Sunday, May 13, 2007

SUDDENLY...! The other big event today: Comics Expo in the heart of Bristol. Well, maybe not quite the heart, down by Bristol Temple Meads. Perhaps more like the liver.

Got there early enough for freebies, and hooray, they certainly justify both the price of entry and getting out of bed at 7.30am on a Saturday. The freebie bag included a big wad of recyclable junk, two honest-to-goodness full graphic novels, two free comics, two plastic figurines and a whole bunch of other stuff too. One of the plastic figurines is Hellboy; I don't recognise Really Big Hair Flying Spear-Throwing Goat Man, but in the absence of any other evidence perhaps I should assume he's one of Hellboy's adversaries.

The two free comics are, naturally, one DC and one Marvel. The DC one reheats the origins of the Justice League of America, while the Marvel one is a prequel to the forthcoming Transformers film. So DC are falling back on their old laurels, while Marvel are confidently looking forward to the next big thing. (The psychology of free comics there, ladies and gentlemen.) As a DC Vertigo man, I don't know what (if anything) I should make of this.

Having earlier saved some money on pre-booked tickets to London for a stag do next month, I felt justified in indulging in a spot of Comic Book Mayhem in the dealers' room. Saw the mighty Brian Talbot selling and signing his new work, Alice in Sunderland, a book I'd forgotten about. An almost obligatory purchase, really. It's a chunky doorstop of a book, and the clue's in the title - it's a look at the fantastic side of Sunderland. Not that I'm suggesting regular, everyday Sunderland isn't fantastic, but... oh... thsssspp. Also bought three TPBs at discount prices:

Jack of Fables, vol 1. The Fables spin-off.

Albion. Does for old Beano, Whizzer & Chips, Beezer etc characters what 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' did for the protagonists of Victorian fiction. I'd looked at this, thought twice about it, but thought again when I saw it with a couple of quid knocked off.

Battle Pope, vol 1. Oh yes. Pure impulse buy. It'd just be wrong of me to walk past a comic called Battle Pope. Pittard, if you're reading this, you need to see this beauty. Image have already published at least three volumes of this; vol 3 has the best blurb: "Everyone knows there's only one thing Battle Pope enjoys more than beating up ornery demons, and that's making sweet love to the ladies". Thought I'd better take it from vol 1, though. I did toy with going back into the dealers' room to buy vols 2 and 3 as well, but by an extreme effort of will I went to the pub instead. Strength of character, folks, that's what I'm talking about.

Nice to see: Paul Cornell, who also sat on a panel that Sarah and I went to see, and who kindly invited us to join his posse for lunch; Mags Halliday and her beau Mark, plus several of their friends; Christina and Doug.
Sad to miss: One of the higher-up members of my department at AXA, who I believe was planning to pop down first thing and trawl for old issues of Starlord before heading off to attend to other things. If he went, he must have gone early.
Weird highlight of the day: When someone at the pub recognised the badge I was wearing - a small red card sign saying "I have an incorrect width", cannibalised from a shelf at the supermarket - because they'd done exactly the same thing. It's found art, that's my excuse.


Mark Clapham said...

Good to see you yesterday John. Flying goatman is from the animated Hellboy, I believe - I got one with the DVD a while back.

Dammit, if I'd known there would be goodie bags I would have gotten up earlier in the morning.

Or at least tried.


John Toon said...

Thank you, and likewise.

I might've known Flying Goatman and his Unfeasibly Large Follicles hailed from the animated Hellboy - the comic books (at least, the ones I've read) don't generally stray outside the realms of mythology, and I'm sure I would've remembered hearing about the legend of the hovering goat with 80s hair.

Y'know, I could pass on some of the contents of the goodie bag the next time we expect to meet, if you like. I'm pretty sure The Red Seas: Under the Banner of King Death won't be a keeper. Or does offering second-hand freebies just make things worse?

Christopher Pittard said...

Damn you Toon, your name dropping has forced me to break e-cover. *Battle Pope* does indeed sound like my bag... but have they done *The Notorious H.O.L.M.E.S* yet?

Skeeter said...

If anyone wants a flying goat man and isn't satisfied with John's then I won't bin mine just yet. Ditto with The Red Seas.

Funny day, great to see people

By the way, my eye makeup was not meant to look like I had done it in the dark - darn having no mirror with me. Got home and realised I looked like a panda who hadn't slept for at least a week. Sigh!


John Toon said...

No P, they haven't done The Notorious HOLMES yet ("And by 'they', I mean 'I'...") - sketching time has been sparse of late.

Skeeter - are you casting aspersions on the adequacy of my Flying Goatman?! (And have we just created a new euphemism?)

John Toon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
skeeter said...

Well they could want two - and the allusions cast and euphemisms created by that phrase alone makes me want to go and cower in a corner for a while...

Mark Clapham said...

Actually, checking the back of the DVD box (I still haven't watched the damn thing), flying goatman is actually lightning, as in the Japanese gods of Thunder and Lightning. So there you go.

I quite like The Red Seas, at least the more recent ones with Sir Issac Newton as a supporting character.


Ian Abrahams said...

Hi John,

Good to meet you at Bristol Expo a few weeks back c/o Mr. Cornell and good fun on the group chat in the bar on the Saturday lunchtime!