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manchester comics jam

When I went to Manchester, I wasn't sure if anyone would be free to meet up, and I didn't know anyone there very well, except a little bit from the Internet and comics conventions, where we hadn't had much time to talk. So I was slightly nervous when I blogged I'd be at the pub at a certain time on Thursday night, if I'd end up with only one sweaty stranger in a Batman shirt who didn't even want to draw. But it was FINE. In fact, it was much better than fine!



Adam Cadwell (who runs the British Comics Awards I'm helping judge this year) jumped straight in and said he'd be there, then Bevis Musson (who baked the spectacular Morris cake) said he'd come, and I breathed a big sigh of relief. Then Andrew Tunney, Ellie @Frillyart, Andrew Chiu and James Lawrence all showed up. Here we are, drawing!



I drew a picture of Adam:



Here's one of our Comics Jams! We started with the theme of 'Rocket', each drew a panel for five minutes or so, then passed them around for someone else to do the next panel, and so on.




A couple more Rocket Comics Jams:





I got Andrew Tunney (left) and James Lawrence to pose with comics they'd made:



And I had fun peeking into James' sketchbook. (You can see a few Harry Potter characters on this page.)



Look, Adam drew Oliver from Oliver and the Seawigs! Hurrah! Thanks so much for coming along, Adam, Bevis, Ellie, the Andrews and James!



This wasn't actually the same day, but when Stuart came up the following day, we managed to meet up with Ian Williams (aka Thom Ferrier) and Matt Badham. I'll always think incredibly fondly of Matt for helping me at Thought Bubble comics festival one year when I was short-staffed on the children's area. He saw I couldn't handle it, jumped in, and turned out to be one of the best sellers I've ever encountered.



And not just because he had a good shtick, but because he genuinely cares about people and likes to help them, and it comes out when he talks with them. Professional in the best sense of the word. We talked about how sometimes people put so much effort into making good comics for cons, but then fall down when it comes to relating to people on the day, and Matt mused about writing an article with some helpful pointers. And I'm pleased to say that he has written it! Go have a read, Some Thoughs on Selling Your Comics.



Another good article on the topic I've seen recently is by Sara McH, written on the run-up to SPX festival but applicable elsewhere: Advice for Exhibiting at SPX (via Kate Beaton).

Oh, and I just had to show you the tattoo parlour across the road from the pub that Matt and Ian pointed out. Love all the celeb mentions, 'fresh needles for every client' signs, and the tattoo removal place next door.



One more thing, Matt's blog post reminded me that Comica Festival's COMIKET is coming up in November. That's the month of two of the best comics festivals in Britain: Thought Bubble in Leeds and COMIKET in London. If you're love comics, craft, artists books, are thinking about self-publishing or just like stocking up on affordable gift items, these are festivals not to miss.

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