Saturday, 31 December 2011

Signing off now for the year...

... and wishing you all a very happy and prosperous 2012.
Dave W and Colin M.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

And the latest anthology ... PREDATORS.

This one came from a Lego Underwater set I think ... last one will be Robot Shorts over on my own personal blog... as this is at the printers and hopefully will be ready very early in January 2012.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Man Of ... Lego.

and Martin Flink's wonderful The Man Of Glass...
.. pretty much as it came, just added a little paint here and there.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Lego Western Anthology.

Here's the Western Anthology figure. No modification required on this one. The next one is the one that started my doing this. It's Samuel Close from my little Strange Times webcomic and hard cover book, and will be posted over on my own blog.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Accent UK books in Lego...part 3

So, having posted The Lego Wolfmen over on my own blog, it's the turn of the Robots Anthology, which is still my favourite. This one took very little adapting, whereas the Wolfmen figure involved merging two different figures together.
Next up, WESTERN.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Accent UK books in Lego...

I got a little hooked on these Lego figures.

It all started when I saw that one of them could be easily adapted into Samuel Close, of my little Strange Times book, and went from there. I thought I'd share them with you here, and over on my blog, I'll put one up every day or so.

So ... the first one is the ZOMBIES anthology, and required no modification at all.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

WesterNoir ... a great start.

I just posted some details about a new book in development over at
Co-created by myself, Andy Bloor and Gary Crutchley, this is to be a 4 issue mini-series that will be edited by Colin. It is a merging of the Western and Film Noire genres and follows the story of central character Josiah Black as he follows the expansionism of the pilgrims in the Old West.
The first issue is well on the way thanks largely to the passion and talent of Gary, and is hoping to see print early in 2012.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wolfmen Reviews.

A great review of both of our Wolfmen books has been posted up on

Comics Anonymous is not a website I've come across before, but it has some interesting reviews up there.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Now there's a Thought... Bubble...

This year saw the Leeds Thought Bubble event grow to two days and add another hall to what had already been a fabulous event. As a stall holder it's always a difficult question to answer, 'Is the second day worth it ?' In terms of sales the answer, in the UK, is typically 'Not really', but it's the second day when most of the networking takes place, and also being over two days typically means an overnight stop, which provides yet more opportunity to catch up with friends and talk comics.

It was great to have Owen Johnson and Kev Mullins lending a hand at the stall, as well as my daughter Jemma, and Kev brought along some A3 prints of his wonderful PREDATORS cover, one version in it's original colouring and the other the version that Andy Bloor 'blued' for us.

The first day was pretty much consistently busy, after the usual hour of not much happening as people found where their favourite artsits would be sitting. As always the best moments for us are when people come to our stall having brought from us before and wanting more. It's the best indication that we're doing something right. All of ours books sold in about the same numbers, with quite a few people asking when Wolfmen 3 would be out.
I managed to pick up a copy of the latest Louis book from Metaphrog as well as the latest copy of Tozo from David O'Connell. I've not read Louis yet but Tozo, now on issue 4, is building up into an intriguing and very nicely illustrated little classic ... and it has giant robots now as well as a couple of tiny ones ... who could ask for more.

The new find for me, and I always come across someone at a Con who I've never seen before and yet their work is so good it seems like they must have been making comics for ages, was Rhys L. Reed, who had the table next to us.

Rhys produces a number of quirky little books and has a great eye for the strange. He had the most interesting stall at the Con as well, and as my wife said after the event... 'Accent UK need to make their stall look a bit fresher', and I'm not about to argue with her :o)
Owen was busy both days talking to artists, who had come to show us their portfolios, with a view to getting artists lined up for our concept anthology, Who On Earth Is Thaddeus Mist?, and I think we've got everything covered now, so hopefully we'll be able to announce the line-up in a few weeks. Rhys L. Reed will be illustrating a story, and I'm really looking forward to seeing his take on the script.
So, all in all we had a great Con, and a big 'Thank You' to all those who stopped by to chat, buy or both. It was a great end to the Con year for us, 'Thanks' also to the organisers for running a great show...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Comica Comiket: Independent Comics Fair

This event just keeps getting better.

We only make the Winter one, sadly, as the one each Spring always seems to clash with other things, but this is an event that we always enjoy, usually for the opportunity it provides to meet friends and talk comics.

