Posts Tagged ‘Conventions’

FMC! The True Hollywood Story!

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Critics may suggest that today’s post over at our sister site, Flying Monkey Comics, is sour grapes because of that fact that we don’t have a Wikipedia page, and all my contributions to that particular site keep getting deleted. There may be a smidgeon of a shadow of an element of truth in that. But with our appearance at Leeds’ Thoughtbubble Festival coming up, not to mention the credit crunch, I thought it was time to have a look back at the history of this planet bestriding comics collossus.

Of course, in order to celebrate our tenth anniversary of sequential farts, we have already posted up some of our old strips, including this semi fictionalised account of our artistic development. The current strip, however, is the true story, so if you are compiling the definitive story of our rise, fall and then semi rise, this is the place to look. And don’t forget to check back at the site later in the week for the next two parts of the sensational true life story of FMC, featuring celebrities, sex, nudity, scandal, and incongruous resignations.*

 

*Some of this is lies.

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Thoughtbubblin’

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Comic conventions are a peculiar phenomenon. For a start most of the organisers of these events go out of the way to discourage them from being referred to as “conventions”. As an exhibitor, you can go with the express purpose of trying to make money, or to just make friends and get pally with like minded individuals. Here at Flying Monkey International, we are far too idiosyncratic (or possibly stubborn) to do much of the former and way, way?too misanthropic to do any of the latter.

In fact, one of our major directors and creative lynchpins, Mr Andrew Livesey, isn’t attending the forthcoming Thoughtbubble Festival in Leeds at all, instead opting for a weekend of sex, drugs, violence and miscellaneous debauchery. He swung by my house to drop off a stack of his new collection Chimpanzee Democracy, and his legendarily limited Tasty Fanzine T Shirts, with the veiled threat of evisceration if I dared not to sell any of them.

Tasty!

Despite this we shall be in attendance at Thoughtbubble. When someone decides to put on a Comics event pretty much on your doorstep, it seems rude not to show up (except last year, when I waited far too long to order any books, so didn’t have any on the day).

However, if you wish to purchase any of Andrew’s blood money funded merchandise, or any of our wonderful Hope For The Future collections and back issues (including the new(ish) issue 10), or even one of the few remaining copies of the epochal small press anthology Flying Monkey, come on over to our table and say hello. Underneath our irascible exterior we are actually quite friendly, and happy to chat about anything from the new Clone Wars cartoon, last week’s X Factor result shocker, the Credit Crunch, or Instru-Metal.

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We Got Served!

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Due to various server changes, our regular schedule has been thrown into disarray. You may have noticed that the site has been absent, replaced temporarily with a picture of a friendly dog. Awww!

You may need to change your RSS subscription settings. And by “may” I mean “will”.  But make no mistake, we’re back baby! And just in time for our (sure to be) heroic and historic appearance at the UK Web and Mini Comix Thing this year, on March 28th. Check us out at table number 70. That’s the best number.

UKWMT

We may not have any new merchandise (because of laziness), but there is plenty of all the stuff we had at the last con. And don’t forget we have Hope for the Future back issues for sale at the credit crunch busting price of 50p a pop.

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Thing Report

Monday, March 30th, 2009

 

On our (late) arrival at this years UK Web & Minicomix Thing, an errant “N” caused us to be renamed “Flying Mo’key”. I think this sounds better. It’s a good job our image has always been shambolic and self effacing rather than one of slick professionalism, especially when we had to resort to using the same tatty old red tablecloth we’ve had since 2005 and having to give out flyers with the wrong url on (although to be fair, that’s Lycos’ fault. Damn you Lycos!)

And so to our traditional convention report. Most people will have tales of schmoozing with other talent, and reviews of new groundbreaking work discovered. This will have none of those. It will however feature me pontificating in a long winded manner. No change there then.

These pics, drawn by me and inked by Andrew, remind me of Evan Dorkin's work. This should come as no surprise as we both idolise him.

These pics, drawn by me and inked by Andrew, remind me of Evan Dorkin's work. This should come as no surprise as we both idolise him.

My strip for the Convention Anthology, Godiva Jones: Warrior Princess of Mars, turned out quite well, even though I forgot about it until the last minute. I was going for a kind of Frank Frazetta/pulp magazine style illustration, which is of course completely at odds with everything I was selling, but hey ho. It’s the only new comics work I’ve done in ages, as was pointed out to me a few times by punters who had bought all of my stuff years ago. It’s a fair cop. 

Chimpanzee Democracy:  A collection of Andrew’s strips from the Flying Monkey site was certainly a hit with “The Kids”, which led us to badger him to do more for most of the day. When we weren’t doing that we were planning our next collective masterpiece. After our trailers for Flying Monkey Comics and Hope for the Future issue 10, not to mention our Halloween Special Musical Zombietacular and , we decided to use our combined skills to craft another multimedia extravaganza. Now all we need is an idea, so let us know if you have one. 

