It was a very enjoyable evening and it was good to meet some fellow Sussex artists, including Fraser Geesin (also podcast master), Rory Walker and Nye Wright. It was great also to finally meet Dez Skinn (who included my work in his book, Comic Art Now, but also edited and published many of the comics of my youth, most importantly Warrior magazine), and David Lloyd (co-creator of V for Vendetta and author of Kickback). It was also nice to see a familiar face in Gavin Burrows, and to meet the lovely Corinne Pearlman of Myriad Editions. If you're a cartoonist or comic creator in Sussex, I'd highly recommend taking a look at Cartoon County - they meet on the last Monday of every month.
Cartoon County were also involved in my trip down to Brighton on Tuesday (25th May) to see Paul Gravett talk to Dan Clowes and Chris Ware at the Corn Exchange, as we were supposed to have dinner with them after the event. Alas, train trouble from London meant it all started 45 minutes late, and with a huge queue for signings afterwards, dinner had to be abandoned as they rushed for the last train back to the city.
The talk itself was very interesting. Clowes and Ware were obviously a little tired after the journey down, not to mention their London appearances the previous day after coming straight from Denmark over the weekend. Being the angst-ridden authors they are, it was sometimes difficult to get a lot out of them, but Paul did a great job of making it look effortless and as the talk went on they opened up a lot more. At the end there were questions from the audience, the best one coming from Fraser Geesin who simply asked "are you happy?". Ware, the more introvert of the two, did reveal he was ("Yay!" replied Fraser), but didn't like to crow about it too much in the face of people who had to 'go to work for a living'.
Again the evening was spent in the company of terrific comics people including Tim Pilcher and Karen Rubins, and it was a lovely surprise to bump into Patrice Aggs and her husband, Chris. I was also very pleased to meet Britten and Brülightly author, Hannah Berry, as well as some of the Cartoon County regulars I'd met on my last visit. You can see Tim's report over on the Bleeding Cool site.
On Thursday night I went to the second Comica Social Club with Ellie (who now has a membership badge too - I'll have her actually making comics soon!). This time we were able to sit inside the Festival Hall which turned out to be a pretty decent venue as various comics people spilled out around a couple of central sofas. A list of people met and chatted to would be a bit much (I've done too much of that in this post already!), but I did get to compare plane-route maps with the brilliant Alex Milway, who's first Mythical 9th Division book is out in about a week's time. Had a lovely dinner with Ellie afterwards, then got the train home, ending up rather late to bed, but comic-batteries somewhat re-energized.