This year however not only did it do this but it also allowed us to sell a whole heap of our comics. We didn't take a huge amount of stock down, to be fair, but we did only come back with three comics, which makes it our best Comiket ever, and probably our best London Convention as well.

We met Sean Azzopardi on the tube train which helped us reach the venue on time, but this new venue was much more accessible, being a stone's throw from Liverpool Street Station, and that paid dividends as the attendence figures must have been way up on last year.

Kev Sutherland had a table and was turning our free caricature sketches. His first two were of Colin...

and me...
I think I came off best...
As always there was a wealth of talent selling a whole range of interesting and attractive books. And as always a lot of it was new to us, even though we attend a good number of shows ...
New to this even, and any other I've been to, was a continuous line-up of artists drawing underneath a camera which captured their every stroke for all to see ... I can only imagine how nerve wracking that would be to do, but it was fabulous to watch.
Nick Wadley's stall, next to ours, had a great range of amusing cards...

and I bought this one as it's my kind of humour...

A really great day ... great venue, great organisation, great conversation and great sales... what more could you ask?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

The 'digital' Wolmen have arrived.

The Wolfmen and The Fall Of The Wolfmen are now available for download through the excellent LUSH Comics app on iTunes for iPad and also to Android tablets.
You can find out more about LUSH Comics by following the link on the right.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Accent UK to attend the Comiket event.

Colin and I have a table at the Comiket event in The Great Hall, Bishopsgate Institute in London on the 12th November.
We've done a few of these now and they really are different to any other event that we attend in the UK. Much smaller and more personal, with a lot of time available for both creators and punters to chill and chat about all manner of things.
You can find out more about the event over on their website at,hope. Hope to see a few of you there, especially those living in or around London.

In other news, the ZUMBIS GN is moving ahead at pace, check this out

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Wolfmen on their way to Lush Comics iTunes store.

I've just sent The Wolfmen and The Fall Of The Wolfmen over to Justin at LUSH Comics, so they should sit nicely alongside Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man ? in digital form very soon.
I can't wait to get them both on my iPAD.
Justin is still busy and I believe that Apps now exist for Android ...

ZUMBIS!!! Extra bits...

Gal Editora have started to release snippets of their upcoming reprinting of selected bits of our ZOMBIES anthology, to which they are also adding some stories from Brazilian creators ... more a collaboration than a reprint really ... you can find out more here.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Accent UK gets advert in Kick Ass 2 no. 4

Well, it's been quite the week for us at AccentUK.

Due to a favour done by Andy Bloor for Mark Millar, Mark has given us a page advert in Issue 4 of Kick Ass Vol 2. It's great exposure for us and we're really grateful to both Andy and Mark. We're lucky that Andy is such a talented designer type person ... as well as damn fine artist. In other news, Owen Johnson (writer up My Maker & I, which is a fabulous full colour one shot that is in production, with artwork by none other than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Dan Duncan and colours by Matt Soffe) has been interviewed in Issue 1681 of Comic Buyer's Guide. It's always a challenge to fit everything into these interviews and mention everything but Owen does a great job. You can see more over on Owen's blog.

PREDATORS has hit the shelves of UK Comic shops, I've seen it with my own eyes, so if it's not in yours and you want to pick up a copy then have a go at the store manager. Sales were a little down on the books that have come before it, due I think to it clashing with DC's relaunch of all of its titles, so chances are you might not find it very easily. We will have copies for sale at the Leed's Thought Bubble event but it would help us out a lot if you'd get your comic retailer to get some copies through Diamond Distribution.

Sunday, 18 September 2011


We'll, following on from PREDATORS, and with ZOMBIES 2 pretty much completed, the next Accent UK will actually be the Brazilian edition of our first ZOMBIES anthology.
Mauricio over at Gal Editora, the company that translated and published the Brazilian edition of Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man ?, has selected tales that he feels will best appeal to the Brazilian reader and has been busy getting these translated over the last few weeks. Under a new cover by a Brazilian artist which Andy Bloor has given the same overall feel that he gave to Steve Bissette's cover for the UK edition. Mauricio was keen on bringing onboard some well known Brazilian creators to help generate interest, which seems a good idea.

This edition will also have a number of new tales from Brazilian contributions and also Marleen Lowe's story collaboration with her brother Stephen from ZOMBIES 2.

