Friday, 29 May 2015

Made of Granite!

Aha, so for those attending Aberdeen's first Granite City Comic-Con, I will be flying the Accent UK flag along with young son, Adam at Table 26 in the climbing wall balcony. Now normally I wouldn't be overly worried by that odd name but since this show takes place at an extreme sports venue, Transition Extreme, I guess that erm, actual climbing may be involved, no wonder Dave wanted to sit this one out!

Well if you've a head for heights and relish a challenge in seeking out your quality comics, get yourself up to Aberdeen on Saturday, just make sure you call Mountain Rescue first! 

Extreme Sports Superheroes! (pic from TE's site)



Thursday, 28 May 2015

Comics Elevator Pitch Challenge!


Okay lots of comic madness these last few days, a fun and happy Warrington Comics Market and London's MCM Comic-Con now a very happy blur, see Dave's timely report here. I'm now busy organising for our next convention appearance in Aberdeen at the first Granite City Comic-Con this weekend, followed closely by our regular Danish appearance at the Copenhagen Comics Festival....phew!


In meantime see me put on the spot by Barry of the BBC featured Geek Syndicate who challenged me to an elevator pitch for Stephenson's Robot #1, not an easy thing to do and one that Dave was only to eager to volunteer me for! I was given a minute...


Sunday, 10 May 2015

New Comic Market Show added!


Jings, no sooner are we back from enjoyable and successful trips to Birmingham and Belfast (and see Dave's timely reports for both here and here!) with our comics crew than we've added another local show for next Saturday at The inaugural Warrington Market Comic-Con!

This show has been spoken about for a little while but gathered pace on our return from Belfast so all quite exciting. I understand that its part of the Council's regular initiative's to spotlight the market which is soon to be fully refurbished.

So if you are in the area next Saturday you can pop down to enjoy, among other attractions, a life size Star Wars X-Wing Fighter (really!), Back To The Future's De Lorean Car (great Scott!), a real walking talking Robot, several comic and memorabilia stalls and the Accent UK team! It's on from 10 am to 4 pm in the Market Hall and, weather permitting, outside, free entry!

The convention season is really underway now as Warrington will be the first of four consecutive shows taking in London, Aberdeen and Copenhagen so nice perhaps to start with something local!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Busy But Getting Ready!


There's been a lot going on behind the scenes here these last few weeks with a couple of trips North and East, birthday's, arrivals and good creative work so excuse the quiet while I've been away!


 

Comics-wise I'm all inspired, not only by a wonderful trip to Brussels including the excellent Comic Museum full of original artwork but also by the equally wonderful colour work being undertaken by Matt Soffe as he breathes vibrant life into my Zulu Wars:Water Cart Rescue comics tale!


The newly coloured and expanded graphic novel will be released when ready which should be this side of summer all being well, sadly not quite in time for this weekend but will be worth the wait!


And what of this weekend? Well it's the UK's newest Comic event, The Birmingham Comic Festival this Saturday at Edgbaston cricket club that's what and mighty fun the event looks. It also marks Accent UK's first full convention appearance of 2015 and kicks off a fairly busy period for us for the rest of the year. The creative team behind Accent UK's hit ongoing series, WesterNoir will be there with the latest issue and maybe a few surprises too for what promises to be a fun day indeed.


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

When Eagles Soared.....


Stumbled upon this link in the essential Down The Tubes blog of a time when Accent UK were mentioned alongside Brian Bolland, Jonathan Hickman, Kevin O'Neil, Frank Quietly, Warren Ellis, 2000AD and The Walking Dead etc, whatever happened to them?


This was 2010 and the award of best British Black & White Comic Book  for Dave West and Marlene Lowe's wonderful Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? I remember it well as the awards were announced overnight at the MCM London's show at the sprawling Excel Centre which I think was only the second time that we had exhibited at? It was crazy stuff and when the award was presented and displayed on our table the following day, the comic, like the Eagle itself flew off the table.

Mike Conroy (Eagle Awards coordinator) presents a happy Dave

It was a rather special moment and the reviews and interest in the book that followed were a great reward for the hard effort in its creation. The award brought a great spotlight on the book and generated some media interest at the time and led to a Brazilian edition, translated into Portuguese!



















The book's still a great read today and sells steadily. Dave of course has written several titles since but was recently re-united with artist Marlene (now Starksfield) Lowe for the engaging Jigsaw Girl  back up story in issue 1 of Stephenson's Robot which has been well received in recent reviews.

An extract of Marlene's stunning Jigsaw Girl artwork

Sadly the Eagle Awards, the UK's longest running comic awards, ceased in, I think, 2012 but left behind a rich heritage of capturing the comics zeitgeist, certainly they gave us a boost at the time and I know that Dave has a fondness for the trophy received, just watch his face light up if its ever mentioned..... 

