Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Bics and Pieces

"Wow", as Tony Shahloub said in Galaxy Quest, "That was one hell of thing!".

The Death Star like Think Tank at Millenium Point

I think I have the shellshock under control now, apart from the tw-twi-twitching! But where to start? I started making some nice neat notes of everything that happened that I need to mention and it's ended up looking like the scribblings of a madman.

Let me try and break it down for you...

Very Special Thanks

The important bit first, then.
  • Huge thanks to Shane Chebsey and James Hodgkins for organising a wonderful show yet again. The effort that goes into making something like this happen is mammoth, and I hope they are now having a well deserved rest.

  • Special thanks to Lauren Anne Sharp for creating the Insomnia Trailer (which I will be putting up on youtube very soon) that was playing on the screens throughout the show.

  • Thanks also to quilt artist Ferret for bringing along the showstopping Bad Rain quilt (I don't know if quilting books have ever sold at a con before this one, but we always like to be a the bleeding edge!),
Stephen Downey and Alasdair Duncan with Bad Rain
  • Our unbounded gratitude to Sarah McIntyre who did an amazing job interviewing Michiru Morikawa in the brilliant panel about her work on the Sunday. She also invited Jeymes Samuel join in to talk about the comic and the upcoming Buskers film and the panel was described by Matthew Badham of Down The Tubes as "one of my personal highlights of the whole weekend." in his write up of the show.

  • It was great to have so many Insomnia creators come to the stand over the weekend for signing and sketching. Not only was it lovely to see old friends we've been working with for a while now, and to meet others in person for the first time, but to hear you all talking so passionately to visitors about your work, and seeing their response is fantastic. Having people there from all around the world really brought home what an international family we are.

  • To everyone who came to the stand to pitch, show portfolios or leave submissions, thanks for taking the time to do so. The standard was incredibly high once again, and seems to be increasing each year. I will hopefully have some news to come out of some of these discussions in the coming weeks.

  • Of course this would not be complete without thanking everyone who came by the stand to buy books, look at previews, talk about what Insomnia is up to and what we are all about. We do it for you, you know :)
Book Launches

The con saw the first public appearances of Burke and Hare (Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering) and Buskers (Jeymes Samuel, Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa).

I saw lots of people just gazing at and even stroking the beautiful cover designs by Rian Hughes (Burke and Hare) and Richard Johnson (Buskers). Seeing them join all the Insomnia books in a row on the table made my little heart swell with pride - I felt like a kitten in a cream factory.

Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering with Burke and Hare

When I say that Alasdair, valiantly manning the sales table, did not stop for a break the whole weekend I mean that literally. He didn't even get away for lunch, or a quick cup of tea, and had to snap quick bites of his sandwiches as an when he could! At several points I could not get back to the stand for the deep crowd around it!

Copies of Burke and Hare were going by the boxload, and the special con edition of Buskers with CD all but sold out. We have only a few copies left for the MCM Expo show in 3 weeks, so anyone who wants to be sure of getting a copy might want to order it from us directly before then.

Following Michiru's interview on Sunday we had a point where we literally could not get the books onto the table quickly enough for people to buy them and get them signed. It sounds like Crawford will be making a visit to the film set soon, but more and that (and pictures we hope!) in the coming weeks.

Michiru Morikawa and Jeymes Samuel with Buskers

Sadly we could not even get away to the Sunday panel for publishers and retailers to explore how to improve sales in the current market, as we were too busy selling! People were still coming up to make last minute purchases as the stand was being packed away. Alasdair had to retrieve the cashbox from where it had been packed away, get copies back out of their boxes again.

Given the current economic climate all we can say is "Thanks everyone!"

Reviews and Interviews and Podcasts

There was quite of bit Insomnia based podcast activity going on before and during the show:

  • Cy Dethan talks about Cancertown and his upcoming work on Comic Book Outsiders and why Richard McAuliffe thinks he is "...a lovely bloke, but one intense looking Motherf**ker"

  • The Geek Syndicate do the first ever review of Burke and Hare, coming to the conclusion that the book conclusively proves to them that "comics are a medium, not a genre". Way to go Martin and Will!

  • The Sidekick podcast fought their way to the stand and interviewed Alasdair about Insomnia and what we get from doing events like this, and Martin and Will about the launch of their book. "I was truly blown away...These guys have lived and breathed this story and it shows in every part of this chilling and macabre production."

