The first ever comics event I attended was the Bristol Comics Festival in 1999. Jay and I helped out on the Class of 79 and Violent! stall. Every year since then we’ve been behind stalls at Bristol, from the Watershed to the Engine Sheds to the Ramada, until this year. We have launched several titles at Bristol and made many, many friends.
A few weekends ago saw us visiting the Expo as punters for the first time. It didn’t feel as strange as I thought it might and I thoroughly enjoyed the freedom! We arrived Friday night to stay with friend, and Midwinter Comics Retreat Organiser, Debra. Then fellow Caption organisers Damian and Jenni, and Jenni’s partner Richard arrived for an evening of food, wine and chatter. A great start to the weekend.
It was refreshing to be able to amble into the convention after the start time, instead of rushing in early to set-up a table, and take our time wandering around. We made a flying visit to the Ramada to pick up tickets and whizz around the very, very warm dealers rooms. Then it was over to the Mercure for about fours hours of small press perusing. Chatted to lots and lots of small pressers, from old friends to new faces. All the while pimping Mad Science Caption of course!
The only downside of not having a table was missing seeing people who would normally find us, and not being able to sit down! By the end of the day our legs were about ready to fall off. So it was back to Deb’s for Doctor Who and a super curry at a nearby restaurant. We were too tired to journey back in for the inevitable crush at the Ramada bar, so sorry if we missed seeing you there.
Sunday continued in the same vein with a leisurely start and a slower wander around the Ramada and Mecure. We had good intentions about going to panels and talks, but you know what they say about good intentions…
Now we just have a massive pile comics to read and review! Though I also succumbed to a very cute bag sporting a skull motif and some green alien earrings. Some of the familiar faces were missing this year at Bristol so we’re hoping to catch-up with more people at Caption or Birmingham. Really ought to make a start on that pile of comics….