Tag Archives: Cardiff

Cardiff Comic Con – Nov 2014

Spent way too much at Cardiff Comic Con today, but that’s what comes of (a) liking comics, (b) liking books, and (c) having a fan-girl daughter.

Walked through the main floor, only lost the family twice in the melee, and was rather disappointed not to find the Lou Scannon comic stand.  I’ve got all issues so far, and was hoping to get the next. But the stand was not to be found.  Photo-loving fan-girl was busy clicking plenty of the Cos-play costumes and some of the attendees had really gone to town on their appearance, well done to all of them.  A little disappointed, we went out for lunch, at which point fan-girl daughter, mentioned that all the games and comic stands had been up to the first floor, something that I hadn’t know.

Refreshed after launch we trudged back to the CIA and eventually found the stairs up, and there was a whole plethora of various original comic book sales, artists and authors.  And bang in the middle, Lou Scannon.

Well, Lou Scannon’s usual three suspects anyway, Dan Harris (co-writer and pencils), Kris Carter (co-writer, colourist and letterer) and Jim Bampfield (co-writer, back-up strip artist and assistant shader).

The good thing about the separate area were that it was quieter and less packed that the more ‘merch’ oriented ground floor, which meant that there was actually time, room and volume control to talk to the guys.

To Hull And Back, issue 7 isn’t ready yet so no copies to buy, slap on the wrist for that, though proofs were in and the two cover designs do look great. The GTA version is cleaner, but the other is up to the usual high standards.  I could order No 7 from the web site (which would make a change from Boots – but that’s a reference for Crysta and the girls).  Thing is, I have brought every other copy at various shows over the years and they are all cover signed by the guys, I can’t break that loop now and will simply have to wait till the next conf, though unfortunately I can’t make Wrexham at the end of the month.

Had an interesting chat with Dan, who had given up the day job of drawing indelibly on human skin (he was a tatoo artist before anyone gets any creep ideas), to become a full time illustrator.  I was rather surprised and pleased to discover we both like Micheal Turner’s work, that’s Witchblade, Fathom and Soulfire to name but three.  He also mentioned that they might be starting off a KickStarter project, can’t give any details away, so I asked if they had a mailing list to announce when it was happening and almost saw that classic comic moment when the light bulb went on over Dan’s head saying, ‘we should have a mailing list to let people know what’s happening!’

After a bit more wandering, I stopped at Victor Wright’s stall to have a look at his novels, and be mocked by fan-girl daughter for not being able to read the small print without my glasses on.  Okay I know, age doesn’t come alone.

Anyway, brought the first two of his “Light of Darkness” series.  Impressed by the quality of the finished article, I also had a chat and some interesting pointers for self-publishing my own work – really must get my butt in gear and get on with that.

My eye was then caught by “Bearlands” a collection of comics based in the post apocalyptic world of undead teddy bears. The real ‘live’ teddy’s Jeremy Biggs had on display were just so cute!

Lastly, which was actually the first purchase, I also picked up “Soft Target”, a Sarah Stone Adventure, by Ian Rob Wright.

So, four books and no trip to Waterstones or Amazon.  All I have to do now, is find the time to read them!

If you want to find out more about any of the titles here are the websites, but remember, I like these books and lots of other books, but some of these are graphic and can be unpleasant, there, you were warned, I am not responsible for any upset or offence you might find:





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Who Me?

“I didn’t say it was your mistake.”

I can’t tell you tell you who said that, where they were or what they were talking about.  But I can tell you it was my favourite line of the whole first episode of Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who.

Yes, I was as the World Premiere of “Deep Breath” in Cardiff on Thursday.  Yey! Lucky me!

Obviously I can’t tell you what happens in the episode, but I can tell you it was a little disappointing.

To balance that I should say that Peter Capaldi was excellent, I think he is going to be one of the best Doctor Whos ever, he was brilliant in the role.  The dynamic between the Doctor and Clara takes some interesting twists and turns, but somehow I just wasn’t that enthralled by the story. The Scottish angle was used to great and glorious comic effect, not a huge belly laugh, but appealed to me greatly.

Now change over Who stories are always going to be difficult, but the fishfingers-and-custard start for Matt Smith turned my view of “he’s too young, this’ll be rubbish” around in a single episode.  I should also say that I wasn’t overly fond of “The Christmas Invasion” either, when David Tennant took over, and Mr Tennant is my second favourite Doctor ever.  Sorry but I grew up with Tom Baker as the Doctor and he was always be The Doctor to me.  (Well, that ages me!)

Technically, I can’t fault the show, the actors did a good job, the costumes, the sets, lighting, cinematography, CGI, it was all good.  But the story was too full of references, so full in fact that the newer ideas nearly got lost in the mix.  Have to say, the lead ‘baddie’ through the show was great, very well brought together and brought to life, and the new ‘baddie’ who appears at the end looks rather interesting too.

As a writer I know stories have to have an action and emotional profile, otherwise they are just flat. Even constant excitement gets dull after a while because no-one can maintain that kind of momentum.  So like all good stories, “Deep Breath” has its ups and downs (or should that be ins and outs?), and there is a really slack tide in there, however, the final conversation between the Doctor and Clara makes all of that worthwhile.

So, so far, when it comes to changeovers in the last 10 years, it’s a case of two out of three ain’t bad, but they weren’t great either.  12’s introduction gets and 8 out of 10 from me.  Roll on what will otherwise, I’m sure, be an fabulous series with answers to a lot of interesting questions not least of which is: What’s with the wedding ring?

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