After the success of our inaugural Demoncon comic and gaming convention we realised we needed to follow up the success with another event as soon as possible. As the gaming side of things had garnered less interest during the first evnt we decided to focus Demoncon2 just on comics, asking (or is that harrassing) as many artists and writers to attend as we could cram into the venue without it bursting. ‘Food outlet explodes from over stuffing of illustrators’, would make a somewhat bizarre headline in the KM. With the guest list numbers settled at 16 it was good that on this occasion I had two capable pairs of hands to hand over the organisation of the event to being as the last time I’d nearly suffered a total meltdown. Jon Rapley and Nicholas Lawrence took over the running of the event on the day and couldn’t have done a better job. Table plans were drawn up, guests were ‘meeted and greeted’, furniture was relocated and raffle prizes were acquired. All that was left for me to do was enjoy the day with my children, which this time, unlike at the first event I was able to do as I was able to relax and as the poster given to me by guest, Tony Lee, says, ‘Stay Calm and Read Comics’.
Once again Eden did us proud as a number of the guests commented on how unlike any other Con this one was, what with breakfasts being served to table and effectively a licensed bar less than a few feet from their table. The biggest shame about the future growth of the event is the fact that we won’t have the ambience created by this delightful sandwich bar as we move on to bigger and better things.
My day was spent whizzing around with my kids, getting sketches, chatting about the industry and striking far better deals than I get from my regular suppliers. I’ll post the sketches later but first I want to say a little something about the guests that attended. In my twitter feeds I had posted a number of comments about those that attended, all of which came out sounding either wrong or in some way belittling their achievements in the industry. I’m going to give it another go and hopefully this time the right message will be conveyed. It is my goal with the Demoncon events to have a collection of guests whose passion and demeanour counts far more than their star status within the industry. Nothing but positive feedback has come back to me about each and every one of our guests, with pretty much everyone commenting on what a pleasant bunch of folk we had making the day the day that much more of a success.
THE GUESTS (from the front of the building working back)
Sonia Leong and Morag Lewis (Sweatdrop Studios)
Just to clarify that my knowledge of Manga can be recorded on a very small sheet of A5 and that would just list which titles have sold in my shop to date and in what volumes. Therefore Sonia and Morag were somewhat of an unknown entity to me as other than the name Sweatdrop being a regular at most cons I’d ateended I knew nothing about their back catalogues/art styles etc. I found them to be incredibly easy going and pleasant to natter to and both of my sons who had sketches from Sonia were incredibly pleased with the finished results. Since the event we have now become stockists of Sweatdrop products with both Morag and Sonias work being available in store. If you follow the links at the bottom of this article you should find some of Morag’s work in one of the other write ups of the event.
Cy Dethan (Markosia – Cancertown, Slaughtermans Creed, Starship Troopers)
Cy didn’t have too far to travel to get to Demoncon, making the trip from near Canterbury along with Nic Wilkinson and Peter Mason. They also brought with them stock of Cy’s books from Markosia, Cancertown and Slaughterman’s Creed, both of which we have stocked at the shop. Unfortunately for them it turned out, not enough stock as they had sold out mid afternoon. I did manage to have a good chat with Cy and Nic and hopefully we will organise an in shop signing when his next book is released.
I hope Jack won’t mind me skipping past him a little. For example of Jack’s art checkout some of the great comissions he’s drawn for me, which can be seen on our facebook page or his deviant art page. Jack is local to the store and we are proud to be stockists of his writer created title, Tinpot Hobo, issue 2 of which will be with us on the 24th November. As mentioned earlier, the help from Jacks husband, Nick, was invaluable to the success of the day.
