Friday, 26 August 2016
Getting all excited about Accent UK making our first appearance at Europe's largest Steampunk Festival, Asylum in Lincoln this bank holiday weekend!
We are under personal invitation of the good Major and shall be establishing our travelling emporium in the 'pop up' Steam Embassy in the Cathedral Centre, along with other notable artists, scribes including that eminent gentleman, Steve Tanner of Timebomb comics.
Hopefully be a good one and a step into the unknown for us, rumour has it that Mr West has even bought a hat for the occasion!
Thursday, 4 August 2016
Aha, this is nice, Moments of Adventure has just had its first review from Starburst magazine's Kieron Moore who I met at last weekend's Manchester show - see it's not always about the sales!
|The first review's in! (from Phobias)|
I'm grateful to Kieron for showing interest in my work and for taking the time to write a thoughtful review. He says some nice things " rattles along at quick pace" and also some constructive things "twists you'll probably see coming" and awards it a respectable 7 out of 10 which I'm happy with as my first foray into creating comics for a wee while.
|The critics have their say! (from 'Come and Buy My Toys')|
I'm not sure I've actually said a great deal on here now that Moments is finally out, mainly as I've found myself incredibly busy with working on its sequel, Zulu and of course all things Accent UK , but I'm pleased with how it turned out - thanks to the exceptional colouring talents of Matt Soffe and Aljoša Tomić - and very pleased with the reception its had at shows so far where it is developing into a steady seller!
|No hiding places! (from Day of the Dead Moon)|
I should do a bigger write up but Kieron's review includes a good overview of its contents and anyone keen to read it for themselves can catch up with me at a show soon - see our events list to the right, or order online through Accent UK's catalogue here.
|It's okay it was a decent review! (from Ye Erymanthian Boar)|
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
Well that was fun, Accent UK were exhibiting at last weekend's Manchester MCM, our 'hometown gig' and it was, as always fun. However unlike previous year's it wasn't a record breaker in terms of sales for us. In some ways, our recent success couldn't continue but it is always interesting to try and understand why sometimes you haven't done so well as before.
|The Judges wondering where their order of doughnouts are|
In this case we couldn't fault the crowds, tickets had largely sold out in what promised to be another record attendance at this enjoyable show and we got plenty of browsers through our central Comic Village spot, although noticeably more and more said they were 'doing the rounds' browsing before buying and while some returned to buy, many did not, but whether this was due to them finding something else more to their tastes or simply limited budgets is hard to say.
We also had 5 new titles since last year's show so there was plenty new on offer although disappointingly our launch of the new WesterNoir trade was unexpectantly postponed due to technical difficulties with the book, meaning that we quickly sold out of the few remaining #1's of the title which effectively killed off it's sales for the rest of the weekend.
|Team West resting - wait a minute are those doughnuts they're scoffing!|
That said we still did pretty well and with it being the 'hometown gig' we had no additional accommodation costs to cover meaning it was still a good 'un overall and I was personally pleased that once again my own Moments of Adventure comic sold steadily over the weekend.
We of course enjoyed catching up with regular faces on the comics convention circuit and renewed our recent Belfast acquaintances with Jenika Ioffreda and Gary Erskine, this time joined by smiling Steve Tanner (who reported that his Flintlock book had sold like proverbial hot cakes, proving that not everyone was having an 'ordinary' show saleswise) and Lorenzo Nicoletta, talented artist on Steve's afore mentioned Flintlock book who'd flown in specially from Italy!
|Storage Hunter's Jesse & Sean interviewed|
And, proving yet again that you should never judge a shows performance purely on sales we not only met several folk from comics' fandom who may feature our books in forthcoming reviews etc but we were presented with three highly interesting opportunities which, if they proceed, will certainly raise Accent UK's profile by taking our books into new areas!
|Favourite cos-player of the show...|
|....Aidan, whose Mum had made this super Jurassic Park adaption!|
As is the way of such things, we can't really say anything about two of them at the moment, however the third is something that has been brewing away in the background since last October's London MCM show and that is that we have been invited to attend Asylum, Europe's largest steampunk festival in Lincoln late August bank holiday weekend!
This really follows, regular MCM attraction, the Victor Steampunk Society's (VSS) interest in our comics, most notably WesterNoir and Stephenson's Robot at previous MCM shows and thinking they may be suitable for their authors exhibition area to be set up in the Steampunk Embassy in Lincoln's Cathedral Centre.
|Colin and the VSS's Alan at London MCM last year!|
At Manchester, the VSS's good Major confirmed that all our papers were in order and that we would be receiving our deployment orders soon, so all exciting stuff, of course this does mean that we will have to dress up and Dave has that troublesome big head to find a hat for!
