Monday, March 22, 2004
Went along to the inaugural UK Web and Mini Comix Thing on Saturday as organised by Mr Patrick Findlay. Hadn't really known what to expect as Patrick comes across as, um, a little eccentric on the Comics Journal message board (my only source of information on the fellow) so I had wondered that his organisational skills might not be of the best. But I knew Roger Langridge and Gary Northfield would be there, which is a good start, and I'd agreed to a brief spell looking after each of their tables while they had other matters to attend to. And in the event it turned out to be a very respectable new addition to the UK comics calendar. Kind of quiet, but not disastrously so by any means and, importantly, the atmosphere was good - all very friendly if suffering a little from the usual small press incestuousness.
A fair few of the usual suspects in attendance: Tom Gauld, Matt Abbiss, Bugpowder guru and all-round comics hub Pete Ashton (down from Brum for it), Anna Thingummy (Jelinek? whom I last saw in Washington as it happens where she kindly rescued me from a rather sad Billy No Mates moment in the bar at the Small Press Expo), Mark "the most criminally under-employed cartoonist in Britain" Stafford. Kev F Sutherland of the annual festival in Bristol was also knocking about as was comics ninja (and Man At The Crossroads) Paul Gravett though sadly I failed to grab him for a chat on this occasion.
From the Thing a bunch of us headed to a pub, which was as agreeable and wholly unexpected a turn of events as you might imagine. I also managed to see the Weather Project at Tate Modern before I caught a train home. More interesting from a sociological point of view than it was visually, but maybe that was the artist's intention. I don't know much about art but... I do know that lying on the floor with a bunch of people under a big mirror in an orange haze is a pleasant enough experience after 3 pints of Guinness.
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