Posts Tagged ‘Thoughtbubble’

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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This Just In: Stuff Actually Happening

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The site traffic to hftf.co.uk is very healthy at the moment, which is a little weird as I haven’t updated in a while. The normal schedule will resume soon (ish) but for now here’s some news. I’m sure this will make the hits dry right up, but anyway…

The big news is that Hope For The Future issue 13 is now finished, and should (should) be available at this year’s Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds next month. This is the much anticipated cryptozoology special, in which our heroes tangle with the mystery beasts of the British Isles. And some nauseatingly trendy students.

We’ll also have all the collected editions, back issues, sketches, and those stickers that we have left over from the last Thing. You know the drill.

I’ve also done a strip for friend of Flying Monkey and all round splendid chap, Mr Jason Cobley. He’s been putting together Bulldog Clips, an anthology of stories based on the long running Small Press Comics character. My story involves a mad scientist, a giant robot, and pizza.

So as you can see it’s all happening here at Flying Monkey Comics. Or at least it will be. In a bit.

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Thought Bubble 2010

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

It’s that time of year again, when Leeds becomes the centre of the comics universe, and artists stagger out of their hermit like existence into the outside world, their pale eyes blinking in the unfamiliar sunlight as they attempt to flog some of their stuff. The boys from Flying Monkey Comics Incorporated will be out in force at Thought Bubble 2010, regaling all with tall tales and scintillating anecdotes, holding forth on the creative process and meeting fans, admirers and comic book groupies. That’s the plan, anyway. What is more likely is that we will sit, scribbling strange images, pausing only to scowl at passers by and try to remember who we have sold books to in the past. Actually I’m going to try to keep the scowling to a minimum this year, so come up and say hello to see if we manage to mask our misanthropy. We’ll at least draw something for you (as long as it’s not porn).

We’ll have the usual clutch of comics, books and sketches, and we also have a shit ton of those stickers we got for the Dino Saw Us thing at The Thing. I don’t know if they’re doing that passport thing at Thought Bubble, so you can just, come up to us and get some stickers for your school books, phone, court summons, or wherever the hell else you might want to stick them.

We will also have a BRAND NEW ISSUE for sale. Yeah you’re right to look amazed. Hope For The Future 13, the long awaited Cryptozoology special continues the intrigue and mystery of ish 12 (such as it was), and features dragons, alien lizards and a ghost monkey on the cover, because an old man once told me that comics with monkeys on the cover sell better. I think it might have been the old man that featured in all those rock songs in the early 70s. He was always talking shit about demons and that.

I shall also endeavour to update my Twitter feed in the run up to the Festival, and throughout the day. I’m sure this will be of no interest to that Pizza Shop in Plymouth that is inexplicably following me, but those of you who are interested in the mental deterioration of a once loved and respected pillar of the artistic community will no doubt find it mildly diverting. More soon!

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Judge Not

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Leeds has often been called The Cradle of Civilisation, and it’s easy to see why when there’s an event as enjoyable as Thought Bubble. Once again I’m hearing nothing but good things about Saturday’s Comics Convention/Festival/Thingy.

Relieved that I had managed to get the new issue of Hope For The Future printed on time (get it here, bitches. Well, after I get some more printed, that is. Big up to our friends at Print X for doing such an excellent job, incidentally), I was able to abandon my usual irascible and hateful demeanour and just enjoy the event. As we were setting up I was casually sliding underneath our table, and was told off by a zombie, for contravening heath and safety regulations, which set the template for the day. Shortly afterwards, a couple of Mega City Judges walked by, and I (trying to show off my geek credentials) suggested to “Judge McMahon” that his boots should be bigger. He suggested that he should smash my face in with a daystick. It’s good to see some of these people don’t break character.

Thought Bubble not only focuses on the traditional twin pillars of comic conventions, signings by professional comics creators and a ton of merch, but equally important to the day are the independent creators like us, and the cosplayers. A lot of people roll their eyes when they see cosplayers but I think it adds a lot of colour to the event, which would otherwise be predominately ragged, mundane looking men in t-shirts. And to be honest, I’d rather see Harley Quinn and Catwoman than, well, people who look like me. Talking of which…

I can’t tell you how thrilled I was by this. It doesn’t come across in the photo, but this guy was massive. He even had the cyborg asthma thing going on as well. Unfortunately I didn’t get around to taking that many photos (the ones I did get are all up on the Thought Bubble Facebook Group page) so I missed out some other notable costumes. By the way, I don’t care what anyone says, Vader with boobs is not canon.

Andrew has sold out of Chimpanzee Democracy, and has decided not to get any more printed, because he hates giving people what they want for money. He also hasn’t drawn any comics in ages even though we keep telling him his stuff’s ace. Rest assured we will keep nagging him. Oliver is a non combatant in the ongoing war of sequential art, but had brought his trusty ukulele along to give him something to do with his hands. He also offered to write a song for anyone who came to our table, but ended up musically accusing somebody of being a paedophile. This is probably not good business practise.

