THE BIRMINGHAM INTERNATIONAL COMICS SHOW (BICS)
Man, what a weekend. It started in Dublin at 6.30am waking up on my mates couch rushing to have a quick shower before my buddy Matt, his girlfriend Nara and myself had to catch a taxi to the airport. At the airport we met Mooney, Thompson, Lisa and one Mr. Fran Johnston.
We seperated once we landed in Birmingham, so we could all get settled in our respective hotels (or hostel in my case). I met the irish guys for a cup of tea (how irish)and left them so i could meet up again with Matt and Nara. We went to a bar we found last year and started drinking. This was around 2 o clock. We were soon joined my the patron saint of Brum, Ben McCool and who must be the patron saint of Croatia, Esad Ribic. There, i was drinking 8% cider! Thankfully i took a break to meet Will Sliney off the bus. We rejoined the irish crew for some grub and went back to the bar. Gotta say, it was great to be out in Brum with the irish crew. I've been going to British cons for years and at last year's Brum i had 2 or 3 irish mates at it. This time, it was more like 10. That was brilliant.
Friday night was the launch party, and boy, what a party it was. Met up with Andy Winter who i worked with on Hero Killers and David Baillie, who wrote me a story for Your Round. I may have had a bit to drink. I'm sure there were many witnesses to support this fact. Oh yeah, and these pictures do the same.....
Nara and myself hamming it up for the camera.
Another Croatian/Irish photo. This time Esad Ribic and me.
The Irish crowd. Stephen Mooney, Will Sliney, Stephen Thompson, Me and a very happy Lisa Jackson.
Good ol' boys Willy McSliney and Dec O'Shalvinator.
Things degenerate rapidly. Will, me, Niki Robinson, Leigh Gallagher, Andy Baker (servicing Matt Hollingsworth) and Matt servicing me.
The next day i had to get up early to meet and greet the clamtastic Bob Byrne. Safe to say, i was a bit rough, but after a greasy breakfast and some witty banter i was all set for the con. It was held in the very impressive Millenium Point building(sorry, no pictures). The Bristol conventions in May ars split between two buildings, and last years Birmingham convention had dealers and exhibitors divided into seperate rooms, so it was great that this year, everyone was all under one roof, with a seperate hall for talks/panels. Again, no photos. Why do i have no photos of the actual con, only the bars afterwards. My Saturday was spent sitting with Bob Byrne at my table, next to Si Spurrier, who was wonderful company. I met up with my employers, the good people at Classical Comics, and met and greeted lots of familiar faces. A friend of mine from Limerick, Alma O' Carroll had her first comic out, Redemption's Flame, and it's absolutely brilliant. I knew Alma had promise, but he's come on in huge strides in the last few months. See some of her work here. And here she is sketching....
Saturday evening brought some more drinking, and some more posing...
Will, me, a cheeky Mooney, and a smiley Thompson.
Me and Bob Byrne.
A bottle of whiskey, Sir Michael of Wright, myself and Benny McCool (with a justifiably bemused looking Liam Sharp in the background).
Team Anger; Guilia Brusco, Esad Ribic and me.
Team .....uh .......4 A.M. Bob Byrne, Lorcan McGrane, me (now with karate action), Lee O' Connor and Dom Reardon
I woke on Sunday, surprised that i had no hangover. More of the same on Sunday, which was great. I went to Matt's colouring panel, which was really interesting. Definately a highlight of the weekend. By the time it was over, i wanted to colour everything around me! Another highlight was when i managed to get a big A3 sketch off one of my favourite artists, Kevin Nowlan. I was so excited when i heard he was attending the show. I don't geek out much these days, but man, i had to when it came to Mr. Nowlan. Mike Mingnola was there too, but i got a sketch off him in San Diego last year, so i was happy. Very happy.
Matt's colouring demo.
Sunday night was a much more relaxed affair. Saw Michael Wright's band SKELTER perform in a very surreal venue, and caught up with my good pal James Hodgkins and fellow organisers of the con, Andy Baker and Shane Chebsey.
The organisers Shane, James and Andy.
PILE-ON!!!!!! The organisers, and a Will and a Matt on top of them.
In the end, I had an absolute blast, even better than last year. Hopefully next year will be even better.
Thanks to everyone who said hi, and thanks to everyone who's photos i robbed for this blog post. I'm looking at you Bob.