I'll keep you posted on progress, the full list of UK contributors can be found in a previous posting.

PREDATORS is getting good feedback from the contributors who have now received their copies, and the Small Press Big Mouth podcast has reviewed it already, you can hear what they think of it in Episode 33.

Monday, 29 August 2011

PREDATORS hit the Birmingham Comicon.

It's been a lean year for Accent UK with regards UK Comic Conventions. With one thing or another, clashing dates with MOCCA and Library commitments, we just seem to have missed out on them all. So it was great to be able to make the Birmingham Comicon, the little sister of BICS, on Saturday. B.C. would also be the first Comic Convention to see our troubled PREDATORS anthology, which was to be printed and collected the week before. The book seemed to have been really cursed though as Friday passed and no books were delivered. Fortunately for us though we use UKOMICS and Stuart promised to have some boxes couriered to the venue on the Saturday morning, and true to his word they were there waiting for us.

and very nice they look too ... oh ... and the smell .... anyway ... where was I?

Me, Owen Johnson and Tony Hitchman B.C. is very much the little sister of BICS. It was a one day event, had a smaller list of stars and consequently a small attendence. We sold a good number of comics but nothing like the numbers we sold at BICS.Kris Kenway and Colin
So, was it a good event ?
Andy Bloor pondering the question... Was B.C a good event?
Absolutely. As is typical at these events we got to speak to a good number of Accent UK contributors about current projects. We got to speak to a number of potential contributors and maybe some one shot creators. We spoke to people who enjoy reading our books and were very happy to see PREDATORS at last, Colin read some comics...Colin reads comic.

I attended an Independent Comics Panel and talked about Accent UK and how difficult it is to get comics out there. This conversation moved into the world of digital comics (and if you are interested in following up on LUSH comics then there's a link top right of this page) and it was interesting to see people clinging on to the past. Best of all though, we got to see the smile on Ken Mullins' face as he picked up a copy of PREDATORS sporting his amazing cover art.

Cover artist Kev Mullins ... a happy man. Yep. A great day.

Next Con for us is Thought Bubble in Leeds, a two day event.
Thanks mostly to my daughter for taking the photos. Jemma has discovered that the sure way of not appearing on any is to keep hold of the camera and point it at other people.

If you are a contributor to PREDATORS and didn't pick up a copy at B.C. then email me your address and I'll pop your contributor copy in the post.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Birmingham Comicon 2011

Accent UK have a table at this year's Birmingham Comicon, on August 27th. Yep, only a couple of weeks away.

We will have copies of PREDATORS for sale and look forward to discussing forthcoming projects with readers and creators alike. If you've been itching to see your work published, or just fancy seeing your work in one of our anthologies, then by all means pop along to our table and show us your portfolios.

The table will be manned by myself, Colin, Andy and Owen Johnson this year, and we hope to see some other Accent UK regulars on the day. If you're a PREDATORS contributor then be sure to stop by and collect your free copy of the book itself, and sign my copy.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

PREDATORS have made it ...

Great news ... PREDATORS has finally made it into PREVIEWS.
Following a few months of problems at Diamond, with new staff etc, our latest anthology, PREDATORS is in issue 275 of PREVIEWS (August cover date) on page 224.

A great cover image from Kev Mullins with overall design by Andy Bloor accompanies the blurb by Colin, and it all looks very nice indeed.

We'll be going to print over the next week, and will be launching the book at the Birmingham Comics event at the end of August.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Saturday saw us not at Manchester's MCM but at the Central Library in St. Helens.
It's been a bit a repeating theme of the year for us, this clashing of event dates. We had committed to the St. Helens event before we got any confirmation from MCM though and so it was to St. Helens and not into Manchester that we set off on Saturday morning.
Tom-Tom and Col-Col permitting.

It was our first event of this type. We'd presented as the sadly missed Borders before, but we've never really been put infront of 16 kids and been set the task of explaining how to make comics and from there get them to have a go. But there we were, having done plenty of preparation and having sounded out my daughter Jemma, who was the average age for the day, we were in fact pretty confident we could pull it off. And we did, I think. Keeping to a 3 panel story we had all of them thumbnailing, panelling, penciling, colouring, inking and lettering their efforts. And for those who had finished we had them designing super-hero costumes. All of the fids were very attentive, all the styles and stories were very different, and a good reflection on the industry as a whole, and all of teh efforts were very impressive. We had a great day.

