sparkling crystal palace

The Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival went brilliantly, thanks to the marvelous Alex Milway (above) and his partner Katie Lee, who organised up a storm and will probably now need a long holiday to recover! My neighbour friend and I had just been reading and re-reading Viviane Schwarz‘s There are Cats in This Book, so she made up her own book for Viviane, There are Cats in This Book, Too. (Viv gives it a mention here on her blog.) I took some photos of her adding some last-minute touches on the train:

The DFC‘s Gary Northfield had a copy of his fab comic, Derek the Sheep in French. (Derek the Sheep is translated as Norbert le Mouton because the editors thought the French wouldn’t really connect with the name Derek.) And here’s Lilith, one of his best fans (and writer Alexander Gordon Smith in the background):

I made a quick drawing of Lilith in the bookshop, Bookseller Crow, and she sent me this photo of it – already framed! – the very next day. How cool is that! (Thanks, Lilith!)

Neighbour friend with Viviane and Sue Eves, puppeteer and author of The Quiet Woman and the Noisy Dog.

We had a great presentation by Guy Bass about his book Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things. The bits he read were very, very funny, and when I told my neighbour friend she could buy one book, that was the one she chose.

The DFC’s Emma Vieceli wonders why Patrick Warren’s latest Manga Shakespeare book, Henry VIII is selling at the bookshop when it doesn’t come out til next week. Huh?

Paul Duffield with The Tempest he drew, from the same series (Paul’s website):

At the Upper Norwood Joint Library, Emma Vieceli (emmav) gave us comics people a great master class in how to do a comics workshop (and possibly the kids learned something, too). She did a cracking first session on designing characters, ending with us all making a list of words and combining them to come up with our own silly versions. Here you can see David O’Connell‘s astronaut witch and Viviane Schwarz‘s space dog ninja:

Kate Brown from the DFC was a bit tentative about doing live drawing but got caught up in the excitement and drew despite herself:

Here’s a picture of Kate holding her pre-made first panel for the second session’s wild comics jam:

Gary Northfield and then David O’Connell were brave enough to draw the second and third panels in front of everyone (the pressure!), and did a smashing job:

Here’s my writer friend Candy Gourlay with her kids and neighbours; Candy’s posted a write-up and photos over on her blog.

For the comics jam, everyone had five minutes to draw one panel, then passed it to the next person and picked up with the page they’d just been handed. We went for four panels, then had everyone read out the results at the end, and almost died laughing. I didn’t get a chance to photograph many of the strips, but here’s one example:

A few more shots… Emma and me, trying to look bookish… or something:

Writer Sarwat Chadda modelling with a book which is patently not his:

Some very relevant graffiti we saw while walking through the centre of Crystal Palace from the bookshop to the gallery at Smash Bang Wallop.

Drinks at the Smash Bang Wallop gallery to celebrate the end of a crazy fun day and see our pictures on display in the gallery. There’s Garen Ewing (Have you see his latest DFC blog post about his upcoming Rainbow Orchid book?), David O’Connell, Alex Milway and Kate Brown:

You can see more photos from the day over on David’s blog.

After that, we went for drinks at the White Hart, although my neighbour friend and I didn’t stay very late because we found out that kids aren’t allowed in the pub past 8pm. Which was probably a good thing, seeing as the trains were messed up and it took us three hours to get back instead of the normal fifteen minutes. The funniest thing was hearing this 7-year-old talking to her dad on the phone, spelling out rather delightedly to him, ‘Dad, I’m in the P-U-B!’ We comics people are a very bad influence on the younger generation.

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