Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Demoncon 2 Convention Report

The first I ever heard of Demoncon was actually when I was invited to attend as a guest. Probably the only down-side to moving out of London has been the fact that most comics conventions aren't quite as easy or inexpensive to get to as they used to be. Maidstone-based Demoncon, by contrast, is pretty much a stone's throw away from us now so it had an immediate appeal.

Casting around for opinions from people I knew who'd attended in the past, I was struck by how universally positive everyone's experiences had been - and now that I've seen it for myself, I can only agree. Demoncon 2 was organised by Maidstone's Grinning Demon comic shop and featured a broad array of guests, from Tony Lee to Garen Ewing. We were given a really good spot to set up, near the front between the wonderful Sweatdrop Studios (represented by Morag Lewis and Sonia Leong) and the astonishingly talented Jack Lawrence. Result! Deeper in the room, David Wynne and Ian Sharman from Orang Utan Comics appeared to be swamped with interested parties for most of the day.

The event was busy right from the outset, and we quickly found our preparations to have been laughably inadequate to the needs of the day. We sold our entire stock of Cancertowns inside two hours, and had literally nothing left to sell by 3pm! "Shocked" doesn't begin to describe it, and the level of interest generated by the preview copy of the soon-to-be-released The Indifference Engine we took with us was beyond awesome.

More than anything, it was the attitudes of the comics enthusiasts there that struck me. There was just so much active interest in not just the books we had on sale, but the stories of how they came to be. Particular high spots were conversations with John Burdis (organiser of the famous "Hell Trek" to the Hi-Ex convention in Scotland and the man behind the Cellar of Dredd website) and Tom Coxon from L.A.R.P. Aid, who was collecting sketches for a charity event. Both of those sites are well worth a visit, and sneaking a preview of the Judge Minty fan film from John was worth the trip on its own.

So, thanks to all at Grinning Demon for the invitation, support and enthusiasm. My faith in one-day events is now officially restored and I've got a very welcome new convention to add to my calendar, if they'll have me again.

Special thanks also go out to Cancertown 2 colourist, Peter Mason for helping to run the table all day - and to Nic Wilkinson, without all whom all is folly and darkness.

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