Bristol Con10 - Part Two





Bristol Con, where were we?

Around mid day if the quick glance at my previous post is right.


Hmmmmm, A Hugo Award, That would be nice...


I had just had a bit of a nerd moment with the brilliant Joe Abercrombie and was now in need of more coffee. This gave me the perfect excuse for another wonder around the convention where I stumbled across an interesting dealer stand promoting a book called Dorothy, The Darker Side of Oz. The thing that caught my attention initially was the fantastic character art that was dotted about the stand.



S. Trumble's illustrations for Dorothy, The Darker Side of Oz


It then dawned on me that this book was a little bit different, and a good different too. It is written by Scott Stanford with art by S. Trumble and although there have been several attempts at in many formats to re-envision or re-visit Dorothy and the world of OZ, Scott Stanford seems to have hit the nail on the head in my eyes.

Here is a snippet of the synopsis from the website (Darker Side of Oz):

“As Dorothy awakes in Oz there's no sunshine in Munchkin country, just a twisted race enslaved by the Eastern witch, and a crooked path of yellow bricks she has to take to the mysterious Emerald City, a place ridden with sinister secrets. To get home the orphan girl treks the magical land, sometimes beautiful though often deadly, seeking help from the great wizard of Oz...”



A little more mingling and chatting to people and it was time for the next panel I intended to join, Visualising Fabulous Worlds. This panel looked at what worked with art and the written word when it came to creating fantasy worlds, what are the pit-falls and how to do it right. The panel included: Joe Abercrombie, Stephanie Burgis, Mike Tucker, Andy Bigwood, Roz Clarke and Kim Lakin-Smith as chair.


Some of Kirk Stacey's fantastic art that was on display - www.kirkspen.co.uk


The panel was brilliant, I found it as I did with the others I attended, very well informed and thoughtful and though provoking. The main message was if your writing, less detail is more and if your an artist? Well, simple you have a lot of hard work ahead of you!

I joke, something I did learn, which was one of those light-bulb moments. Was the difference there is for the same Sci-Fi book jacket here in the UK and over in the USA. It all seems obvious now, but there we go. In the UK we like to see spaceships, in the USA they like to see characters on their covers. Bizarre but true! Have a look at some covers online, or even on your bookshelves at home.


Simon Gurr and some of his art that was on display - simongurr.wordpress.com


Again at this point I got really busy with chatting to people and spent almost the rest of the convention in the art room plugging my work and swapping ideas with the other guys who were there. This did mean I missed the other two panels I wanted to attend: Future Science and Paul Cornell, however I did pick up some invaluable advice, make some good friends and some important contacts. A well worth sacrifice, and the main reason for attending Bristol Con in the first place.

That was it for me, before I knew it, the art exhibit was packing away and it was time to go.


The author of Haywired, Alex Keller, talks to some fans - alexkelleruk.tumblr.com


It was a fantastic day, and I have gained sooooooo much from this one event. My advice, if you are an aspiring artist or writer, get to these events and get your work out there. I gained more contacts, feedback, advice, knowledge and experience in one day than months of plugging away on any website or forum.

So I would just like to finish by saying thank you to everyone who helped out, attended, chatted and made the day possible, and not only that, but the great day it was too. See everyone next year!

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