Lots of people we spoke to mentioned Watchmen, unsurprisingly enough, so I thought I would attempt to capitalise on the general interest in squid

Last year, there seemed to be about 12 people, and 9 of those were exhibitors. This year the attendance was much higher, a fact borne out by the fact that our first sale was pretty early, whereas we usually have to wait a couple of hours and go through several stages of depression. 

Some hastily drawn portraits, done so we would have something to stick on our wall

These hastily drawn portraits were done so we would have something to stick on our wall

When I wasn’t pimping for Spotify, I was still unable to explain to semi interested punters what Hope for the Future is actually about. “Like Buffy but not as good” is probably the most accurate (and effective). Of course when you are trying to engage with the public (and draw stuff, to prove that you can), you don’t really get a lot of time to check out everyone else’s work. From what I saw, there was some excellent work around, but not being willing to fight my way through the hordes of studenty girls and men who resemble MJ Hibbert, I ended up not really networking. Of course I don’t expect any fabulously talented artists out there would want to draw my scripts rather than their own stuff, but you never know. It may be the only way you’ll get to know what happens.

My new character, Tungsten Dude

 We sold quite a lot of stuff this year, and even met a few people who described themselves as fans (and asked why we didn’t have any new stuff). However, if you were the bloke that bought the copy of Hope for the Future book 2, and asked me to do a sketch in it, you forgot to come back, so let me know where I can send your book. That’s a stone cold collectible now!

Greg, looking peeved

Greg, looking peeved

Although we didn’t have enough time to look around too much, and we weren’t drunk off our asses like we were at Thoughtbubble, we had a great time. I’ll write another post linking to some of the stuff I was given and what I liked in the anthology. Thanks to everyone who came up and said hello. Superthanks to anyone who bought stuff. Can’t wait to do it again. Next time we’ll bring the ukelele.

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Done!

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

issue 12

Issue 12, aka the one that I have neglected to title, is now finished. Yes, I’m sure you were wondering why there was rejoicing in the streets. This issue should be available at Thoughtbubble in Leeds this November if all goes to plan. If not I will no doubt be found weeping quietly in a corner somewhere. However, you can order this issue directly from our pals at IndyPlanet.

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Really Deep Thought(Bubble)s

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

How time flies. A year ago we were fresh faced young scamps at our first comic convention (in Leeds). Now we are grizzled veterans with the attendant emotional scars, gearing up for this years’ Thoughtbubble on Saturday 21st November. For the first time ever I am actually prepared. And by “prepared” I mean not still setting up two and a half hours into the actual convention. Only one thing remains in question – that is whether issue 12 of HFTF will be back from the printers. They are cutting it a bit fine, it has to be said. Of course issue 11 will be available for the first time at a convention, but I was hoping to have 12 as it’s… well… better.

TB

Never fear, dear readers. We promise to hide any crushing disappointments and not be “Captain Bringdown”. You can rest assured that we will be sparkling, witty and accomodating. Failing that our musical director Ol has promised that he will perform a song on his ukelele for everyone who buys a comic. Actually that seems a little excessive… maybe we’ll hold back on the musical accompaniment and just keep it for the people who buy our “high end” stuff (basically, the collected editions).
So whether you buy anything from us or not, come over and say hello. You’ll need something to do while the queues to see the popular artists subside. Talking of which I see some of my favourite comic book creators are in attendance. Duncan Fegredo, Frazer Irving, Frank Quietly… honestly I can’t decide who to stalk most.

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Competwition Time

Monday, November 16th, 2009

it could be you

Thoughtbubble is nearly upon us, so that means we have a couple of competitions for you. First of all it is the Great Hope For The Future Reader Cameo Challenge. Actually, it’s not much of a competition or a challenge, and despite the punning name of this post, has nothing to do with Twitter, but I have decided that anyone who buys one of our fantastic products at Thoughtbubble this Saturday gets the chance to APPEAR IN THE NEXT ISSUE. I believe the appropriate response to this is “W00T!”.  Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  1. The more stuff you buy, the better your chances. Hey we have a massive post con drinking binge to support.
  2. The next issue is set at an event primarily attended by young, cool, sexy people. If you are in fact a young, cool, sexy person your chances of appearing are significantly greater than if you look… y’know… more like me
  3. If you don’t make it into the next issue  (ie all the “slots” are filled) you’ll pop up in a subsequent one. Although I doubt we’ll be inundated with requests, frankly, so that’s probably not a problem.
  4. It would help if you’re easy to draw.
  5. If you’re a stormtrooper it might be a bit tricky to justify, story wise
  6. Of course all of this depends on the life of my camera batteries, or the availability for replacements

So far, so awesome. The second competition is the Great Hope For The Future Twitter Feed Scavenger Hunt. All you need to do is follow me on Twitter and wait for the special super secret tweet. I was going to make it some weird riddle that you need to work out from a series of fiendishly cryptic clues, but I can’t be bothered so it’ll just be some clearly signposted daft phrase that I will tweet between now and Saturday morning (depending on when I remember to do it). Come up to our table during the convention and repeat the stupid phrase, and you’ll get a free comic. Free stuff, just for the brief embarrassment of saying some gibberish to a complete stranger? Every comic book publisher should do that!!

