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The Gazette / The Editors issues 01 - Launch is imminent!
« on: July 03, 2012, 07:36:52 AM »

angelKat Entertainment
are launching our newest comic title shortly, and we're currently taking pre-orders. We've been showing previews of The Editors at events across the UK this year, and it's created quite a buzz in the small press community. We're particularly grateful to the interest shown by The Geek Show, a broadcast radio show that we had a great interview with earlier this year.

Pre-orders are now live and with tons of extras up for grabs, including exclusive artwork, posters, cameos, and the chance to see yourself in print as the headlining superhero/villain in “The Standard Bearer” newspapers front page article.

What is The Editors?
It’s the latest full colour comic from the creator of Fera, this time taking on the world of superheroes, conspiracy, and more…
The Editors is an ongoing comic book series from artist Davy Shirley (the webcomic Fera) and writer Paul Burr. The Editors are a clandestine group who are controlling the lives of the world’s various heroes and villains, until a two bit crook wakes up during one of their procedures.
Follow his adventures as he attempts to unravel the mystery that lies at the heart of The Editors and at the same time stop himself from becoming just another cape.

So don’t wait, the pre-order extras are only available for another 33 days! Click the link below, blog, retweet, like, link, and share this with your friends - everything helps…

Events and Conventions / Thought Bubble (Leeds, UK)
« on: March 02, 2012, 11:02:57 AM »
The convention itself is part of the Thought Bubble Festival - which begins on 11th November and culminates with a 2 day convention featuring the UK's top talent and some amazing industry guests.

"Thought Bubble is the UK’s largest annual event which celebrates sequential art in all its forms, including everything from superheroes to independent and small press comics. We are a non profit making organisation dedicated to promoting comics and graphic novels as an important cultural art form. Taking place at a variety of venues across the city, our aim is to cater to both long-time comic book fans and those who have never picked up a graphic novel before!

Thought Bubble 2012 will take place 11th – 18th November with a centre-piece two day convention on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th.

2012′s festival will include free art and writing based workshops for young people and adults, panels and talks lead by industry professionals, and a programme of sequential art related film screenings. The special two day convention includes an incredible line-up of leading artists and writers, and over 300 exhibitor tables showcasing comics, art and merchandise. The weekend will also feature portfolio viewings and competitions. This promises to be one of the best events of its kind in the UK, where you’ll be able to meet some of your favourite comic book creators and browse the huge selection of memorabilia on sale – brought to you by the biggest and best exhibitors and dealers from across the country."

More info:

Events and Conventions / London MCM Expo (London, UK)
« on: March 02, 2012, 10:56:34 AM »
MCM Expo London Comic Con is the UK's Première Pop Culture event. If you are a fan of Movies, TV, Comics, Scifi, Cosplay, Animé & GAMES! then this is the place for you, twice a year each May and October in Londons' Excel Centre.

More info:

Events and Conventions / Manchester MCM Expo (Manchester, UK)
« on: March 02, 2012, 10:52:02 AM »
Manchester Comic Con will be held at Manchester Central formerly G-MEX on Saturday 21st of July.

Once again bringing some of the MCM Expo magic north of Birmingham & London. There will be a wide selection of entertainment as well as a packed retailers area.

DDR UK, Cosplay, Comic's, Anime, Manga, Video Games, Movie promo's, Sports Stars and the legendary Robots Live show and so much more..

Kids Go FREE* for Manchester Comic Con. Advance early entry tickets are now on sale. Check the web site for news and updates as we get closer to the show date.

More info:

Events and Conventions / London Film and Comic Con (London, UK)
« on: March 02, 2012, 10:46:39 AM »
"We will be once again bringing you the biggest and the best at LFCC 2012. We have lots in store including the ususal autograph signings, photoshoots and talks all under one roof!

We have moved over to the spectacular Olympia Grand Hall this year to make way for the Olympics, so make sure you check out the new Venue and Travel page before you head over to the wrong venue. But dont worry, LFCC will be just as big, if not bigger than before!"

Media guests announced so far include; Gillian Anderson, Jonathan Frakes, Jewel Staite, Anthony Head, Athony Michael Hall, Tim Russ, Hayden Panettiere, and Jeri Ryan.

More info:

Events and Conventions / London MCM Expo (London, UK)
« on: March 02, 2012, 10:41:17 AM »
MCM Expo London Comic Con is the UK's Première Pop Culture event. If you are a fan of Movies, TV, Comics, Scifi, Cosplay, Animé & GAMES! then this is the place for you, twice a year each May and October in Londons' Excel Centre.

More info:

Events and Conventions / Dee-Con (Dundee, UK)
« on: March 02, 2012, 10:36:21 AM »
Dee-Con 2012 is the latest FREE Scottish Animé/Art convention held in Dundee on Saturday the 7th of April.

