). Simon’s had huge success with his work, but this was only his second convention after BICS a couple weeks ago, and he seemed hugely pleased to be meeting other people in comics.

Simon Tofield with my ‘Morris the Mankiest Monster’, yay!

Overall, MCM Expo was a lot of fun. Here’s Philip Spense with Cosplay Bingo.

Conventions are always more jolly when Gary Erskine and his fabulous fiancĂ©e Mhairi come along. Not only is Mhairi a cool Scottish biker chick, but she’s a medical expert on parasitical illnesses, so she can tell all sorts of real-life stories to make your blood curdle.

I snapped a photo from my table of this steampunk visitor having a good long look at Neill Cameron’s A-Z of Awesomeness poster.

One of Neill’s dedication drawings… I peeked over his shoulder a lot.

I just want to finish by posting a comment left after yesterday’s entry, which is such a great visitor write-up of the Expo experience. (And yes, they’re dealing with tens of thousands of guests, so the ticket queues are horrendously long; I highly advise booking tickets before arriving at Expo next spring!)

We came to ExCel yesterday hoping to get to see all the DFC people but arrived to be told that the queue for tickets was 2 hours long! Instead of spending two hours queuing we spent that time wandering the corridors of ExCel (a place we’re pretty familiar with as it’s in our borough and they have a week of summer school there for kids each year – including mural art) and picknicking on the grass. I have to say that it was fantastic and strangely moving. My kids were playing spot the costume (they are huge Pokemon and Studio Ghibli fans) and as someone who sews I couldn’t get over the craftsmanship. And to see those young people, at least some of whom are probably the subject of bullying and isolation in everyday life glorying in their appearance and being celebrated by others was just magic. Next time round we’ll pre-book and my middle child (age 11) is already starting to think of a costume.

Will now have to put in a big order for all the DFC books we were intending to buy.

Best wishes, Joan

Thanks for the comment, Joan! Sorry you couldn’t get in, but I’m glad you all stuck around to see all the other stuff going on. I love it that, even if kids can’t afford tickets for the main hall, there’s still enough of a buzz around the place to make it worthwhile just turning up and hanging out in the huge corridor and parading on the waterfront landing. Good times.

Very tired. And a sore head from the drums. But if I hadn’t blogged now, it would’ve never happened.

Photos from Day 1
Photos from Day 2

Edit: Wow! The latest word in from Emma and the MCM Expo organisers is that we had 46,400 attendees! Largest Expo yet!!

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