I’ve been a very naughty blogger. Not only did I fail MISERABLY at bringing you lovely lot the buildup to Comiket (ironically because I was a bit too busy actually doing it) but THEN I also waited a whole week before even bringing the tales to the internet. BAD FORM!
Well, if you pop along to the NEWS section of my website, you’ll see a few little bits, but there are a few more photos so I thought they could live here.
In short, it was an awesome event. Unfortunately I can’t actually bring you the goods in terms of new names to watch out for, as I was pretty much stationary for the whole thing so was very limited in terms of the work I saw. There was no doubt though, that the range of work on offer was unbelievable! It’s the reason I regard Comiket with quite such high esteem; absolutely everybody is welcome. Yeah it’s about comics, but there is so much more to the notion of comic books and graphic novels then just men in tights and capes. Comiket is one of those events that really allows you to explore what graphics mean to you, and what attributes all kinds of illustration can really supply in the arts market. I think that’s such an important realisation when we’re so highly exposed to trends and labels, in every regard, under ordinary circumstances.
And this year was no exception, you just have to look at the mixed bag that is the contributors list. Literally, from the small pressers like me, through to professionals, right along to big business like Walker Books. All with different kinds of work to sell, and all of it worth looking at.
It’s probably a good thing I couldn’t get a gander round actually. I only would have spent any money I made on yet more books and zines to add to my already groaning book shelf. For a start, I know that NoBrow, Tom Gould, Phillipa Rice, Louis Roskosch, Accent UK, Orangutancomics, Twisted Dark and Markosia all had tables there, all of which are very cool people of whom I am a fan or have proved to have done cool stuff in the past. So I KNOW for a FACT that there was definitely a lot of gooood shit there. So unless the possibility of being exposed to just a little bit too much awesome is too much for you, you’ve really no excuse not to go check some more contributors out. And I highly recommend that you do.
And while I was a bit of a Sad Winston and chained to my table for those most part, I was certainly kept busy with the sheer number of people that turned up! It was pretty much manic, and I’m pleased to say a very decent success for a li’l small press guy like me. Yeah okay, giving away free stuff might have helped a little bit, but what can I say, I’m a giver. And besides, as I’ve said on numerous occasions, why not make the most of the *ahem* free photocopiers at Uni?…you know, the ones I pay for with studio fee . Those free photocopiers.
But I’m just kidding, the free zines went down okay, but the real attention seemed to be mainly on Tick and my BRAND NEW ZINE, Bears: Don’t like ‘em. I was getting rid of those by the bucket load! Strangely enough, to a lot of people wearing bear t-shirts. I think they may have missed the point a bit but hey, I have their money now! HA!
I also did get rid of a few of the prints I’d been doing in the building weeks which is fantastic. It’s so nice when your time is rewarded, and obviously I don’t for a second just mean with money. There is no greater feeling than knowing something you have created has brought someone joy. And especially at an event like this, where people can, and do, chat to you about what you’ve done that they do like and what they don’t like and it’s all such honest feedback because they don’t for a second have to give it to you.
I met so many different kinds of people last Saturday and I had some incredible conversations with them about such a magnitude of topics. It was just yet more proof to me that the real meaning of the word comic is far broader than the stereotypes could ever allow you to imagine. Old, young, teenage, middle age, fat, thin, male, female, camp and alternative; I swear the entire spectrum of human variation was walking through those doors and browsing the length and breadth of the isles.
Having been to a few small press deals in the past, I knew this was often the case though. It’s one of the reason’s I’m so keen to take part in them over the big, overwhelming cons, and I tried really hard to make sure my table reflected as such.
I think I succeeded, judging by the number of times people asked astonished “did you do ALL of this? It’s all so different!” which is one of those lines that makes you grin like a maniac on the inside when you hear it. And I guess it’s true, my table was some what schizophrenic. All four of my publications were pretty different in a number of ways: from the very artsy, painterly styles of Tick, through to heavily line based Bears, screen printed The Day I Met a Fatty right on over to the very graphic Rumble; I’ve tried to give each of them an identity of their own that was suitable to their purpose. And then of course there were the wild-card, batshit sandwich that was the sock creatures. But they were really just there for fun .
I have a few of those left actually, I’ll be sure to get them up on here at some point soon so you can have a giggle at the things I spend my life doing. Most people go out with mates. I stuff Socks. It takes all sorts.
Anyway, for fear of getting even more self-indulgent, I’ll wrap this post up. I would just like to put out a huge, huge thank you to Paul Gravett and everyone who helped to set up the event and make it as enjoyable as it was. I would like to say a MASSIVE thanks to this woman, who literally saved my bacon on Saturday by being my skivvy for the first few hours and keeping me well caffeinated. FYI, she’s also a creative type and has done some truly phenomenal bits of ART (you know, as in fine art. That real life, gallery stuff. Not just robots and ting) and often writes about very interesting thingies and bits here, so definitely have a look if you’re feeling especially cultured.
And also would just like to say how much I appreciated the appearance of the very lovely Patricia, Hugh and Tegwen. All of whom popped over to show their support which was truly lovely of them all. I hope all three of you enjoyed the event and found something exciting buried in those isles of illustrative magic.
Okay, do you know what? I think I’ll stop going on like I’ve just won some kind of Academy Award now. Unless maybe it was the award for going on like a gushing tosser, feel free to get in touch to hear the full speech for that one.
To summarise, Comiket was awesome, people are talented, I like robots and we can all go home happy.