The Comic and The Eagle!


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Accent UK a Go-Go!

http://www.thecomicfestival.com/

Well the Accent UK tour bus is properly revved up after Dave & Gary - and WesterNoir issue 5's debut at last weekend's enjoyable DemonCon show in Maidstone - see Dave's report and a few pics here.

Next up for us is a new Birmingham show, The Comics Festival in April at the Cricket ground in Edgbaston which is shaping up nicely as you can see at their site . In fact I was recently told that there are now around 50 comic shows and festivals in the UK alone which is incredible compared to a few years ago when Accent UK started when literally there were only 2. The influential Bristol International Comics Festival and the much smaller Caption in Oxford - we'd sadly missed the old London based UKCAC shows which had finished a couple of years before we started. Later these shows were joined by the equally important and enjoyable BICS, (Birmingham International comics Show). Of course all things come to an end and both Bristol and BICS are long gone and I've lost track of Caption which itself has had several committee and venue changes.

The Accent UK 2014 table spread - will hopefully be very different in 2015!

This range of shows makes it really tough to decide which ones to do, particularly as we try and do at least one European show as well, although we've now 'dropped' the US from our schedules as the economics are not just there. Sadly costs are a very important factor in our decisions, you of course want an enjoyable time at a show, catching up with friends, making contacts etc but if you're not covering costs then its difficult to justify, and with so many choices, you're perhaps best to try elsewhere.

The Accent UK table in Helsinki September 2014

Our biggest cost is usually accommodation as sometimes we, rightly, make a weekend of it with our families but its sobering to see that for theses prices you could perhaps attend a show in Europe instead! It was with these thoughts that we made a fairly radical change from our 2013 to 2014 show schedules which, as reported, thankfully paid off with record sales and some great experiences, exciting contacts made, new creators and opportunities discovered.

                                     The buzy Accent UK table at Copenhagen 2010 with Tales Of WesterNoir                                             Pedro Lopez, Fanny Bystedt and Man of Glass creator Martin Flink
Thankfully that all made selecting our 2015 show schedule much easier as we intend to return to most of the show attended last year, dates and table availability allowing. You'll see therefore that our provisional tour schedule is now available on the right of this blog including a very welcome return to probably our favourite show on the planet, Copenhagen Comics. This will be our 6th time at this bi-annual festival, where it took time for us to grow and develop and audience - of course totally breaking my above advice on 'covering costs'! - but we now have many friends over there and hopefully have sustained a readership of our books, justifying the expense, plus its so darn fun!

http://www.granitecitycomiccon.co.uk/

As well as the above mentioned Birmingham Comic Festival, the other 'newbie' on our list is Aberdeen's Granite City Comic-Con, which I'm really excited about since this is real close to my North-East of Scotland hometown and where I worked after first leaving school all those years ago! It's even closer than the recent Dundee shows which I've really enjoyed and, sadly with family commitments can't make this year, so to say I'm fair-tricket is an underestimate!

All this means that sadly its unlikely we can attend other shows at the moment, (but never say never!), its going to be another busy year and we need new books to sell! At the last look though, we have six books currently in production for release this year - in addition to the newly released WesterNoir 5 - including this wee one which is gathering steam.....

Another preview panel of Matt Soffe's Zulu Re-Mastered colouring!
Blimey indeed!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Robots & WesterNoir in Maidstone!

Coming up this weekend is Accent UK's first convention appearance of 2015 as Dave and Gary return to sunny Maidstone for this Sunday's Demoncon 9!

Sadly my passport doesn't cover trips that far South but the chaps had a blast last time and are delighted to be returning, giving them a good chance to chinwag on all things WesterNoir with one or two exciting developments bubbling along. The most imminent is of course Issue 5 which is hoped to be launched at the event, print delivery allowing.

This issue, as Dave and Gary teased some time ago, really turns things on their head as we learn more, a lot more about events behind Josiah Black's actions, I'll not say more but look for this cover either at Maidstone or a show near you soon!


For those who were unable to attend Leeds Thought Bubble Festival last year, Demoncon will also be the next place to pick up WesterNoir's spin off 'Tales Of' series and Stephenson's Robot, both of which were successfully launched in Leeds.

And if you need any further incentive, here's a link to a very timely review of Stephenson's Robot from Down The Tubes stalwart, Jeremy Briggs.


Don't worry if you can't get to Maidstone as Accent UK's 2015 tour itinerary is starting to take shape and details will be posted here or at Accent UK's own site very soon.