On Saturday all hands were on deck as I was working at the Dundee Comics Expo; the mini convention taking place across from Dee Con 2014.
It was fun to arrive early on in the day and see the Cosplayers roll up en-mass to queue for entry to Dee Con. There were some really fun costumes, and some which must have taken a lot of time and effort to create. I admired their dedication, particularly as they stood out in the cold on muddy grass for a good few hours!
But for me, I was part of the workforce. That’s right – I’ve been lucky enough to get some work experience with Glasgow-based indie comics’ publisher, Rough Cut Comics. And since they had a table of books to sell at the Expo, I jumped right into helping out. My task for the day was to help sell our selection of books and make contact with potential new readers! It was a really fun day, but I have to admit: talking about comics all day really takes it out of you! I’m lucky that I love what I study and really believe in the comics industry, so it didn’t feel at all like working to me – just a fun day out with good people! (You can find out more about Rough Cut and what they do at http://www.roughcut-comics.com)
I wasn’t trapped behind the table all day though – I was able to venture out and speak to some of the other vendors. Planet Jimbot, Black Hearted Press, and Team Girl Comic (also from Glasgow) were present. Dundee’s very own Treehouse Comic (featuring work by Comics Studies MLitt student, Norrie Millar) were there in force. Treehouse Issue 2 was recently launched – if you haven’t picked up your copy yet, make sure you get your hands on one for some really entertaining short stories! Top notch British creators such as Montynero, Jim Devlin, Dan McDaid, Tanya Roberts, and Calum Laird were all present, showing off their artwork. And, of course, there was the launch of the fourth UniVerse anthology!
The UniVerse anthologies feature comics created by our very own students at Dundee University and DJCAD. They’re really great collections with a vast variety of stories and styles, really exemplifying the diversity of the comics medium, as well as demonstrating the fantastic talent we have growing on our own campus! It was a particularly exciting launch for us as our MLitt classmate, Letty Wilson, was featured in this anthology – so we were celebrating her first officially published comic! Letty is a great artist and storyteller, and has her own online comics series, ‘Patchland’. You can see more of Letty’s fantastic work at http://lettydraws.wordpress.com/
There were also a number of presentations given during the day. The only one I was able to make was Tanya Robert’s presentation on creating comics; a really funny insight into her creative methods which featured mermaids and dustbins! I would have liked to have sat through more of the talks, but I was so swept up in my first day of ‘proper comics work’ that time flew right by me!
Dundee Comics Expo was a really great day. I met a lot of interesting people, both involved in creating comics, and the fans of the comics industry. It was also exciting to see such a growth of talent and opportunity available in the British comics’ scene. And above all, I was delighted to get my foot in the door of the comics world, with such an enjoyable day which ultimately proved to myself that I am on the right career path! Hopefully it’s a door I can wedge open!
To see more about Dundee Comics Expo and to keep up to date with their future events, visit their Facebook page.
Or check out this photo report from downthetubes.net (where I stole my pictures from! Plagiarism! I’m sorry!) http://downthetubes.net/?p=14849