A big 'Thank You' to the staff at the Central Library in St. Helens for treating us so well, and to the kids for making the event so enjoyable. We'll be doing more of these in the future I'm sure.

In other news, my old laptop has died, formal ceremonies take place next week, and so I've had to set everything up on a new one. Not a problem from a 'files' perspective as they're all on external disks, but it has caused a problem for the wesbite, as I'm having trouble getting CuteFTP to talk to the web provider. I'm working on it, and am now using their support services, but it has resulted in no website updates for a few weeks, which includes Strange Times. Apologies for that.

It's a good job we now have this blog ... and I'm therefore provided with another way to communicate, along with emails of course.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Accent UK goes digital...

Well, it's happened.
Something that I've been looking to do for a year or so now, and through a new independent comics app available through iTunes you can now download Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man?
The Lush Comics app for the iPad can be found by either browsing, which will redirect you to the app, or by just searching for "Lush Comics" in the iTunes App Store. The iPad version is "Lush Comics HD" as opposed to the iPhone version, simply called "Lush Comics".
Justin, who created the app etc, is a keen supporter of Independent Comics and created this app as he saw a gap in the market and wanted to allow us to have a presence in the digital world that didn't find us hidden amongst the countless X-Men titles.
It is our intention to put our entire back catalogue up there over the coming weeks. If you're a contributor to one of our anthologies can you please give me your permission to use your work for this purpose. As is the case with the paper versions, there will be no actual payment for this, any funds will be put into future anthologies, but we will keep the price very low, to encourage as many people as possible to see your work. If you don't provide permission then we'll keep your contribution off of the app, not a problem, just let me know.
It'd be great to see more UK comics up on iTunes, if you would like me to connect you with Justin then let me know.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

July's PREVIEWS...

Well, sad to say that Diamond again failed to list PREDATORS in the latest issue of PREVIEWS. It's nothing personal, they've just gone through some changes in personel in the USA and it appears that the transition has resulted in UK books being overlooked, again. It's not just AccentUK books that have suffered apparently.
Diamond UK have been very apologetic, and have promised the do everything that they can to get the book listed in the next PREVIEWS, so look out for it in August's edition.
Because of the delay, we've decided to print ahead of Diamond numbers, so that we can make sure the book can be launched at this years Thought Bubble event in Leeds, and Andy is just making a few very minor adjustments (perfectionist that he is) before sending the files off to the printers this week (or early next).

Sunday, 26 June 2011

More brains...

Yep, I'm pretty much fully focussed on ZOMBIES 2 at the moment, which is pushing all other projects into the background sadly, but it'll be worth it.
This week I've completed two one-pagers of my own, amended the lettering on one strip and lettered another from scratch. We are keen to get ZOMBIES 2 listed in PREVIEWS as soon as we can, and certainly the aim is to do so before the end of the year. It's not far of to be honest as I've received almost all contributions now. I will however have to draw a line at the end of July and close the door, otherwise we'll never get this thing done. So please give me an update if I've not got your work as yet.

My Maker & I gets a good plug in Episode 82 of the Tales From The Parent's Basement podcast, which is appreciated as always. TFTPB can be accessed through iTunes, and Doc Zane's INDIE 500 is must listening if you are into Independent Comics. It does mention quite a few UK comics in there, as well as others from across the globe. I recommend you having a pen and paper to hand when you listen though as there's a lot of really interesting stuff out there and Doc covers a lot of them in each episode.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

ZOMBIES and stuff.

We seem to have been a little quiet at the moment, which isn't say that we're not busy behind the scenes, in fact it usually means that things are a bit hectic and I've not managed to find time to blog.
Worry not, ZOMBIES 2 is still being built and it's looking (amazingly) even better than the first one, our intention is to have this printed and in shops before the end of the year, although the PREDATORS Diamond listing moving to July has challenged that, we are still aiming for ZOMBIES 2 to hit the stores as soon as possible.
If you are a contributor, and I've not received your finished pages then please send me an update as I will be closing the book on it very soon and getting the image files to Andy Bloor so he can build the print files as soon as possible.
On another note, I've now finished my Wolfmen 3 script update and Andy has it is his possession. It just involved a couple of additional lines that Andy correctly pointed out would add to the story.

A project going on behind the scenes, which is an anthology with a difference is also gathering steam. I've finished the first draft of my story and sent it to the editor (which for once isn't me ;o), so I'll wait for his comments. Once this project matures a bit we'll share more information with you all, don't want to jinx things as it is a pretty challenging thing to take on.

All that's left to report is that Colin, Owen and I have been invited to the Bromley Literary Festival on the 2nd July. We'll be there for just the one day and we'll be helping youngster create their very own comic books, and looking for future contributors no doubt. Check out more about this event over on their website.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Wolfmen and stuff.

We've had a couple of recent mentions of Wolfmen out there in the Webiverse.

Firstly from the Burnt Weiners Podcast guys on their website, and also a review from David Bitterbaum over on his blog. Great to see people are still talking about our book, with the third and final part already in production.
The Eagle winners have been announced and sadly The Man Of Glass lost out to 2000AD. Not a surprise really when you consider the number of books 2000AD sells, and we are really pleased to have made it to the last 5. We weren't listed in the Black and White category, which was won by Commando comics this year, so congrats to the people behind that book.... and as you can see from these sample images (apart from Andy Bloor's great Wolfmen Poster (coloured by Matt Soffe)), ZOMBIES 2 marches on ...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

My Maker and I.

There has been a fair bit of activity of late concerning one of our future publications, titled My Maker & I. Written by regular Accent UK anthology contributor, Owen Johnson.

The Concept :-
'In a land where imagination can take physical form, one faithless preacher man walks alone. After a woman from the stars crash-lands in his path, these two most impossible of companions journey together through a perilous landscape in order to confront The Administrator – a mysterious and powerful figure who they believe responsible for society’s collapse. Through Neverland Mall and into The Library At World’s End, The Pilgrim and Eve – along with Toto the Gecko from Mars – travel to discover what rot lies at the heart of their planet. It is there that they will discover what they truly believe in'.

The art:-

As you can see from the above image it's going to be a full colour book, with art from the very talented Dan Duncan brought to even greater life through the colouring efforts of Matt Soffe. Andy Bloor has stepped in to do the lettering, which leaves myself to do a very easy job as Editor, as it's all coming together better than I could have hoped. This is gonna be one hell of a book :o)

A Preview of the book has been posted exclusively over on the Tales From The Parent's Basement website, so pop over have a look and leave a comment. We're very interested in your views.

There's also a Facebook Group that you are welcome to join and keep up to date with progress. We're also looking to use this to show of some of the processes behind to book, have some competitions and more as we get closer to the launch date.

Other news:-

I'm still waiting on a few ZOMBIES 2 contributions, please send me an update if you haven't already done so. If I've not heard from you by the end of this week then I may have to cut your contribution from the book. If I'm already aware of your progress then by all means send me an update please as we are compiling running order, page balance etc and will need to leave space etc.

The digital version of Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? is getting closer, I hope to have an update on this in the next week or two that'll mean people can download the comic onto their iPad. I know I will be :o)

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Another Manchester Mart...

It always make a huge difference to a Manchester Mart when we get to meet up with friends. On Saturday Colin and I were at the Mart in the Thistle Hotel, and it really is a Mart in the truest sense with all other stalls being purely retailers, and we had the good fortune to meet up with Marleen Lowe (artist on Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man ?) and Gary Crutchley, who has contributed to many of our Anthologies and is always far too generous with his time and talent.
Marleen's visit was a fleeting one, but she did drop of pages of her artwork for me. I aim to get pages from all of the books that I write and it's great to add pages from Marleen to those I have of Andy's work on The Wolfmen.
Gary was able to stay longer and we ended up having a burger and larger after the Mart (we didn't take him to McDonalds!!) and talk comics for... well who's counting.

Once we finished on comics we moved onto books, films and even TV shows before coming back to comics again. It'd be great to do this after every Mart, so next time we're in Manchester pop in if you're in the area, and hang around afterwards for a beer and comic chat. It always amazes me how the comic book back issue market seems to have almost collapsed in recent years. I can remember to days when Valiant was hitting its stride and whilst their titles were demanding astronomical prices, there was good demand for all manner of back issues and so pretty much all of them cost more than when they first appeared on the shelves. Today, the Marts are full of 25p and 50p boxes, and there are plenty of bargains to be had.

Whilst the Silver Age titles still seem to retain their value the same can not be said for those comics that have followed. I guess it must be due to the Trade Paperbacks that collect even the hardest to find issues and present them in a nice, affordable, package.
I think now, more than ever, comics should be seen as something to enjoy rather than as an investment... unless they are Accent UK titles of course :o)

Monday, 2 May 2011

ZOMBIES weekend...

Well last weekend was very much focussed on finishing off the first draft of the script for Wolfmen 3, which I did and met with Andy's approval. This weekend then was to get to grips with ZOMBIES. Over the past 6 months or so, and particularly over the last week as the deadline loomed, I've been receiving contributions for ZOMBIES 2, our follow up to the sold out ZOMBIES anthology.

Under covers by Garry Brown this is buidling into another fabulous range of stories from a lot of very talented people. Some are new to Accent UK's books, as we try to ensure that each title has a good proportion of new contributors, but all are really solid pieces of work.

So, this long Bank Holiday weekend has seen me letter 3 contributions, print off and read through all contributions for spelling and to make sure that everything is in order, request a few changes when it isn't, print the updated versions off again, replace print cartridges

and make sure I've got all the print versions in a directory for Andy to take a copy off when he next pops over.

I've been impressed not only with the quality of work this year, and you can see some random samples on this post, but also by the fact that more than 2/3rds of the contributors have sent me their work before the deadline. Which makes my life a lot easier.
I've got one more story to letter, and will be emailing out my lettered versions to the respective creators to make sure they are happy. Then I'll be chasing the stragglers... there are always a few :o)

We;ve had confirmation that PREDATORS will definitely be listed in JULY's PREVIEWS, we really need to get that book out there.

Next week I'm also looking to send Andy an updated Wolfmen 3 script, following a few sugestions he has made and hopefully letter the other ZOMBIES 2 strip.

Colin and I will be at the Manchester Mart this Saturday at Thistle Hotel (off Piccadilly Gardens) so if you're passing pop in and say 'Hi', I may even let you see the printouts of ZOMBIES 2 so far ...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Multiverse and other stuff...

Well I received my copy of Multiverse Issue 2 through the post and it has a great double page spread of an interview with myself about The Fall Of The Wolfmen, and also other things I'm working on, or have produced recently.

It really is great to see a Comics Magazine cover a range of titles and creators, from mainstream professionals to us Independent publishers and creators. I hope they do more but I guess that'll depend on them getting feedback on this issue, so if might be worth writing them a letter requesting more 'Independent UK' coverage... if it helps sell copies then they'll make sure they keep it up and there're a lot of great things happening in the UK Independent comic scene deserving of a wider profile.

As I'm on Wolfmen, I came across this review whilst surfing the net (do we still use that phrase or am I showing my age), and the excellent Small Press Big Mouth podcast have reviewed both Wolfmen issues and over on Andy Bloor's blog you can see a new coloured version of the alternate limited edition Fall Of The Wolfmen cover, coloured by the very talented Matt Soffe who is also colouring 'My Maker & I' an uncoming comic from Owen Johnson and Dan Duncan, which is going to blow everybody away.

And back to Wolfmen... I've just sent Andy the first draft of Wolfmen 3, which concludes things and will be appropriately titled 'The Last Of The Wolfmen'. It'll go through some revisions as we collaborate to get it right, and then it'll be down to Andy to work his magic and bring it to gritty life.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

MOCCA, a great show in a great city.

Last year we promised ourselves that we'd do a show a year in the USA, and try to fit as many around this in the UK and Europe as we could, and so we had a table (shared with the guys from Tales From The Parent's Basement) at Seattle's Emerald City Con. It was very enjoyable but we did feel the Con was a little too mainstream for us, and so this year we agreed to look at other Conventions.
We've heard a lot about MOCCA, mainly I guess from Steve Bissette, but also from a smattering of other creators. Based in New York it promised a lot of attendees, but more importantly, for us, everybody talked about it being very much a 'Comic Convention' in its truest sense, and very much Independent creator/publisher focussed. We have actually tried to get a table at this previously, but never been lucky as it sells out pretty quickly. This year, however, we timed it just right and we got one.

The AccentUK crew this year consisted of myself, Colin and his son Scott. So we had three luggage allowances to exploit, which resulted in 4 boxes of comics. As we weighed in at Manchester Airport, we were happy to see that all the bags were pretty close to the 24k limit. The question was would they come back much lighter, or would we end up having to lug all of our comics back home again, ah, the life of an Independent Comics Publisher/Creator.

No real hiccups travel-wise saw us arrive pretty much on schedule, 7th April, on a warmish afternoon in New York's JFK airport. We got through Customs as quickly as possible, and were checked in and wandering the streets... or should that be blocks... of New York by around 3pm, looking for food and drink. It's amazing walking by buildings that you're so familiar with from photographs, tv programs and movies.

We wandered passed The Chrysler Building and Empire State Building to end up having a bite to eat in Grand Central Station, after wandering around Times Square for a while.

On the 8th, the day before the Con, we visited the Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown Comics and The Strand (the mother of all bookstores). We ate too much (it didn't seem possible to get a meal that isn't supersized) and were still tired from the flight, and time difference. The 9th arrived and we were ready. A quick walk to the Armories from the Hotel (both are on Lexington Avenue) saw us arrive before most and allow us time to soak in a little of the atmosphere before setting up our table. Cliodhna Lyons had arranged all the creators from the UK to have their tables together, which also included Sarah McIntyre and Ellen Lindner, so we had quite the little enclave, with bunting diverted from some royal wedding or other letting everyone know that the British had arrived. The first creator we met that was from the US was Maurice Murdock (, who was sharing half of one of the UK tables and accomodating enoough to let us arrange where he would be positioned. The doors opened at around 11am and as seems to be traditional, we made our first sale at 11.40am. A slow start but it was pretty steady from that point on and by the end of the first day we had sold more than we did at the entire Emerald City Con. During the day we met a few of our American AccentUK contributors :- Morgan Pielli, Jonathan Baylis and Charles.D. Chenet where all at the event, either selling their books, networking or both. It was great to see Martin Flink again as well, not a native to the US of course, Martin had travelled over with an impressive number of Danes and spent most of the weekend sat behind their tables sketching, signing and generally impressing people. The surprise of the Convention however was on meeting Ed Traquino again. Ed was a regular on the Independent UK Comic scene a few years back before disappearing, to America it seems. A relatively quiet night for us, the jet lag was getting worse rather than better, and we were up again redy for Day 2. We didn't expect the second day to be as busy as the first, but we sold more books on Sunday that we had on Saturday, which isn't typical. This may have been the result of Martin Flink sitting with us for about an hour, signing and sketching copies of The Man Of Glass or maybe that the people on the Sunday hadn't been on the hall on the Saturday, either way, we had a very productive day. I spoke to a number of people about Digital Comics, how to get onto Comixology and what it was like for Independent creators. The general view was that Comixology are great to work with, but that Independent Comics are pretty much overlooked in the store amongst the Marvel and DC titles. I also met Justin Mound, of who is creating a Comixology type store for Indpendent Comics, something to follow up on our return to the UK. At the end of the second day, creators at Mocca are asked to donate some comics to those people who helped set the tables up etc, as they did this for free. We donated a few but had to keep some back as we wanted to give some to the people at Midtown Comics. During the two days of the Con it quickly became apparent that Midtown Comics sold quite a few of our books. A good number of our customers at the Con had bought some of our books before, and when asked where they'd got them, the answer was always 'Midtown Comics'. We decided that we would take some variant cover 'The Fall Of The Wolfmen' editions and give them to the manager of Midtown Comics as a thank you. It's always sad walking away from a Convention. We'd had two great days, meeting creators, meeting readers, networking and buying comics. Before we left however we made sure that we'd booked the same table for next year, 14th and 15th April, so hopefully we'll be seeing most of them again.
The day after the Con saw us hot foot it to Midtown Comics, where we actually did get to meet the manager (a bit of luck that he was in their store and not in their offices) and thanked him for stocking AccentUK books. A very nice bloke who knew of us and our work. We then took the Subway to The Strand where we spent cash as if our aim was to try to replace the weight lost from our suitcases, from selling comic books, by buying new ones. The flight home was as painless as the flight out, and soon enough we found ourselves once again in the UK. A great trip, a great city and a great Comics Convention... I even managed to get some decent cups of Earl Gray Tea. What more can you ask?

You can see my personal write up over on my blog, as well as find report on Maurice's blog, and the blog of Olivia Pelaez, both of whom will hopefully be contibuting to future anthologies.