Monday, November 21, 2005

That’s me back safe and sound from the Brighton Expo. First time in Brighton and I rather fancy it won’t be my last. Brighton itself is a fairly cool weird place. Sometimes I felt like I’d just fallen off the planet. And it was really sunny and warm certainly for this time of the year. But where was the sand? The beach I saw consisted of stones. I wonder what Anakin ‘I hate sand’ Skywalker would have made of that.

The Expo itself was okay. I’ve been to a million of these things and am more prone these days to creaking. As per usual I never really got too involved with the show itself. Didn’t attend any panels. Was there for the three pronged reason of network-socialise-work. So how was it for me, then?

Network. One of the more interesting things about noughty Conventions is just how many people attend where comics aren’t their thing per se. They just want to meet happening people and see if there’s any synergy to be had. I met musicians, movie marketing guys, and painters (not of the comics or decorating variety). There were a couple of editors as well. It’s important to know if you’re going to gel with someone. If they’re laughing with you or laughing at you. Or laughing for you for that matter. If all goes well who knows something truly beautiful may flower from your newfound (professional) relationship.

Socialise. Kept bumping into Scotsman again. It’s the old chestnut you travel these hundreds of miles and end up speaking to guys who you never see back in Glasgow but live about a mile away from you. At 1am on Saturday there were say 40 people left in the hotel bar, of which 20 were Scots. At 2am there were 30 people left, of which 30 were Scots. At 2.30am there were 20 people left of which 20… Went to bed at that point.

Work. These weekend soirees aren’t cheap so you kind of look for one or two commissions to justify it financially. I found some of the editors there encouraging others very much less so. The best things I took out of the trip were an invitation to pitch again to Dr Who Magazine, doing a Negative Burn strip for Desperado with Jon Haward, and getting involved in a project for Markosia comics. Also I’m in the queue somewhere (I hope) to do something for Liam Sharp and Mamtor. Everything else looked kind of bleak. I have a triple whammy of stuff in the mix. The new Captain Britain/Spidey/Fury strip for Panini. (Jon H. showed me the first five pages at the Expo. Probably his best work for the company to date.) The Birds of Prey issue coming out in February. And the Star Trek script I have with Tokyopop (yep, you read that one right). So I have this triple whammy. If everything goes to plan I’m hoping it’ll push other things on a bit.

So that was Brighton. No doubt you’ll hear conflicting stories about the Expo itself. As I say it wasn’t a totally crushing experience nor a completely exhilarating one, but somewhere right down the middle. Which is not bad, not bad at all.


Charlie said...

You are up fecking early and u seem almost comprehensible..which u strangley don't seem in real life...neat trick. Anyway good to see ye again at brighton..and if you are wondering why you got this message..its your own fault you gave me the bloodly blog addy.

Charlie Gillespie.

Jim Alexander said...

Up early to take my wee boy to pre-school. But I reassuringly crashed out after lunch for an hour or three.

Yep it was good seeing you again, Charlie. It seemed like a good Sunday night in the making by the time I left.



Christopher Siddall said...

Chris here, kilt, englishish bloke met in the bar, part of the V. Glad to see you got everything you were after in Brighton.

Jim Alexander said...

Good seein' ya Chris. A kilt with pockets. Man, I have seen everything now :-)

Nick Very said...

Hi, Jim
Enjoyed the blog you did the other week featuring Frank Quitely's Robbie album work. I see Grant Morrison was involved too in the album's tarot card concept.And your comments on the Scottish/American situation were spot-on, it's similar with Australia, I mean they used to be crap.

Quitely is my total inspiration for drawing comics, I have a signed Batman poster which he signed for me at an SECC Fest about 7 years or so back, he was promoting the Scottish Connection and he was only meant to sign copies of the purchased book. I was to skint to buy the book at the time so as I said he signed a poster for me and one for a younger relative who was with me.

I met Frank another time at a sci-fi fantasy comics Fayre at the Roxburgh hotel, George street Edinburgh. You may have been there too, cos I got a bunch of megazines signed by several writers and artists. I'll need to check, I think you might have signed one .My brother worked at the Roxburgh as a porter and he told me about it. The place has been totally refurbished with a gym and all. They booted out all the old staff then interviewed new people for when it reopened.

Nick Very

Jim Alexander said...

Hi Nick, welcome on board. Yeh, what can I say about dear ol' Frank aka Vincent. Nicest guy(s) in comics.