Spilled Blood - video trailer

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Dundee Comics Conference 2010...Been there, done it...wore the t-shirt!

A long day for Mssrs. Chaz and Frang began early on Sunday morning, and involved a frustrating argument with Dundee city's increasingly annoying system of 1-way traffic and strategically-placed roadworks, seemingly engineered to make their timely arrival at the opening of this event in the Dundee Literary Festival calendar as difficult as possible. There were times when reality felt as if it had been substituted for an interactive episode of TV's "Spaced", with comic geekiness and eternal obstacles intertwining to create a rather surreal journey to the Dundee University tower building.

Chaz left Frang in charge of setting up the stand after a brief and breathless Bisley-esque conversation before dashing off to move the car to a less illegal parking spot (which turned out to be 10 minutes' walk away...)

Following this inauspicious opening, Fenriswulf eventually staked out their merchandise stand at the far end of the main entry hall, sharing space with George Cordeiro's Black Hole comics store table, and a couple of other stalls selling relevant merchandise. The main point of the event for us had been more networking than profit, as well as meeting some very interesting people, and all of the above was happily accomplished. George sold a few of his self-penned "Far Out" comics titles (with art by Frang), and also agreed to promote Fenriswulf as much as he could - by taking on stock for his shop, as well as distributing business cards to customers throughout the day.

Chaz caught up with - surprise, surprise - Neil Cunie, onetime sales manager of Dundee's Borders store, who had been instrumental in getting Fenriswulf's first products out there to the public in the earliest days of the project. Frang attended a talk while Chaz chatted happily with the chap behind the "Fine & Dandy" DC Thomson licensed merchandise stall - and in the process learned much about the complex business of licensed products.

While the event wasn't as well-attended as maybe had been hoped, all those who were there seemed to enjoy themselves and all of the talks were educational, funny, and interesting. Alan Davis gave his personal angle on drawing comic art for the American market; a very animated Dez Skinn shared many amusing anecdotes related to the birth of his early editorial projects with IPC and UK Marvel in the 70s; and Pat Mills contributed some fascinating personal details of the differences between working in the Franco-Belgian, and the British, comics markets.

Friendly books signings concluded the day, which also included a genuinely-heartfelt tribute to the late local Beezer comic artist Bill Ritchie, and everyone adjourned to the DCA art bar for after-conference relaxation. Frang and Chaz spent the rest of the evening in discussion over the next phase of the Fenriswulf campaign for independent writing and comic art, with plenty of new material on the horizon. Products haven't been mega-selling yet but then nobody expected them to be - at this still very early stage in the game, brand recognition and networking are really the prime goals. Profit is mere vanity and was never even figured into the equation, though the day will come - not before too long, with any luck - when it does become a serious goal. Rome, after all, wasn't built in a day.

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Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners

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