This 14 hour event will have everything you've come to expect from previous conventions and more, including;

- Artist's Alley. The opportunity for amateur artists and exhibitors to showcase and sell their work.
- Presentations and demonstrations from respected artists and industry professionals on a wide array of topics related to animation, comic books, art and technology.
- Official commercial stalls targeted specifically towards the animé/art community.
- The licensed screening of popular Animé films in our own cinema room.
- Partnerships with various entertainment groups and live demonstrations.
- Official after party (18+) with music and video projection from professional VJ & DJ artists.
- Video game tournaments, live music, karaoke, cosplay competitions, raffles and more.

You can stay up to date on the latest news and announcements by liking us on Facebook:

For enquiries, don't hesitate to contact us at

More info:

Your first convention can be a daunting thing, and we all make silly mistakes whether we're new to the scene or battle scarred veterans.

The point is that as a community we must learn from each other and always experiment in order to improve our own knowledge and abilities. I'd like to begin this guide by mentioning that this all comes from my experience at UK conventions, these are things that work for me and may not always work for everyone else. But, some of these ideas will be universal, please don't feel that you need to stick to them 100%, deviate from them and find what works best for you.

General things to consider when packing for an event:

  • Make a plan and check list - before you leave for the event, make sure that you know what you need to take with you, where you're going, how you're getting there etc. There's nothing worse than arriving at an event and realising that you left something important back home. Equally it's just as bad realising that your train/bus will get you to the event late, or that you miss it on the way back.
  • Commonly forgotten items that you should make sure to take with you include; table cloth (flame resistant in order to keep to health and safety codes - I personally use a single flat bed sheet but you can make a custom one yourself) - I suggest making sure that your table cloth is big enough to cover a standard convention table which is normally 6ft x 2ft with a height of 3ft.
  • Food/water and spare cash - you'll have cash in your cash box to make change for customers, but whenever you travel you should always have some spare cash in case of emergencies, and since you may be spending all weekend behind a table, make sure you have food and water to keep you going. Convention halls can get rather hot and it's important to keep hydrated.
  • Speaking of temperature - halls can vary between being freezing and ridiculously warm over a matter of hours, make sure that your clothing reflects this.
  • Can you carry the case? Even if you have someone along to help you - make sure that between you it's possible to carry your case that contains your merchandise/signage. If you're travelling by car, this is eliminated slightly but on public transport it can be tricky. For instance I travel from Newcastle to London for a lot of events and find that my wheeled case is perfect for transporting my items. The trouble comes on the Tube where some older stations require carrying it up and down lots of stairs.

Merchandise and pricing:
A lot of us fall down on this point - artists are normally very modest people, and we seem to all have trouble pricing our own work. Once you've done a few events you'll begin to work this out. But there are general points that you should always keep in mind whilst deciding on prices;
  • Look at what veterans are selling and adjust your pricing accordingly. You can also use a trial/error approach and if something sells incredibly quickly for £1 - try selling it for £2 next time.
  • Have a variety of items on your table - I normally have comics, badges, bookmarks, art prints, cat ears, custom sketches, etc. on my table depending on the event. The point is to not "put all of your eggs in one basket". I've seen brilliant artists in small press show up with nothing but a sketchbook - no examples of their work - and then leave disappointed when they made no sales. Same with those who turn up with only comics.
  • Make sure you vary your prices. The general rule is that you should have THREE main pricing tiers in order to sell to the widest possible audience. Tier 1 - something for under £2, that could be bought with the little bit of change or pocket money that they have left. This tier applies mostly to those who are low on cash but still want to buy something from you - I normally offer badges or mini comics at this tier. Tier 2 - the medium tier where people have some cash but are usually saving their money in order to make it last over the weekend. I normally offer single comic issues, A4 art prints and sketches in this tier. Tier 3 - these are for people with a lot of money to spend and they (for whatever reason) want to spend it on YOU. In this tier, offer larger art prints, bundle deals with multiple comics, throw in some extras and perhaps include your art commissions in this.
  • Deals. People like to know that they're getting a deal or some kind of discount. Make sure that you work these out beforehand, because you don't want to end up losing money due to a badly designed deal at the event. Normally these are when someone buys a full set, or a bundle of some sort. Include a sketch in with a comic for a little extra. It'll be cheaper for the customer than buying a comic AND a sketch - even if they're only saving 50p it's still something extra that they've gotten "for free".

