June 2010

Paris When It Sizzles... Or Drizzles

For a full week earlier this month I was helping out some clever students - one of their pieces seen below - in the study of sequential art at an excellent art school in Switzerland very soon after my trips to Canada and Erlangen, so I'm regrettably late in updating here again! At least I've avoided the gap of a full month between posts this time...
Though I'm not working on a project involving pencils and paper right now, it's amazing to me how the peripheral activities to my work - in the form of promoting it, or in charitable pursuits connected with it - take up as much time as I might have spent on some of the tightest, longest deadline jobs of my career. We all know how dealing with emails and researching on the internet can eat up the hours, and I've learnt to accept the burden of it, but weren't computers supposed to be designed to save us time? For instance, the seemingly unending, and unneccessarily complicated, job of trying to spread the word of the existence of Cartoon Classroom to those who should hear of it, takes up days and weeks in front of the computer - and no-one I've spoken to in all the appropriate areas to enquire from seems able to supply me with the information to cut that time down very much. At least I can comfort myself with the fact that it would take much longer without a computer. Though that's little comfort in reality when I'm looking at a monitor for so long each day... : (
Next signing for me is in Paris next week and weekend, when it will be sizzling, as it is here in England at the moment, or drizzling - the conditions I tend to take with me whenever I visit there, as some of my Parisian friends could tell you... The event is the Paris Comicon at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre. Detail at http://festival.comic-con-france.com/index.php. I'm there from the 1st July to the 4th July and I'll be signing from 3.15-4.15 and from 5-6.30 on Thursday, from 10.30am-12.00 and 6-7 on Friday, 10.30am-12.45 and 2-4 and 4.45-6.30 on Saturday, and on Sunday from 2-4 then 4.30-6pm. I'll also be taking part in panels and be interviewed, as well. More detail at the website...
If you're in Paris come and say hi. As you can see from the schedule, there are plenty of opportunities for you to do that : )

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Enter Harry The Hotel Door

Let me introduce you to Harry The Hotel Door, taken with a ghost camera at - not the Overlook hotel - but the Empire Landmark Hotel in Vancouver. This spooky distant cousin to Thomas The Tank Engine - which, incidentally, I vaguely drew in a lunchtime break for the young son of the owner of Red Skull in Calgary - is, of course, not a manifestation of the spirit world, or my next foray into the world of creativity, but merely an amusing trick of the light. His face is merely that of the hotel notice and fire instruction. But a comforting presence nevertheless. A stout fellow to depend on in an emergency...
Had an excellent time in Bristol, and then Canada afterwards, marred by an absence once more of Kickbacks to sell to people, due to - in Bristol - Diamond only having 8 copies in the ENTIRE COUNTRY, and - in Calgary - Red Skull not being able to get ANY from Diamond, and - in Vancouver - the Con not being able to get ANY from Diamond. The store I signed at in Victoria - Legends - managed to get lots of them and they were all sold ahead of the signing with more ordered. Yes, yes, I know - Diamond has to order stocks of books that are regularly ordered by the comic stores because there's no sense in having books in stock that the stores are not regularly ordering, and this makes me just as equally direct my dissatisfaction at all the stores throughout the UK and Canada and the US for not realising the value of keeping copies of Kickback always in their stores, putting them next to Vendetta, which is what everyone knows me from and appreciates me from, and then taking the money from the customer who will more than likely recognise it's worth and buy it - meaning they benefit, I benefit, and the customer benefits by getting a very good book to read. It's a win/win situation. But I guess I'll be still be saying this til the earth freezes over because hundreds of stores just do not see the value of that book, and/or don't see it as a graphic novel they should always have in stock as a key example of it's kind. It's that or they're still are unaware of it's existence, as many non-comic store owners are : (
Lastly, on a brighter note, the next stop on my current signing itinerary is the major festival in Erlangen in Germany - the biggest in the country - running from this Thursday, June 3rd to next Sunday, June 6th. I'll be doing my usual stuff there, and, like I always say, if you live in the area or are coming to the show, please come and say hi! I'll have lots of German-edition Kickbacks there, I'm pleased to say. For details go to www.comic-salon.de. Over 300 artists there, including my great colleagues, Howard Chaykin, Mark Buckingham, Milo Manara, Thomas Ott, Matthias Schultheiss, and many others besides.
And that's it for now : )

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