For committee members Caption really starts many months before the event, but that’s a whole other blog post, so I’ll stick what happened over the weekend.
Friday started at 6.30am for us as Jay still had to go to work in the morning, while I did the 1.5 hour round trip to drop our dog Loki off at my parents (he got to spend the weekend on a canal boat). Back in Leicester I picked up Jay and then the Caption Souvenir Programmes, which came out at a whopping 68 pages. Lots of great contributions, including from people who couldn’t attend the event, all wrapped up in a colour cover by Caroline Parkinson.
After last minute packing, gathering up of comics and auction artwork we headed off to Oxford, with a brief pause on the M40 in a traffic jam. We rolled up to The Athena guesthouse around 6.30pm gasping for a cuppa. One curry later (which was accompanied by a really bizarre dead dog story from a nearby table… which will no doubt appear as a comic strip in due course) we made it to the Angel & Greyhound pub for the pre-Caption meet. Programmes were ooohd and ahhd over, and a copy of Gav Burrows latest zine thrust into our hands. Badge assembly had just finished when we arrived so all the committee in attendance needed to do was agree a time to meet the next morning.
Drinks were drunk and good conversation was had with Gav, Damien, Alex, Jo, Amy, Sophie, PJ, The Mighty Tharg & Matt Badham. Then it was time to collapse, after driving PJ back to Milkas guesthouse (this turned out to be the first of many trips I would make to Milkas over the weekend).
Too much curry and too much noise from the local Scream pub meant little sleep, but we managed to drag ourselves down for a cooked breakfast on saturday morning. Well fortified I dropped Jay and many boxes off at the venue and then I headed off to Milkas to pick up PJ and Al Davison.
Caption attendees once again proved they are the best con goers in the Universe, as when we arrived at the venue several of them had already set-up tables and chairs and generally got things started. Thanks to all those that helped with the set-up and throughout the rest of the weekend.
After five years of forgetting to do anything about signage until the day we finally got proper banners made this year, though there was much clambering and possibly some swearing getting them put up.
Things then started to whiz by as I sat on the registration desk welcoming people in. Many Caption regulars but also some new faces. Numbers were a little down this year, we assume due to the economic climate and us having to move the event forward a few weeks.
I did the reg desk most of the day, so I didn’t make it to any of the panels on the Saturday, but all the feedback was good. I know several people said the webcomics panel could have been twice as long.
Sitting in the main hall gave me a chance to chat to other people. I found out that Siobhan Hillman, as well as doing a superb job of running the Caption table for us, is also a jewellery maker and I hope to see some of her creations at forthcoming events. Siobhan, Will Morgan, Al Davison and I all reminisced about our introductions to comics (mine being by far the most recent).
The Dino-Saw-Us sticker gang had people around their table busy drawing and swapping stickers all weekend. A great success I think, though I am wondering if Arthur Goodman did anything other than draw tiger stickers judging by the amount he produced. I had seen Lizz, Tim and Phillipa at other events but never had a chance to meet them and have become an immediate fan of their respective webcomics. I don’t know how Phillipa has the patience to create Cardboard Like, though her scissor skills were in evidence over the weekend.
Jeremy’s workshops seemed to go well, as she bellowed various requests for artists to draw provocative meterologists and a rainof slugs. The results can be seen in various photos.
The auction went as well as can be expected, bearing in mind how broke people felt, and I bagged another Lee Kennedy sketchbook to add to my collection.
I then did several more taxi runs to Milkas, and had several confusing conversations with the owner’s Mother until we agreed on payment methods for the guests (and then she was lovely).
Quite a big crowd had departed to find food, and I went in search of them on my return. I found Jay & Melinda Gebbie, and a bit of a stroll and a text message later we joined the gang for curry (again). The food was nice when it arrived but it didn’t half take it’s time. We chatted to Melinda about the different vibes of various towns and communities.
We all made it back slightly late for Tony Hitchman’s very amusing Mad Science quiz… what do you need to be a mad scientist? a white lab coat, mad hair or no hair, and a propensity to do/invent really strange things, like luring creatures into pits by dipping yourself in sugar!