  • Just in time for the show the guys at the Temple APA brought out a mammoth size issue 5 which has a large section on Insomnia including interviews, reviews, previews of upcoming books and some never before seen artwork. We have David Hailwood and John Kirkham to thank for bringing this monster to life.
New Signings and Teams

We are pleased to announce:

  • Lauren Ann Sharpe joins the Quarantine team as colourist, along with Michael Moreci, Monty Bloor and Jim Campbell. This is her second Insomnia book and long may it continue.

  • Shock Theory by Celeste Sharp:

    "After a horrific tsunami, England is abandoned and forgotten; even by history. Rising from dark times, a single city known as Hubris is suspended in the Sky, providing a new life based on technology and social order. The N.O Government has put the clocks back to zero and reinvented London as a completely clean slate for a prosperous society and economy... But Hubris wasn’t just built on the ruins of London; it was built on shock. "

    Set in a dystopian England, where the totalitation regime uses the Techframe to control its citizens using shock and sedation, Shock Theory draws on the dystopian heritage of George Orwell and Philip K. Dick, woven with theories of investigative journalist, Naomi Klein, to follow Eva and her companions as they attempt to unravel the sinister nature of Hubris and offer the only resistance to the tyrannical Dr.Shock and the New Order government.

  • Gamebreaker by Cy Dethan

    "Those who even remember the legend of Bloodshot Iris and her insane, megalomaniacal schemes consider her a myth. They’re right – and like all great myths there’s a potent, even dangerous, nucleus of truth at her core. When the greatest villain of the Cold War emerges from retirement to reintroduce a disaffected world to the glorious chaos it once knew, she has only one target in mind – her nemesis, the ultimate superspy: Capablanca."

    Spiralling Insanity returns to the British spycraft scene as the last remnant of the Cold War makes her bid to kick-start the era of the psychedelic super-spy

    If you visit Cy Dethan's blog you can brave The Citadel of Comics: A Fantasy Convention in which YOU are the hero and experience the trials and tribulations of convention pitching yourself.

    It may be the maddest blog post ever made - you have been warned!

  • Dream Solver now has it's own blog where you can follow the progress of the book in production.

Best of The Rest

  • Walking through the door on the first day of the con, what was the first table I encountered? Why it was the good Dr Bryan Talbot himself. Pouncing on a copy of Grandville as soon as I could, before even going to the Insomnia stand, he sketched a badger in the front of it while we had a good chat about how the book was doing (very well, with a seque, Grandville, Mon Amour, already underway), how great it has been to have his intro to Cancertown, and the possiblity of a Luther Arkright sequel as he mentioned in a recent interview on the Forbidden Planet blog last week. We went to his talk later in the day and it was mind blowing. The man is truly a comics god.

    Bryan Talbot (borrowed from Down The Tubes)

    Bryan is doing the talk at a number of locations as part of the launch tour, and you should try to catch it.

  • Had a lovely time chatting to the lovely Fetishman creators, while coveting a beautiful coat that one of them was wearing, and admiring his magnificent moustache. They do a hilarious illustration of just how absurd some of the proposed new laws are that could affect comics - but you'll have to catch them at a con and ask them to do it. Describing it in words would not do it justice!

    The Fetishmen!

    And if you haven't encountered Fetishman before you should buy it. It's up to issue 9 now and it is laugh out loud funny.

  • The Robosteel sculptures were truly a sight to behold with their 2.5metre sculpture of a Transformer, made all from scrap metal and weighing 155kg!

    They do smaller pieces as well - and I think that one of them is going to find a new home with me as soon as my house move is done.

  • I got to catch up with Tony and Martin. the C2D4 crew, eat their sweets and admire their new collected edition of Jack In The Box.

  • Shout outs to our friends at Markosia, Monkeys With Machineguns, Orang-Utan comics, Timebomb, Murky Depths, Comic Book Outsiders, Geek Syndicate, Small Press Big Mouth and Comic Racks - I wish I could have spent more time with you!

Special Offers

We will extending our convention special offers for those that could not make this show or cannot get to the MCM take a look at our website for details on how to order.

... And Finally

Crawford made a very special visit to a secret location before flying back to Edinburgh on Monday. Hopefully I'll be able to tell all about that next week!

Until then...


IanDSharman said...

Thanks for the shout out! Great to see you, as ever!

Sean Michael Wilson said...

Sounds great gang, I am glad that the BUSKERS event was good and its sold well. Makes me feel it a greater pity that I could not go this time!

Insomnia said...

Hi Sean

Hopefully we'll see you at another show very soon.

Thanks for everything you did to make BUSKERS happen, help Michiru to get to the UK and, of course, for writing a wonderful script :)