Similarly, offering all your sketches for just 50p is a bit daft, especially when some of them are quite good because you prepared them beforehand. I was inundated with requests including group portraits, Spider-Man and Stephen Hawking, which I dutifully completed, but neglected to take photos of any of them for posterity. On the plus side I managed to shift my “Edward Cullen: What a cunt!” pic. I guess now I need to do one where I call Wolfboy a bellend. What do you say, Twilight fans?

When you’re hell bent on selling your stuff there’s not much time left for networking with your comics making brethren, and certainly none for queueing up to meet the guy who writes “Elf Wizardz”. But having said that I think we had more people stop at our table than in previous years, many of whom said they weren’t massive comics fans but just came by to see what was going on and decided to stay because it looked interesting, which strikes me as very healthy. And the monkey on the cover thing? Totally works!

I had a brief chat with Award Winning Artist Neill Cameron, who I think got tired of me constantly referring to him as Award Winning Artist Neill Cameron, as he claims he hasn’t won any awards, but I reckon he’s just forgotten. You should check out his book Mo-Bot High, but don’t take my word for it. This review sums it up better than I ever could. We also finally met the guys from Geek Syndicate, who are thoroughly decent and charming fellas. I seem to remember them filming us trying, and failing to explain what HFTF is actually about. This is something I have difficulty with at the best of times, which is why I prepared this handy visual guide:

I’ll be honest with you, by this time some drink had been taken. I realise that’s an incredibly boorish thing to go on about, but we are no doubt friendlier when in our cups, even if our diction, penmanship and spelling suffers. Oliver was doing his usual trick of laughing loudly at someone else’s comic (in this case My Cardboard Life), and for some reason we were singing the hits of Boston, but this is just an indication that we were having a good time.

Soon after this we were swanning around the Alea Casino, like a badly dressed Rat Pack. In previous years we have bailed fairly earlier and found some dingy pub in favour of the after party, but this year we hung around. Pausing only to start a rumour that they were going to show Labyrinth in the screening room – I think we even started to believe that this would actually come to pass and we would be confronted by Bowie’s oversized junk on the big screen – we then moved on to the dancefloor, which resembled a wedding disco for nerds. People seriously lost their shit over the themes from Ghostbusters and Poddington Peas. After a while it turned into a bit of a 90s indie night, and I have to hand it to whoever had the idea to play Kandy Pop by long forgotten one hit wonders Bis. I thought we were the only people in the universe who remembered them (although I always preferred this), but everyone else was dancing along. This made Andrew’s night. Seriously, if he’d found a mint copy of Amazing Fantasy 15 in his loft he wouldn’t have been happier.

I saw a lot of happy faces that day, and that’s a testament to what a great atmosphere this convention has. We had a whale of a time, and can’t wait for next year. Congratulations to the organisers, for putting together such a successful event, and thankyou to everyone who came up to our table for a chat. And if you bought anything I’ll love you forever. Yeah I’ve turned over a new leaf. No longer am I the most miserable sod in comics (not while the guy that ran the UK Web & Minicomix Thing is around. JUST KIDDING. Or am I?).

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14/17

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Holy Guacamole! There’s a new issue of Hope For The Future! Check out this thrilling (and misleadingly coloured) pic –

Hannah is determined to work out what’s been going on in the series up to this point, and who can blame her? In order to find a connection between various secret societies, murders, hauntings, genetically engineered monstrosities and demonic incursions, she takes a trip to the coast and ruminates on an adventure from her early life in which she kicked it with some friendly talking animals, became a wizard and hunted monsters. Also features some guy getting abducted by aliens, but there’s a chance he’s lying about it.

It’s currently available from our friends at Indieplanet. However, you won’t be able to buy it from us at the ThoughtBubble Festival, in beautiful Leeds, on November 19-20th. Bit weird, I hear you cry. Well, the comics are currently at an unspecified location, somewhere between New Jersey and Leeds. If you see them, let me know, yeah.

We’ll still be there, in the stately surroundings of The Royal Armouries Hall with smiles on our faces and songs in our hearts. And a merciless desire to sell you comics. Not the new HFTF, obviously. I can describe the plot to you in person, but I suspect this is a poor substitute. We will, however have all three collected editions (collecting issues 1-12), issue 13 (screaming ghost monkey cover), issue 12 (sexy goth girl cover) and loads of skanky old back issues that we are selling for pennies. Bargain!

In addition we’ll also have something brand spanking new, yet heavily redolent of the past. Thought Bubble will see the debut of our new all ages, all action, all fun old school minicomic PIZZA THE ACTION! Drawn by Flying Monkey Comics’ very own Andrew Livesey it’s our attempt to revive the days of scratty photocopied black and white A5 comics at a recession busting price of 10p. You can’t afford not to buy a copy for you and all of your entourage. Check out these awesome  and totally out of context preview images!*

*complete with non sequiter, non final dialogue, for added intrigue
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Thought Bubble 2012

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Another year, another Thought Bubble Convention in Beautiful Downtown Leeds. It was pretty much the same as last year’s, but better. Normally at this point, I would write a long rambling blog post about what I got up to, with lots of stupid gags and dopey sketches that I’d scribbled on the day. I fear if I were to do one this year I would be repeating myself. It’s still exceptionally well organised and managed, it’s still packed to the rafters with insanely talented artists and crawling with cosplayers of all castes, and it’s still the most fun convention we’ve ever been to.

