Web comics have held my interest for a long time. Sometimes tucked away on the web you can find some great comics that are not seen by as many people as they should simply because they are on-line. This in my mind doesn't make them any less worth the attention and is one of the reasons I enjoy going to the The UK Web & Mini Comix Thing which has been an Annual event held at the Queen Mary University in Mile End for the last seven years.
"THE THING 2010" (http://ukwebcomixthing.co.uk/) was finally upon me last Saturday (27Th March) and once again I found myself spending the week beforehand sticking to a strict fitness regime to get in shape for the day ahead. Protein shakes were all I had in the week building up to it so I wasn't only prepared physically but mentally as well for the intense table browsing I would be taking part in.
So I made my way to the event and from experience with attending previous years it was very slow first thing when the door's were open to the mighty public. It was quite apparent that not many people were up for a bit of small press bargain hunting at 10am on a Saturday morning. As the morning went on it did indeed pick up with people doing what I myself had by walking around the hall a few time's checking people's stuff out before buying anything.
A little gripe and feel free to correct me if you are reading this and thinking I am wrong but I have never understood why some creator's at this event have signs declaring 'Free sweets' on their table!?! To me that shows people how desperate you are for them to look at the stuff you have on offer. Can anyone actually say they get more interest because they are giving away free sweets? When I look at buying I look for quality looking stuff and have no interest if you are trying to draw me in with a jellybean. I think a lot of people underestimate how good their comics are and may be frightened that nobody will be interested. Personally I was pleased to see so much variety on offer by people who had clearly been working hard.
Anyway, I had a cool chat with a few people and two vendors in particular who were at their first ever event.
'Walking the Lethe follows Richard Harrison, a sixty-five year old building superintendent, through a series of events that begins when a botched summoning allows the demoness, Astria, to slip into our world for a night'
Its creators Daniel Potter (writer) and Sam Ireland (artist) have put together a really interesting story which I'd recommend you check out on line at http://walkingthelethe.com/.
Daniel was happy to talk to me about it being his first con experience and his plans for Walking the Lethe in the future. Unfortunately Sam Ireland wasn't there to talk to but his artwork is great. Thank you to Daniel for taking the time to talk to me.
Moving on to http://www.lukesurl.com/ which unsurprisingly is a web comic created by a fellow called Luke Surl. Luke has collection of cartoons which he writes and draws himself which are mostly one panel observations which having looked through a lot of them have made me chuckle beyond belief.
Luke was also at his first event and was selling a compilation of comics called 'Thirty-two Thousand Words'. Apparently there are only so many copies printed and once they are gone it will never see the light of day again. I hope Luke reconsiders as it's a charming little comic. He updates his web comic every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so check it out.
I've not got time to mention everyone here that I spoke to but please check out these web comics if you can:
http://www.stevebob.com/ (the story of a Dog, a Mouse and a Pub created by Michael Georgiou)
http://www.mookeo.com/ (cute, silly fun twice a week!)
http://epicfail.xepher.net/ (a humorous fantasy story by Amy Letts)
Overall I had a good day at the Thing but I did wonder why it was so overcrowded with vendors. I'm sure everything was ok but if it could ever be moved to a slightly bigger hall it would be so much better.
For now though I shall leave you and continue with my quest to discover quality web comics. Thank you to everyone who took the time to talk to me and I now have a collection of stuff I am going to work my way through over a cup of Earl Grey and a packet of digestives.
I'm already looking forward to The UK Web & Mini Comix Thing 2011.