I had my talk later that afternoon which went okay. I wasn't totally pleased with it - I'd decided to concentrate partially on the journey from self-publishing to being published by a mainstream book publisher, and the changes to publishing in that time (from photocopying to the internet to print-on-demand), but most of my audience were already well versed in these changes and I did a lot of talking before bringing in my slide show, and felt things were perhaps a little stodgy up until that point. As soon as I started talking about the images and using those to spring subjects from, things livened up, so that's a lesson learned for any future talks I might do. I thought people might be bored by some of the minutiae of my story and art development, but actually I think it went over quite well. I'd also been very unsure about the cover I'd drawn to volume two, but getting a positive reaction from its first public airing has given me more confidence in it. It was also really nice to have Tim Jones from Egmont there to contribute.
For dinner we went to Lan Kwai Fong and had dim sum and noodles, surrounded by a little groups of comic creators at other tables. On ours we had Elyssa, Dave West, Neill Cameron, Colin Mathieson and Tony Hitchman, with Sarah McIntyre joining us from her table afterwards. After that we went back to the venue for Tony's annual comic quiz (this year's theme was robots) along with tea and some delicious Caption birthday cake.
Elyssa and I stayed at the Days Inn on the M40 services, which was cheap and, well maybe not cheerful, but certainly functional. Sunday was a lovely day with what was possibly the highlight of the weekend for me - Sarah's fascinating and very well presented talk on children's picture books and their relationship and crossover with comics (see her Caption report here). This was followed by another great talk by Asia Alfasi on her life and work in which she made some excellent points about the uniqueness of every creator - something I've always believed in (so many creators compare themselves unfavourably with their colleagues, forgetting that no one will ever do what they do in the unique way they do it). We had lunch with Asia, her brother, Sarah, Neill Cameron (who had been sketching everyone as pirates with dinosaurs) and David O'Connell.
It was also great to see Ellen Lindner and Stephen Betts, fresh from their trip to India and I was slightly bowled over to meet Jason Little whose work I absolutely love, having followed his adventures of Bee online for quite a few years now. At first I didn't believe it was him as it was so unexpected to meet him at Caption, far from his home in Brooklyn. I also had a great chat with Al Davison about his martial arts experience - which is an astonishing story (we both do karate, though that's not his main martial art).
I met so many great people, I always do at Caption, and I have not mentioned half of them. I'm aware that sometimes these reports can just turn into a list of links. This was the first time I was out with The Rainbow Orchid and I sold a good number of copies over the weekend. Thank you so much to everyone who bought one - the support and positive comments I'm getting mean so much to me and I take every one to heart. Elyssa and I had a brief walk into Oxford to stretch our legs and have an ice cream, and then we drove home in much better time than our journey up. Enormous thanks to the Caption committee for yet another terrific weekend.