HIT THE WEST MIDLANDS
So the weekend before last, I headed up to Birmingham for the third BICS (Birmingham International Comic Show). Andy was supposed to come up but unfortunately he’s been having some health problems, so I went on my tod. You’ve seen the photos I took at the Rollright Stones, which was the Friday before the show but during the show and even on the Monday morning, I took some photos at the show and in Brum itself. It’s not my favourite city: its heart has been carved out by underpasses and roundabouts and it’s very easy to get lost there. Having said that, the areas around the Town Hall and the Cathedral are quite grand. But the show was well-attended (up on last year) and I got to do a panel with my friend Mark Chiarello and even met his wife Cathy. Sales were decent and we sold a few copies of Studio Space and TRIPWIRE Annual so I managed to cover my costs, which is always useful. The photo of the auditorium with people sitting is where the talks took place and it was all mod cons, where we got miked up and it was a very nice space. So here are photos from the show, around Birmingham Cathedral and the Town Hall…












SAN DIEGO ROUNDUP 2008 PART TWO
Rather than bore everyone to tears with a report of each day, I’m going to try and move along a little quicker (especially since the show ended ten days ago!). So Thursday was a good day for us: we held a TRIPWIRE panel at 10.30 in the morning which was very badly attended but it was the first morning of the first day of the show so that wasn’t surprising. With 10 copies of Studio Space to last us until lunchtime Friday, interest in the Annual was pretty high. I didn’t do as much reporting and film stuff this year because I wanted to focus on the Annual and the book, so I spent most of Thursday at the table. I had a very productive meeting with James Killen, my rep at Barnes & Noble, and Doug White, my B & N rep at Diamond Books and so B&N are taking 1000 copies of this year’s Annual, which is great. It was the first day that I attempted to find my friend Mark Chiarello, who works at DC. In fact it became a running joke that Jeff Carlisle saw him quite a few times and in fact could locate him seemingly at the drop of a hat whereas I, who have known Mark for a number of years, introduced him to artist Robert McGinnis and always have lunch with him when I go to New York, never saw him once. We had great neighbours next to us at the Image booth: Andy Suriano, artist on Image’s Charlatan’s Ball, and his wife Carlyn were both lovely people and made the show a pleasure to set up at. Thursday night I had dinner with Andy and Susie, don’t remember where, but we had tickets for some party that we blew out because we couldn’t be arsed to go to. What people don’t realise is just how exhausting San Diego is, especially if you’re set up there. You get into the hall pretty early and three of the four days, it doesn’t close until 7pm. So once you pack up and walk back to the hotel, you’re not in much of a fit state to go carousing til the early hours at night. So Thursday ended better than Wednesday because I had resigned myself to the fact that we wouldn’t be getting books until Friday. Friday was a very good day if a bit of a blur: I did two film-related roundtables, one on Watchmen and one on Star Wars: Clone Wars. At first, they wouldn’t let us take photos at Watchmen but they relented so I have some nice shots of the cast and Zach Snyder, who I gave a copy of Studio Space to. Speaking of which, the books turned up halfway through Friday, which was a relief. We did our Studio Space panel on Friday morning with Tommy Lee Edwards, Bryan Talbot and Howard Chaykin, which was pretty well-attended (although I foolishly had forgotten what time that started so I rolled up halfway through it!). I got to meet Frank Darabont, director of The Mist, and showed him a copy of the book. Also, while I was away from the table, Gary and Jeff Carlisle gave copies of the Annual and Studio Space to Joss Whedon, who was passing by, and Gabriel Macht and another guy from The Spirit. Friday night, we went to the Weta/ Dark Horse/ Gentle Giant/Lucasfilm party, where I spent an hour with Jim Steranko, discussing film, which was rather cool. I’m going to leave Saturday and Sunday for another post but here is a selection of more random photos including the ice sculpture from the Weta party, Spider-man waiting for the trolley, the crowds around the convention on Friday afternoon, some shots from the Watchmen roundtable and more…