Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Demoncon 6 Report

Even with our current, pared down convention calendar, Nic and I always make time for Demoncon. Each event seems to be bigger and more ambitious than the last, and we always have a great time there. Demoncon 6, held this time around in the Royal Star Arcade in Maidstone, was no exception.

For those who don't know, Demoncon is a one-day event held twice a year by the Grinning Demon comic shop, and attracts an ever-increasing and impressively diverse crowd in terms of both visitors and exhibitors. Dan Abnett, Mark Laming and Dan Boultwood are among its regular guests, and every time I've attended I've come away with fascinating new creators and projects on my various radars.

This time around, my top new discovery was Mike Garley and Martin Simmonds' Eponymous, which they were kind enough to unexpectedly present me with toward the end of the day. Part cloak-and-dagger sci-fi, part vigilante action story, it's flat-out gorgeous to look at and features a lean, confident writing style that maintains the all-important information density without compromising your investment in the characters. To put it mildly, I'm impressed.

Ian Sharman of Markosia and Orang Utan Comics was showing off the gorgeous new hardback edition of Alpha Gods: Emergence. I've always been impressed with the production values of Stuart Gould's UK Comics, but this hardback knocked the wind right out of me when I saw it - and the fact that it's cheaper than many paperbacks of similar length makes it insanely good value.

Our stand was set up opposite the Panda Island Designs table, and Nic was instantly drawn to both their vast range of cakes and their comic-collage merchandise. Hands-down, they had the most visually striking table of the convention, and seemed to be getting a lot of interest throughout the day. I have no doubt they'll be scoring a ton of our money in the near future.

Special mention has to go to the local cosplaying community, who really went balls-out on this one. The 501st sent Troopers in Storm, Scout and Sand varieties, along with a Vader and Royal Guard. My personal favourite was Jodo Kast, who congratulated me on being the first person to correctly distinguish him from Boba Fett (thus proving my assertion that most so-called Star Wars fans are faker noobs). Other than the Star Wars crew, I have to mention the Weeping Angel, who deservingly won the cosplay competition with stunning attention to detail and a full-on commitment.

Demoncon 6 was also a good opportunity to catch up with the likes of Peter Mason, David Wynne and Yel Zamor. Yel shares my murderous distaste for superstition and pseudoscience, and so was as delighted as I was to find our tables parked directly outside a homeopathic "remedy" shop. I'm going to forego any further comment on that topic for now, but catch me in person some time and I'll gladly rant you to oblivion on the subject.

Anyway, that was my Demoncon 6 experience. I caught up with existing friends, made a couple of new ones and got caught severely off-guard by glorious new projects from both camps. There was a lot of interest in the Blood Cries Out preview we had on the table and, somewhere along the way, we sold a lot of books, which is always a nice bonus. If you're semi-local and haven't checked out a Demoncon event yet, they're highly recommended as either a visitor or exhibitor. We're already looking forward to the next one.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Badmouth Rising

Well, the official Demoncon 6 poster is out, and the eagle-eyed reader may spot a gatecrashing Cancertown resident lurking in the background.

If you recognise the art style above, award yourselves four points for identifying the distinctive linework of Wrath of God and Moon artist, Steve Penfold. Steve's currently working on the first full-length Unseen Shadows graphic novel, Blood Cries Out, with a script from me and colours by the stratospherically awesome Gat Melvyn. If you make it to Demoncon, swing by my table for a preview of the first chapter of that.


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Colouring of Killers

Time for some Company of Killers colours, courtesy of newly captured colourist, Darren Brown. I was introduced to Darren by the book's co-creator, Peter Mason, and if you've seen Pete's colouring work on Cancertown 2 then you can gauge the scale of the endorsement implied when he personally recommends someone to colour his art.

The Company of Killers is going to require two separate, entirely different colouring styles. I don't want to go into the specifics about that just yet, but I will say that I was pretty sceptical about the chances of finding a single colourist who'd be comfortable working that way.

Darren's spectacular run at the test pages seen here blew those doubts away at first glance, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how he and Pete navigate the largest, and arguably most artistically demanding, story I've ever written.

More on this book as and when I can talk about it.
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