Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Year of the Tiger: June 2010

Tiger cub with an incredibly wonky back leg.

Still experimenting with different brushes.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Mad Science Caption - teaser

Teaser for a 2 page strip for Mad Science Caption 2010. Work in progress.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

MCM Expo 2010

After hearing how great it was, and being told that our stuff would fit right in, we decided to give MCM Expo 2010 a try. Normally, we'd go one year as visitors, just to get an idea of what it would be like, but this time I jumped straight in and booked us a table.

Arriving on Friday evening for set up, we discover how big the Excel actually is. The place is huge, compared to previous convention locations (bigger even than the Bristol train shed), and I'm already beginning to feel overwhelmed. Our hotel is conveniently located next to a Docklands Light Rail station, so it's easy for us to get there. The DLR goes up and down and shakes like a rollercoaster, sans loop-the-loops.

Arriving early on Saturday morning, the queue is already long. I have no idea how long they've been waiting. There is no-one at the VIP booth, but we have the entry tickets/badges so we can go straight in. We've brought nearly all our stock with us and we're hoping to shift some of the older titles this weekend.

There are lots of browsers over the day, but not many sales. Certainly, not as many as I'd been over-optimistically expecting. Perhaps this is because we are unknown first-timers and our books aren't strictly anime/manga material.

The Anime and Manga presence at MCM is immense. Most of the merchandise dealers seem to be selling Japanese pop-culture goods of one form or another. MCM is also about the cosplay, more so than any other con I've been to. While the Stormtroopers make an appearance, most of the cosplayers seem to be Naruto/One Piece/Final Fantasy/Schoolgirl/Maids and many of them carry "Free Hugs" signs. I keep my eyes and camera ready for some of the less common costumes. However, having to watch a table for most of the day, I'm limited to those who pass by or are within chasing distance.

On Sunday, we decide to brave the trains back instead of staying over until Monday, which means we have to pack up before official closing time. The bekilted Gary Erskine generously distributes doughnuts in the morning. The Sunday sales we'd been hoping for don't emerge. Things are as slow as Saturday. I'd heard there would be Furries present, so I've brought a heap of Furrloughs in which I've had strips printed - but only a few get sold! It seems the UK Furries aren't into print comics any more.

In the end, we made our table costs back, but it wasn't the sales success we'd been hoping for. It was all so overwhelming as well! I couldn't get it together enough to have a proper look around and forgot to get sketches and buy stuff. Or perhaps I was experiencing convention burn-out, with SPExpo only the week before?

It was an interesting experience, but sales weren't so good. I'd have to think hard about going again - certainly I don't think we'd be back for the October Expo! Now, back to the drawing board, to prepare for the end-of-year conventions...

Thanks and acknowledgements to Emma Viecelli, Al Davison, Gary Northfield, Karen Rubins, Willie Hewes, Gary Erskine and everyone who bought something or stopped for a photograph.

Pics or it didn't happen:

MCM Expo 2010