I released on Monday 16th April 2018 part one of my experiences in the set up and the first two panels of Edinburgh Comic Con. I am now going to continue my review and hope it is as interesting to read for all.
After the Dominic Keating panel, I was able to dash off for some lunch and refreshment and I can honestly say that the noodles in the EICC were delicious! After inhaling the noodles, I started to make my way through the main hall and I lost count of how many people I know either as artists, writers or stall-holders I ended up chatting with. Ranging from the one man bands where one individual is all things to all men (yes John Farman, I mean you!) to those that work on esoteric comics (Mindstain Comics take a bow), I am fortunate to know a lot of talented people. And I could have spent most of the day just going round and chatting to those that I know and those that have projects that really interest me (a shout out to the crew of Boat) and those I just plain all out love (Lynsey, Jim, Eli, Janine et al) but my next role was to be the expeditor in helping Gary Erskine with the workshop where he was freely giving of his knowledge in what makes a great comic character.
If you have met Gary, you will know he is one of the good guys in life and he went out of his way to help every person in that workshop feel special. After all, it is not every day that you will attend a workshop or lecture where the person giving the talk is a multi-talented artist whose work has been commissioned by most of the major publishers in the UK and the USA. I think the only one Gary is missing for a full house is D C Thomson!
Gary gave us all hints on what makes a great character from the name, the shape, silhouette, the logo, the colours and patterns used in their outfit and their prop if any was used. Once he had given us the information, he gave the attendees free rein to design their own character. And there were some great ideas coming from the young and not so young. So if we ever see UniBunny making an appearance in the future, I know that I saw them first.
Once the workshop was finished, Gary returned to his stall to make pennies and I helped to tidy up the pens and pencils. It was genuinely rewarding to see some of the workshop attendees continuing to work on their character and in some cases watching them mull over their ideas until they got that lightbulb moment and their face would light up.
Once the pens and pencils had been put away, I took them back to Gary and ended up gravitating towards Ian Kennedy’s table. How that happened, I will never know, but I did spend quite some time chatting with Ian about various things. It is the one place where I was luckier than Ian in that I served in the Royal Air Force whereas for Ian, it has always been an unrequited desire. However, Ian did make up for that with teasing me with his print of XV582 Black Mike as he knows I have a weakness for the mighty Phantom.
We eventually closed down for day one of the con and as we had received numerous invitations to join many of the exhibitors for a libation or three at the Haymarket, we thought it would be churlish to refuse, so off we wandered to join our heroes and wow, what an experience that was. I answered two calls where I had to answer “Sorry bud but I am chatting with Ian Kennedy. Call you back?” I could hear the gnashing of teeth long after I had hung up.
The conversations ranged far and wide as some recounted their experiences with different publishers, how they had got into comics, others recounted the fun and games they had with publishers in getting paid for work and I ended up with the greatest compliment ever from John McShane. But that’s another story.
While in the pub, we ended up chatting about Valentines, a former publisher in Dundee, who were most famous for printing picture postcards and greeting cards, but there are tantalising hints that they dabbled in comics in the 1940s. It was a perfect way to round off a great day.
So this take us to the end of the first full con day for ECC 2018. Sorry that this article is light on pictures, but sometimes the best memories are the ones that are burned into your mind and not onto your camera. In the next few days, I will begin to work on part three.