Bristol Con10 - Part One

I made it!

Despite my lack of sleep and one heck of a long weekend I survived Bristol Con10 and I had one hell of a day, and from the buzz at the event (and post event) I believe I wasn't alone either.

For me, this event started weeks ago with planning and preparation. However the first real 'getting my hands dirty' part came on the Friday evening, the day before the event when we set the rooms for the big day. I must admit, being an artist, I got away lightly with just helping put up a few display boards and hanging my art and I take my hat off to the other guys though who were running around arranging rooms for panels and dealers, etc.. ...and luckily there are no real egos in the art and writing world (?), so no sorting out bowls of only the blue M&Ms for the guests.

A Quick Snap of Some of My Art on Display

Saturday morning started bright and early for me (luckily for me Friday night my son decided that sleep was something I didn't need and kept waking me up every few hours – ah kids, you gotta love 'um!) Plenty of coffee and jammy toast and a longish drive later it was 8:30 and I was at the Ramada doors and making my way in to the event – the doors opening at 9:00 with the first panel at 10:00, perfect.

The first half of the day went by in a blur! Arriving that little bit early gave me the illusion of having more time on my hands than I really did, and although I was primarily at the event to promote my work, I did want to poke my head into a few of the panels too. So I started my day (after checking my art hadn't fallen off the wall over night) by having a wonder and meeting a few people.

One of the first guys I met was Terry Martin of Murky Depths - Murky Depths is bi-monthly publication that showcases a mix of art and literature in a graphic-novel-style magazine that focuses on speculative fiction stories with with some horror and fantasy elements.

I had a fantastic chat with Terry about Murky Depths, which led to a longer chat, joined by the fantastic writer Paul Cornell (find his blog here ), about publishing comics and magazines in the digital age. By this time I had noticed that a big chunk of the morning had simply disappeared somewhere, time is a tricksy thing, and I was in a desperate need of a coffee. So promising Terry Martin I would return to pick up some copies of Murky Depths later, (of which I did and grabbed the first two issues, and already planning to get more) I wondered off to slick my thirst, or is that need?

The Doors Open for Bristol Con10!

Much to my disappointment, I failed miserably to rustle up a cup of coffee, distracted by chatting to other artists and visitors, and before I knew it it was already time for the first panel, one on publishing that offered some fantastic insights from Andy Bigwood, Colin Harvey, Dave Bradley and Mike Shevdon and chaired by Juliet McKenna.

This first panel was fantastic and very informative. For me it showed that I was on the right track with how I was approaching the industry and also gave me some heads up on areas I was naive to or hadn't considered as well as I should of. My advice just from this one panel, if your looking to get into writing, art or anything along these lines, then you need to attend events like this one and sit in on these panels. The experience these guys have is invaluable, and don't be cocky, listen to what the tell you, even if it isn't what you want to hear. It is good, honest advice that will help you get to where you want to be.

One of the Panels Warming Up

Now I'm going to summarise the next few hours in a short: good news – bad news -good news bit.

Good News: Found unlimited free tea and coffee – Wooo-whooo!

Bad News: Missed one of my heroes holding an answers and questions panel – Joe Abercrombie, and I also missed the next panel discussing the special effects industry with a wealth of guys from that area.– Boo-whooo!

Good News: Whilst I missed these panels I managed to sell some art, meet a load of great guys and I think I may have landed a magazine cover (more on that last point as it develops – watch this space)– Wooooooo-whoooooooooooooooo!

This now brings me to almost the end of this first post and about halfway through the day of the con. I thought I'd finish the post on a high (not like I'd had about twenty by this point in the day already!).

I managed to get my fan boy bit. I met Joe Abercrombie in person (you can find his blog here ). I've been a big fan of Joe's work since I read his first book: The First Law – The Blade Itself. I did get a little bit stupid and fat tongued when I chatted to him, but despite my foolish ramblings he signed my book and had a chat with me, more than made up for missing his earlier Q&A panel.

So how did the rest of the day go? Stay tuned, I'll be posting more as this week goes on.


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