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Well, DTP has finally caught up. For the first time ever I had luscious, full-colour comics to sell (see below). The Goose and the tiny tea comic (new "tagged" edition) are full colour. The latest weekly strip anthology has (in addition to fripperies like the sequins and the gold stitching and the cloud-patterned inside cover) a colour cover and a colour centre spread so achingly lovely I was hard pushed not to just stare at it for an hour.

Alas, this new shininess was not to be my route to fame and riches. Although the tiny tea comic was declared the "coolest thing here!" by everyone (er, right) except maybe the young man who said "why did you do that? why would anyone do that?", most of the people who came by my table were off the other tables, and as desperate to make their return bus fare as I was.

Still, I ended up making enough to cover expenses (read: to pay for the next round of ink for the printer), which is always nice, but I'm a long-time distruster of mall-type comics events, and this did not dissuade me.
wares
wares
Small, brightly coloured, shiny.

It is, of course, always nice to hang and jaw with the things and the people who make up the scene, to drink and look through other people's sketchpads and swap comics (although, weirdly, almost no-one was doing that this year -- maybe some rule I'd missed? the organisation is done in forums for the Thing and I got non-recoverably pissed off with internet forums sometime in 1992) but it's nicer with heating and a bar so we did most of that in the evening at the local Wetherspoons where they won't let you in unless you take off your hat. The gang from Camden Comics Mart joined us, and they'd sold their Tiny Tea Comics too, so I got a bit more money and some overexcited chat about the next big event (which does sound great, actually).

On a personal note, it was good to be there and not ill, injured or recovering, as well. The worst I felt was some mild angst when at some point in the evening someone snapped at me and I was suddenly besieged by a sort of feeling that I should up my game or piss off out of the subculture. That I wasn't trying hard enough or I'd have gotten "somewhere" by now. And you sort of open your mouth to answer that one and then shut it again, because different people want different things and that's part of what makes the scene so varied and interesting. Of course, I do have a point to make, but it's not one that's going to endear me to anyone who's looking to "break into comics". That art's not something to be reserved for just a few privileged creators, but ought to be open to all, that zines and comics, precisely because of their cheapness and accessibility are ideally suited to this, that creativity of some sort should actually be available to all, it should be on the list of rights ... and yeah, I know. Starry eyed DIY enthusiast, scrappy amateur, self-redefining failure -- whatever arguments you've got, I've had them before. With Neil Gaiman. Before you were born.*

Not that wanting to break into comics is wrong, though. Not at all. Well, perhaps that one guy who came up to the stall and told us we'd do much better if everything was about one character and he was easy to draw and instantly recognisable. He was wrong. But then he'd probably just been on a course, and isn't that great? To think I should live to see comics creation taught in colleges, and not just one college, but lots of them.

I confidently expect my jet-pack. Any day now.

*I may be exaggerating.

Comments

( 19 worms — Feed the birds )
marstokyo
25th Mar, 2008 20:56 (UTC)
I'm in awe. Did a printer do the binding and all? Very cool. You were undoubtedly the coolest one there.
(Deleted comment)
cleanskies
26th Mar, 2008 15:32 (UTC)
Curses! Perhaps we should organise some form of swap using that fangly postal service thing?
cleanskies
26th Mar, 2008 15:30 (UTC)
except for the lady with green hair and pin-ups tattooed on her forearms
No, all the stitching is by me. Very limited editions, needless to say :)
marstokyo
26th Mar, 2008 16:38 (UTC)
Re: except for the lady with green hair and pin-ups tattooed on her forearms
Even cooler!
joedecie
25th Mar, 2008 22:46 (UTC)
Hey it was nice to meet you (briefly) and thanks for the swap. I enjoyed the 'What are you here for?' book. I read it on the train home.
cleanskies
26th Mar, 2008 15:34 (UTC)
Nice to meet you too! Do you mind if I scan a bit of your comic for a review? It's very nice!
joedecie
26th Mar, 2008 16:11 (UTC)
sure, no problem, other pictures are here if you want.
jinty
25th Mar, 2008 22:52 (UTC)
whatever arguments you've got, I've had them before. With Neil Gaiman. Before you were born.*

*I may be exaggerating.


Only just. I make it that you could have been having this argument in around 1992-93, so the referent people would be could be, ooh, teenage by now.

(And yes, with Gaiman.)
cleanskies
26th Mar, 2008 15:35 (UTC)
I did end up saying almost that to a small child who was claiming that everyone had nicked the idea he's had about making badges ....
tanukitsune
26th Mar, 2008 15:47 (UTC)
Hi! I met you at the Uk thing! I loved your Goose and tiny tea comic! <3
cleanskies
26th Mar, 2008 18:29 (UTC)
thanks very much!
I'm so glad you liked them!
motodraconis
26th Mar, 2008 22:07 (UTC)
Oooooh! Seduced by colour - I should like to buy some copies when I'm next in Oxford.

Also... this may interest you, a drawing journal.

Check out Longcat - genius!
cleanskies
26th Mar, 2008 22:47 (UTC)
That is made of win and awesome. As soon as I'm on something equipped with more than a trackpad, I'm there
motodraconis
26th Mar, 2008 22:54 (UTC)
Gissa shout when you're on it, I may join you, although I really shouldn't - I've enough bloggy distractions and work to do already.
ex_mardouco
26th Mar, 2008 22:59 (UTC)
Stop it at once! You're my hero, Ms D!
andyluke
27th Mar, 2008 06:17 (UTC)
Also !
andyluke
27th Mar, 2008 06:22 (UTC)
I've no idea who could possess any reliable basis for snapping towards diversion of your agenda in the arts. I cast doubt and aspersion upon that person's grounds for verifiability. Comics were broken into back in the dawn of man, and I'm lucky I find myself in a fortunate position to share that loot.

Edited at 2008-03-27 06:23 (UTC)
concourse
27th Mar, 2008 09:56 (UTC)
Do you have any of the Limited Edition anthologies left? I would love to buy one!
cleanskies
28th Mar, 2008 09:28 (UTC)
absolutely!
I'll set one aside for you.
( 19 worms — Feed the birds )