This kid wins Thought Bubble - actually this kid wins at life!

People love that Harley Quinn - I saw at least seven of them

I tried to get around and have a look at as many artists’ work as I could – I think I must’ve managed about 3%, but I have since made it my mission to follow every single exhibitor (and most of the punters) on Twitter. I can genuinely say everyone whose work I have seen was really good. I could have done with seeing a few that were crap to be honest. The trouble with seeing so much great art is that I can’t decide whether it’s inspiring, or alternatively makes me feel like I should give up and set fire to everything I’ve ever done. I can’t be alone in this.

Here's a pic I drew for our pal Richard J Smith of one of his many characters, surly bat demon type thing Chainsaw

It looks like I'm about to be assimilated. I hate it when that happens. Of course all you need to do in this situation is start busting some dance moves and sing "We Are Here To Change The World"

As we were walking away from the venue at the end of the second day we came upon a weird little scene playing out. Some people were stood around watching another man stood above them on some steps, who was shouting at them. It entered my mind that it could have been one of those religious guys that stand in the centre of town at the weekend that yell at passers by about how they’re going to Hell, but as we got closer, it became apparent that the man was performing a soliloquay, and was dressed as Doctor Who (surely the easiest and least imaginative costume, next to “normal guy carrying gun”). Now if I was up on Doctor Who lore I would be able to identify what episode the monologue was from, and what its significance was, but, alas I must remain ignorant. But it struck me as something that just wouldn’t happen anywhere else. Our sonic screwdriver wielding pal wasn’t playing to a big audience, just a handful of mates, but he was having a whale of a time. It summed up the friendly, welcoming and diverse atmosphere of Thought Bubble. I haven’t worked out how quite yet, but as soon as I do you’ll be the first to know.

Love that Joker

Long time readers of this blog will remember we were interviewed back in ’09 by Spider-Girl. This video never emerged, and I presumed it was because our answers were a bit dull – possibly our thoughts were elsewhere i.e. trying to work out precisely what relationship this young lady had with Peter Parker. However we were interviewed again last year, and that video has just emerged. I wish I had shaved, and I keep pulling slightly pissed off faces for no apparent reason, but I do gush about how brilliant Thought Bubble is, so, y’know, Thought Bubble people – don’t ban me next year!

Thanks to: All at Thought Bubble HQ for the Herculean task of making the convention run smoothly. Andrew for being my sidekick on Saturday and making me buy him loads of drinks at the evening party. Harriet for helping me out on Sunday in the face of my terrible terrible hangover. Rosie for interviewing us, editing the vid and acting as if we are the big shots that we like to think we are although definitely are not. Everyone who came up to chat to us, and bought comics, sketches and prints – you people are what makes Britain Great.
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THOUGHTBUBBLE 2014

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Thought Bubble is the UK’s best comic event. However, last year, instead of attending, I sat in the shell of a house and felt sorry for myself. Moving house took up a lot of my year, and as a result I was unable to get anything together to sell. And also I couldn’t afford it. I’m sure you all had a brilliant time, bastards.

HFTF15

This year though, I will be there, along with the long awaited (by me) issue 15 of Hope For The Future. Yes, I put out comics about as regularly as Kate Bush treads the boards. And with a thousand times more theatricality! In this thrilling PENULTIMATE issue, the shit starts to go down! An implausible underground city is discovered and our gallant heroes face off against gun toting maniacs (pretty much), ninjas (kinda) and dragons (uh… ish). Also tons of plot gets explained, so all that crap that you thought was just random words thrown onto the page to fill up space in previous issues will all be laid out. You won’t want to miss this. Unless of course you haven’t read the comic previously, but if that’s the case you’re in luck, because I’ll be AGGRESSIVELY SELLING the previous two issues that set this one up.

Con Sketches1

In addition, I’ll have trade paperback style collections, prints, original art, and all the usual crap. In the past I’ve drawn multiple Harley Quinns, sexy zombies, and Darth Vader decapitating Justin Bieber, but you don’t need to pick something quite so highbrow. I’ll pretty much draw anything, and this year I’m bringing out the BIG GUNS – yes I have some grey markers! A sketch done on the day will be a STUPIDLY LOW PRICE of £4, and here are some AMAZING examples of past commissions.

sketches2

 

If you want something more elaborate, perhaps something inspired by a browse through our pretentiously named Galleria, and you wish to commission your faithful artist before the event, get in touch. Your people can speak to my people and we’ll sort something out.

Also my brand new uber moderne innovation is paper bags. Yeah, paper bags, yo. That shit is tight! Everyone needs a bag for their junk and you can get a super fantastic Sketch Bag, like the ones pictured here, for one smokin’ hot English pound. OR if you’re feelin’ flush, how about you get your own choice of character or thing, specially commissioned for £3. It’s basically a convention sketch on brown paper, with handles, that you can put stuff in. IT’S THE FUTURE!

 

bags

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