Thursday, 21 July 2016
Here's a pleasant surprise, although I'm not a big fan of Doctor Who, I've just finished reading a recent Father's Day gift (thanks Scott!) of the Tenth Doctor's graphic novel and really enjoyed it!
The collection from Titan Comics contains the 4-part Weeping Angels of Mons and the shorter Echo story, both written by Robbie Morrison and illustrated by Daniel Indro and Eleonora Carlini respectively.
The 'Mons' story cleverly ties in the good doctor's adventures with World War One in both respectful and entertaining fashion as The Weeping Angels, (of the TV episode 'Blink' I think?), descend on the war torn French town of St Michel where the defending German soldiers have strangely disappeared.
The story moves along at a fair clip and suites the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant's personality of the TV series, being equal measure frantic, playful, beligerent and arrogant. The supporting cast, paticularly the Scottish soldiers are surprisingly well rounded given their limited space and, minor character identification confusion aside, you find yourself emotionally invested in them.
That this story comes from well respected comic scribe, Robbie Morrison should be no surprise given his back catalogue (of which White Death is a classic war story) and the art from, unfamilar to me, Daniel Indro perfectly captures the characters and the action.
The short Echo story suffers in comparison with the main 'Mons' event but is a fine, fun disposable tale with servicable art and shouldn't detract from a quality collection.
Sunday, 17 July 2016
Just finished reading Rob Jackson's latest delightful comic, 'Ragnar The Cheesemonger'!
I've known and been a fan of Rob's work for many years now with his French revolution set 'Cafe Le Guillotine' (from 2006?) being the first to attract my attention and I've been a fan of his storytelling ever since. He's amazingly prolific, usually producing 2 or 3 titles a year and always has a project or two on the go, putting most of us indie creators to shame.
Ragnar is his new one, set in Viking times and at 52 b&w pages is quite the epic, but Rob being true to form concentrates his tale on an ordinary fellow, a cheesemonger, who through no real fault of his own finds himself trapped in a potentially deadly situation.
|The Fighting ground where Ragnar may meet his destiny|
Told in Rob's easy engaging style, Ragnar doesn't disappoint with its moments of tension, humour and absurdity which makes for an entertaining read. If you've not sampled his work before this makes a great starting point and can be purchased for only £6 including UK postage from his shop here -while there, why not take an inexpensive gamble on any of his other titles for a refreshingly honest and rewarding approach to comic making!
For updates on Rob's comic activities, also see his blog or follow the link from my site, enjoy!
Saturday, 14 May 2016
After an amazing Aberdeen trip and launch of my comic Moments of Adventure at Granite City Comic-Con (of which more later) and a fun appearance at Geek Box Comics in Newcastle-under- Lyme for Free Comic Book Day (Thanks Dave & Nic!), this week I took delivery of the balance of stock from those fine chaps at UK Comics Creative!
Nothing beats the ink smell of freshly printed comics and - smell apart - I think I was able to hide them away before Mrs M returned, phew!
|Mrs M overcome by that new comics smell!|
Full details of the comic will follow along but can now be ordered online from the Accent UK website here and will of course be available at all forthcoming comic shows that Accent UK are attending with London's behemoth MCM show being next at the end of this month, where #3 of Stephenson's Robot will also be making it's debut!
Thursday, 28 April 2016
|Printer's cover proof !|
Aha, well finally I can confirm why I've been fairly quiet despite some amazing events and times these last few weeks (months? years?), the release of my new comic strip collection is here!
Suitably, the unveiling will be in my hometown (well close enough anyway!) Aberdeen at the Granite City Comic-Con show, which makes a hotly anticipated return this weekend - and kindly includes me, (wearing my Accent UK hat) on a 'Breaking into Comics' panel on it's launch event!
|Not sure that Team GCCC got my image right on this one?|
The comic is a new collection of four of my strips (and more) all newly re-mastered and in full glorious colour from the talented duo Matt Soffe, who coloured three of the strips and Aljoša Tomić, who does one strip and the cover, all amazing.
I will post more about contents and previews but need to be heading North to sunny Scotland for it's launch, so after recent fab events in Liverpool, Edinburgh and Birmingham - of more see Dave's always timely reports here - I'll finally be attending an event again with my own new comic, which I am soooo excited about!
|A wee snippet of one of the panels!|
It's been a long journey and will lead to more as I also work to finally complete the collected Zulu graphic novel (again with Matt) and onto something totally new that only a few folk know about!
So many folks have helped and encouraged to make this happen, too many to name all here but you know who you are, so big thanks for now and see you in Aberdeen and beyond!