Two weeks until Bristol
The first ever comic convention I attended was the Comic Festival in Bristol in 2002, a few months after I’d attended a smaller event in the city where I got advice on becoming a comic writer from both Andy Diggle and Paul Grist. At the main Bristol show my first ever panel was the Marvel one, hosted by their Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada. I was also a minor sponsor of the event, originally as part of The Philistine Fellowship (a group of comic creators that was my first foray into creating a studio) but in the end I opted to do so in my own name.
Fast forward 12 years and Bristol is no longer the only comic convention in the UK, in fact there are new ones popping up in towns and cities all around the country every month. Shows like Thought Bubble and London Super Comic Con are now the most likely places to see the largest publishers, the biggest name creators and the most fans, but Bristol in its various incarnations still has an important place in the UK comics scene. I was there last year (I think I’ve only missed one year since I first went) launching Dapper Chimp Press‘ first title Chris Smith and the Nazi Zombies from Hell and I’ll be back again in a fortnight’s time.
However this time I won’t be standing behind a table pimping my wares, as I’m going as a punter rather than an exhibitor or guest, at the new venue of Future Inn. Back in ’02 it was quite a lonely experience, not knowing many people at the event, and spending the day wandering around on my own. This time I’ll be there with my daughter, who’s been keen to go to another con, having been to the Cardiff International Comic Expo and Cardiff Film and Comic Con in recent years. It will also be my last convention as a 30 something, and I’m very much looking forward to it.