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Closing Thought(Bubble)s

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

It seems to be de rigeur to write up a “report” after attending a comics convention, but what to say that everyone else hasn’t already said? ThoughtBubble 2009 seems to have been a resounding success for exhibitors and attendees alike, which is a testament to the professionalism and friendliness of the organisers and staff. In fact the convention was being reported on largely as it happened, through the magic of Twitter. We are truly living in the future. Usually at this point I struggle to remember specifics, but because of Twitter I can tell you exactly what I was doing at pretty much any point. Let’s take a little trip back into the mists of time…

9.56 Finished setting the table up. After being surly all week at the prospect of HFTF issue 12 not arriving, it actually appeared on Friday, which was a bit of a relief. Of course issue 11 hadn’t been ready for the last con we did, so that was essentially “new” too, but I’m really pleased with how 12 turned out so it would have sucked to not have it available. Remember to order your comics well in advance kids.

10.45 Sold first comic. It was Andrew’s.

11.16 We got interviewed by some girls, one of whom was dressed as Spider-Girl. Not “The” Spider-Girl, or at least not Spider-Girl in her official costume. She looked more like Spider-Girl if she was out at an indie night. Anyway, I’m always up for pontificating in public, especially if it gives me a chance to publicise my comic. However, I’m not actually very good at it. If you thought these blog posts were rambling, stilted and incomprehensible, they are as nothing compared to when I struggle to remember what Hope For The Future is actually about and string a sentence together live.

11.35 At this point we remembered our promise to stick anyone who bought something into the next issue. The guy didn’t look too thrilled about this, but we still took his picture.

12.00 At this point I realised that there were no Imperial Stormtroopers about. There were millions of them last year. I was looking forward to getting a photo of myself getting bitchslapped by “our brave boys” in the 501st. Plenty of cosplayers were around though – these were mainly kids dressed as characters from manga that I don’t recognise, although there were a few Zatannas and a great Riddler/Penguin double act doing the rounds. I’ve never seen anyone as The Penguin before, which is surprising as I imagine it’s an easy costume to put together. Easier than killer Croc and Man Bat anyway. I don’t know what this guy was meant to be. Maybe he always dresses like this

1.00 There was a bit of a dinnertime lull, so Oliver decided to do a ukelele based cover of Marillion’s Kayleigh. I would have preferred Interior Lulu, but that’s not quite as well known, although I realise that Kayleigh is only recognisable to most people today because of the vast amount of girls born in the mid eighties who are called that. I’m not sure whether our uke assisted serenades were actually keeping people away, but I suppose the main thing was that we were enjoying ourselves, even if no one around us was. It’s instructive to note that by this point, some drink had been taken.

1.56 At this point we noticed a particularly badass Iron Man. Now that’s a costume. We should have invited him over for a drink.

2.42 At this point, we were proper drunk. I can tell this as I tweeted about the fact that we had decided our comics should be recommended by a gentleman by the name of Awesome Wells. This struck us as absolutely hilarious, and we vowed to at least create a T shirt featuring him. Probably doing something awesome. Sadly no one took us up on our free comics offer, which is proof that no one actually reads my blog, or my twitter feed, or that they were so intimidated by being in our presence that they lost control of their faculties. I choose to believe the latter.

So we hung out, had a few drinks, sold some books and spoke to a few fellow comics creators, such as Chris Doherty, Richard J Smith and Garen Ewing, gents all deserving of your attention and support if they are not already receiving it. We would have schmoozed more with our fellow creatives but, as misanthropes, that goes against our image. And we are socially inept.

Once we had eaten (and sobered up a bit), we went along to the after party and attended the post con chat show, brilliantly hosted by the boys from Geek Syndicate. Someone should give these two their own TV show, seriously. However, interviewing comics creators about the difficulty of interpreting Grant Morrison’s scripts and the finer points of producing sketches for glue fixated weirdoes, while fascinating to someone like me, may not have the mass appeal of, say, getting deluded no marks to sing Robbie Williams songs tunelessly while brutalising rare tropical insects. Ah well, I’ll never understand the modern world.

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Ooh Stick You!

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Dino-Saw-Us is a sticker collection game thing, running at this year’s UK Web & Minicomix Thing. And the above pic should prove, as if any proof was needed, that we will be participating. And that I need to cut my fingernails!

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