Last Wednesday I went up to London and met up with fellow comic creators David O'Connell (Tozo) and Sarah McIntyre (Vern and Lettuce) at a nice little place called Teapod by Tower Bridge. We had a good two hours of talking comics and stuff, and I came away with signed comics and goodies. When I got home, I found a big bit of cake stuck to the cover of my DFC issue 1, which I got Sarah to autograph (the comic, not the cake). Later, Sarah drew the picture below of the three of us at Teapod - wonderful. And David drew me a sumptuous Evelyn Crow, which I'm afraid I rather gushed over - but it deserved it! I'll put that at the bottom of this entry, and on the readers' art page.
Thanks to a few delays on the Circle line (it's always the Circle line) I was half an hour late for my meeting at Egmont (note to self: must say my name more slowly to receptionists - I'm often put down as 'Gary Newman'), but it was great to meet up with the team who'll be helping to get Rainbow Orchid in to book form. I think there's a basic plan of action taking shape now, and there's stuff to be getting on with. I'll keep you updated as much as I can - but you're going to have to remain patient for a little while yet. Good things come to those who wait :-)
And the day wasn't over yet... next it was off to Sloane Square where I met up with Colin Mathieson (Accent UK), and after a nice cup of tea (third of the day), we went off to the National Army Museum to see Ian Knight give a talk on various aspects of the Zulu War (1879). Colin did a comic strip set in that campaign a few years ago, and was able to re-stock the NAM shop with copies. We also managed to get in a bit of local exploring, coming across the impressive Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park (across the river) and all the blue plaques down Tite Street - I was especially impressed that Oscar Wilde had lived there.
Colin returned to East Grinstead with me, where I put him up in the spare room. The following day we inspected my comics, some of my original art pages, and my Afghan War (1878-80) collection - something I rarely get to show off, but Colin, being a Zulu aficionado, showed generous appreciation. Even my light historical tour of East Grinstead's High Street didn't seem to phase him too much, before we enjoyed a pub lunch at the Dorset Arms, and then a browse of the graphic novel section in Waterstones.
So, a very nice couple of days, and a nice break from the usual routine. And there's another break this Friday, when I'm up at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art as part of New Writing North's Autumn Roadshow.