The big news from Saturday’s first ever Glasgow Comic Con was that Burke and Hare won the Best Comic at the inaugural Scottish Independent Comic Book Awards, while the drunk bloke in the picture – