I went to Caption Comics Convention at the weekend, which is based in the city I live, Oxford. Considering I’ve been here for the past 7 years I should probably have attended it before now, especially since last years theme was ‘Away with the Fairies’ of all things. I love faeries! And I missed it! But in my defense I’ve never seen it advertised anywhere locally.
But this year I made it and it’s totally unlike any other comics convention. I mean, at most of them the exhibitors rent their table and sit behind it all day gradually getting a numb-bum. Not so here. Comics are checked-in at the beginning to be sold at a big table by the organisers and then everyone is free to enjoy the show, fans and creators alike. It’s much more of a social, rather than commercial, place. It’s about meeting new people and sharing art. Boy, do I know a lot more people in the UK comics community now!
This year’s theme was ‘Mad Science’ and there were events running throughout the day including workshops, panels and interviews. The ‘Dear God! What have I done?’ workshop was utterly and completely nuts. We were creating a timeline for the End of the World starting with peace and happiness and ending with total destruction. But in between!! Giant slug-apocalypse complete with p***s-fencing (I kid you not). The story of a scientist who leant to ride meteors and eventually harnessed the moon. Birds fighting dinosaurs (they were originally on the same side but the penguins plotted against them, considering them heathens). Spontanaouly combusting bee hives! Zombies! The horror… the horror…
I spent quite a lot of time hanging out on the Dino-saw-us table drawing stickers to swap, only to realise I was drawing on the wrong side and having to start all over again. Fail! I watched some very interesting talks by incredibly talented artists among them P.J Holden, Melinda Bebbie, Sydney Padua and Darryl Cunningham, and – here’s the thing – get to hang out with them afterwards. I was lucky enough to have practically an one-on-one art tutorial with Al Davison when his workshop collided with a talk. He looked at my comic and gave me some very useful tips I’ll definately be using.
Original artwork was literally going for a song at the art auction. I bought this drawing of an evil teddy by Norm Chung for £3! Mwahahaha!