Grant and Eva Perkins (Comic Book Alliance)
Up until the day I hadn’t actually spoken to Grant and Eva as all the arrangements for their attendance had been dealt with by Jack (Lawrence). However I spent a very large percentage of the day around their table as my kids tended to gravitate towards Grant and David Wynne (at the opposite table) for a large periods of time. They were selling their Spirit of Hope anthology graphic novel, with which they hopefully raised a fair some of money for charity. Both of them were really easy to natter to, with Eva being particularly effervescent and we look forward to them attending future events that we organise, as is the case with all our guests from the day. My youngest son acquired two sketches from Grant, one of Toothless (How to Train your Dragon) and one of Wolverine, both of which he loves despite calling his stylized Wolvie a ‘baby Wolverine’
Chris Phillips, Chris Bates, Phillip Jackson (Pink Ink, The Moose, Candleman, Sequential Art, Little Victory)
Chris, Chris and Phillip had stayed at our house the night before the event, so I’d manage to nab a free sketch previously. Both Chris and Phillip have somewhat individual art styles so I always enjoy picking up pieces from them whenever possible. They were selling new Candleman books, Volume 3 of Sequential Art and sketching away furiously for the majority of the day.
Another regular of the shop who I didn’t really get the chance to talk to on ther day, but we normally make up for that on his visits to the shop. However I must share his latest artwork with you as it is bleeding awesome X-MEN
Ian Sharman & David Wynne (Orangutang Comics – Hero 9 to 5, Hypergirl, FTL, Particle Fiction)
Ian had a very successful time of things at our first Demoncon, faring better than he had at other conventions in the past, so it was good to see him return , this time seated alongside the incredibly talented artist David Wynne, who spent huge swaths of time as my unpaid babysitter as my kids clamored for more artwork from him. I think they nabbed three sketches in total, so my apologies to him. We will be stocking the all ages suitable Hypergirl in the very near future
Garen Ewing (The Rainbow Orchid)
To say that I’m a massive fan of Garen would be an understatement. I first met him at MCM Expo when he drew a beautiful ligne claire style Comissioner Gordon for my son. Despite his reservations that comic shops aren’t the best outlets for his books I know that a number of the con visitors were suitably impressed. I’m hoping he will want to return for our next event especially as the final Rainbow Orchid volume should be available then.
The first Demoncon was Daves first con as an artist, however he has since gone on to become a bit of a conventin veteran. I’ve acquired a number of pieces by Dave since then and he was the artist for this cons poster, along with a number of my wrestling comissions. Here’s an example of his work, although you can see a lot more on our facebook page
The drawing does have hands, its just the way I’ve scanned it. I’m hopeless with technology.
Tony Lee and Dan Boultwood
With D&A (Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) absent due to a convention in Lille, Tony was probably the best known name from the comics industry at this event. With a huge number of books and comics under his belt, a number of which were illustrated by his partner in crime for the day, Dan, he came with a whole host of books to sell, including his recent run on IDW’s Doctor Who. Unfortunately, from my point of view, he didn’t have any copies of The Baker Street Irregulars as his publishers had let him down. Dan drew a quirky Alfred in my sons sketchbook.Peter Anckorn
Pete is another local and regular from the shop, selling his D&D parody, By the Book. After getting told off by everyone for giving out free sketches at the last con, Pete was charging a nominal amount for his stylized fantasy style art. He got the ball rolling with regards my kids sketches with a marine from Halo.
Marc was the artist who I was most excited about meeting. I fell in love with his old school artwork along time ago, when he pencilled the wonderful American Century from Vertigo Comics. I’d been communicating with him via twitter in the run up to the event and to say that I was spoilt on the day was an understatement, with him bringing me not only an AC inspired piece of art but an original page from the comic book as well. Unfortunately I didn’t get as much time to chat with Marc as I would have liked, but the feedback from all that picked up pieces from him or even chatted to him was amazing. We hope to have Marc in store sketching when his latest project, The Rinse is released as a Graphic Novel.
The Day itself was an incredible success. We matched the first event for footfall and more money was spent overall amongst the various guests, although not quite as much found its way my direction. The artists ALL did us proud, with some ridiculously good art leaving the building.
The amazing raffle, to which all the guests contributed prizes raised some money for the shop and £42.50 towards the schools comic project that we are organising, see our facebook page over the next few days for more details
For some better written accounts of the day check out these blogs
some photos, courtesy of lance manley
charity mash sketch for LARP aid