Table layout:
Layout of your table set up is very important. It is a key part of a) getting people to come to your table b) getting them to buy something.
  • Firstly, don't clutter your table, make sure that everything is clearly on display and inviting to look at. Customers will be put off if they can't quickly see what you're selling and how much it is.
  • Take a tip from point of sale displays in shops - you have two "big ticket" items and the rest are "extras". Sometimes this may not be the case, it's up to you to decide which items are going to have your main sales pitch behind them. In our cases this would probably be our comics. Place the "big ticket" items on opposite ends of the table, in prominent positions. The reasons for this are two fold - they attract attention no matter which direction the customer is coming along the aisle BUT they also force them to look over the whole table. This means that they will have to see all of your other products as well.
  • Lift them up - anything that you can, make or buy some sort of stand - don't have everything flat on the table. If it's flat people can't see it clearly from afar, when standing up people will spot it more easily. For signage I use a set of wire storage cubes that can be broken down and stored easily. They're handy for putting things on display and can be arranged in a variety of ways.
  • Invest in a banner to stand behind your table - the graphic tells people who you are and invites them over. You can buy one cheaply on ebay and supply the artwork (my current one cost £30).
  • Freebies - these can be anything from individually wrapped sweets, old items you're trying to get rid of, bookmarks etc. Just make sure that you try to get your web address on there somewhere. AND INCLUDE A BUSINESS CARD/FLYER AMONGST THESE ITEMS.
  • Make sure that you have reading copies of your comics - copies that aren't for sale, aren't bagged up and have "READING COPY" or "READ ME" etc. written clearly on the front. These are going to get picked up constantly at the event and a free read does get peoples attention. If they like what they see they are more likely to buy your comics and this also stops your comics getting damaged by being handled so frequently.
  • This will seem silly but, if you have a display folder with art prints and example commissions - label it up with arrows encouraging the customers to flip over to the next pages. You'd be surprised at how many people at events seem scared to flick through a comic or a set of art prints without being invited to.

Behaviour and community:
  • Most of the small press community are friendly enough. We're all in the same boat and we aren't taking sales away from each other. Be professional but don't be afraid to chat with or help out those around you. They will do the same and gaining friends amongst the community/networking is never a bad thing. Making friends that you can trust to keep an eye on your table whilst you run to the toilet or get a coffee. Always offer to pick something up for your neighbours when you go on coffee runs.
  • Smile, draw, and talk. The sight of an artist sketching can draw a crowd at any event, but a hard sales tactic can get rid of that crowd just as quickly. How many times has a sales person came up to you in a shop and you've suddenly lost interest in buying anything because they've "hassled" you? At conventions there are many people who will vanish if you so much as say "Hello" whilst they're browsing your work. Chat with people, be friendly and open - that way they get to know you a little and are more inclined to buy something because they like you. Talk to them about the event, about your work or about what they do.
  • Don't worry about geeking out. And don't worry about fans turning up and geeking out at you. It's a shock the first time a fan turns up at your table, but it's important to realise that we've all done it too. I remember making a fool of myself the first time I met Tab Kimpton, but he's since became someone I consider a friend.
  • One trick that I've found, that you may find useful; sell to cosplayers. I'll explain - when trying to make a sale, most of the time it means trying to play up the part of your work that they're showing an interest in. I had a woman ask me if Fera was "feminist manga" and since that's what she wanted it to be, I agreed even though I've never thought of it that way before. But with cosplayers, they wear on their sleeves exactly what they're interested in (almost literally). If you see a group of cosplayers coming down the aisle, pick out the one that's paying the most attention to tables and quickly sketch the character they're dressed as. This is a little cheeky, but it works 99% of the time. And the point of it being a group means that in some cases, if one of them decides they want a sketch of their character, the others will follow suit.
  • Have fun. Conventions are work, and being trapped behind a table can be tiring but remember to enjoy the event.

Well that's everything that I could think of at the moment. Feel free to add anything that you've picked up at events below, or ask questions etc. if there's anything more specific you'd like to know.

--- UPDATE ---
I'm putting together an online resource for creators and exhibitors, to help pass along tips, advice and inspiration to convention going artists both new to the con scene and those battle scarred veterans. If you're interested feel free to submit guides, articles, tales of conventions past, or photos.

Events and Conventions / Birmingham Comic Con (UK)
« on: March 02, 2012, 08:08:14 AM »
Hosted in the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, UK, this is a new comic convention created by the MCM group (well known for their bi-annual London MCM Expo and other national events).

It will feature the usual small press comic area, DDR, game demos, exhibitors, and more.

More info:

Events and Conventions / Sunny Con (Sunderland, UK)
« on: March 02, 2012, 07:54:13 AM »
Sunny Con is a new animé event debuting in Sunderland, UK this year. Featuring guest artists, voice actors, specialists in Japanese culture, cosplay, gaming tournaments, and several other events.

More info:

Events and Conventions / London Super Comic Convention
« on: February 20, 2012, 02:27:58 PM »
London Super Comic Con debuts this year at the Excel Centre in London's Victoria Docklands, this year. Featuring guests including industry giant Stan Lee (his first appearance on British soil in 40 years).

The event includes creators from Marvel, DC, IDW and more, as well as an artist alley and small press section.

For more information:

Applications & Introductions / Application: Davy Shirley of Fera
« on: February 09, 2012, 09:17:49 AM »
Hi, I'm Davy Shirley aka T III, creator of the fantasy adventure comic Fera (amongst others). It's been updating weekly since January 2009. Currently preparing the third issue for print along with a couple of other projects.

"Fera: A tale of monsters. A tale of beasts." can be found here:

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