Two weeks has gone too swiftly by since I attended my first Thought Bubble convention in Leeds. I was privileged to be attending as a guest thanks to the generosity of my mentor Mark Buckingham. I shared a table with him in the Armouries Hall which was a venue add-on because of the high demand this year for exhibitor space.
I was only there for the Sunday but it was a memorable, landmark occasion in my comic life so far. I had spent the last few months preparing my mini comic “It Girl” to sell at the convention since my graphic novel is nowhere near completion. It also seemed to make sense to build an audience and test the waters with a small work before wading into the deep end with no life jacket!
My business partner Bob and I came up the night before hotfoot from my panto rehearsals in Bromley, ready to set up the pitch nice and early the next morning. The Armouries Hall was a pleasant , bright space with lots of helpful Thought Bubble volunteers (some on roller skates!) on call for comic sellers. One of the first friendly faces of the day was the lovely James E Snelling who was a few tables away from us ready to sell his “Jaded Enemy” books. My first new friend of the day was JAKe whose “Hellraisers” graphic novel about those sixties cavaliers Burton, O’Toole, Harris and Reed is a personal favourite. His first comment about my “It Girl” comic was how good the design looked, which was a huge compliment. I was told not all self published comics pay attention to the overall design. The morning seemed to follow on with a stream of well wishing professionals. Sean Phillips took the trouble to come over and buy my book before his own “stall” opened for business. I was gobsmacked to say the least. And then my Titan champion Steve White came up to wish me well on my inaugural Thought Bubble too.
Meanwhile a healthy crowd of “Fables” fans was lining up on Mark’s side of the table, waiting for their art hero to appear. He arrived mid morning and proceeded to engage with fans and draw bespoke sketches of their favourite characters.
Despite my fears of sitting behind my table with no customers in sight, there was a steady flow throughout the day. Terry Wiley of “Verity Fair” fame did a swap with me ( I first met him at the Lakes Con last month) and did a very sweet gesture in spreading the word around Thought Bubble for my comic. I had a range of customers from students of silent films to an eye-catching SteamPunk family in fetching regalia.
All in all a brilliant day and left with the feeling that my maverick genre definitely has an audience in the comics and graphic novel market.
If you would like to buy ‘It Girl‘ please click on this link to Jessica’s Emporium.