Following on from the preview posted two weeks ago, you could clearly see that my anticipation for this event was a little inclined towards dread. This wasn’t for any particular reason, including malice towards the Cardaffians (as I have decided to refer to them).
It was because this would be the first convention I attended on my own (sans Dan). He gets left on a regular basis at cons but when he does he tends to get interviewed or photographed by roaming middle-age women (as occurred at the Super Comic Con the week before in an incident that saw me framed out of a photo of Dan in spite of standing directly beside him behind a table only two feet wide) so I had little concern for him being left to his own devices. The fear came from the fact that 1) I’m effectively the ‘roamer’ of the pair who has never sat behind a table for a whole day without suffering the effects of mild alcohol poisoning, 2) the detailed figures maintained by Dan on a little pad would invariably go awry if he did leave the table for a minute as I’d get ‘sale fury’ and lose the capacity to remember how many books I’d sold if a) there was more than one person b) I sold one or c) nothing happened at all.
So that, and rain, on my mind as I made my way to Cardiff I figured that this was my opportunity to prove to Dan that I can run the table without his sense of organisation and calm. As it happened it didn’t rain and I had a great time. Booked into the ‘exclusive’ 9 bed dorm at Nomads Hostel around the corner, I made my way around to the Balmoral Suite of the hotel in which it is always held (can’t be bothered ti look it up) to discover that I was back to back with a bunch of ne’er do wells I never really got on with who created some backwater title known as Lou Scannon. I think it sold like 3 copies the whole weekend. I bought two and I think I saw one other person at the table at one point, but they might’ve been browsing…*
(*basically won the weekend)
For the uninitiated, Lou Scannon is Red Dwarf, Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, only more colloquial and with significantly more cock and bum gags. I love it. It is my favourite title out right now, purely because of my love of cock and bum gags. If Carry On made Space Operas it’d look something like this. Even down to the Sid James Yuk yuk yuk. Frankly, from our perspective, they must be stopped – but Lou’s creators Bampfield, Carter and Harris sent a few of their (significant) number of customers my way so they’re off the hook – for now.
To my right I had Razarhawk – by Ian Matthews and Dani Abram – which rocks! Abram draws the most exciting (and prettiest) flight paths / missile impacts I’ve ever seen, like watching a doodle with a hollywood budget. Matthews hits my buttons too with the introduction of monkeys (for no reason which is how monkey’s should happen) as well as a surprisingly cheerful script filled with Manga style Apocalypse! I’m back for issue 2 and I recommend others do the same.
Another title I tripped over by knowing people on the table, Stiffs, written by Drew Davies, PJ Montgomery and Joseph Glass, and lettered and coloured by Adam Cadwell is awesome and smells like Image potential if you ask me! Gavin Mitchell, on the art, seems to be channelling Mignola and Charlie Adlard, which punches me in the eye sockets with zombie mittens. This also features a talking monkey.
Messrs Mitchell and Harris did some Moon sketches for us (which we may well make prints to buy at the shop). Mitchell’s looks like it’s on some scrap paper that’s been in his pocket but that’s just photoshop trickery….
Everyone was great. Dani Abram ‘watched’ my table for me while I was away – meaning that she carried on while no one turned up. Grabbed a batch of the Indy Top Trumps (for a lazy Sunday at Bristol?) which I spent half the trip home reading, there’s like 60 of them.
I’ve got to say thanks to the people who bought Moon. Genuine enthusiasm and humour, with pretty much everyone getting the joke. Long are the moments when a non-believer starts to question our awareness of the Gregorian Calendar or stand looking for typos, but there was none of that at Cardiff. Just like my first trip, the attendees were the best thing about it. While there were massive lulls there’s nothing the event can do about that. It attracts a great mix of die-hard, fun-lovers and those there to meet their mates. Both Scannon and Razarhawk teams can attest to the fact that I sold to anyone who made the mistake of slowing down.
We’ll be back next year for sure. Cardiff went down as a big success with Moon now in the hands of plenty more folks outside of London. Moon is of course, the protector of the British Isles, not just the capital city, so this may be the start of us venturing further from the beaten track (Thoughtbubble).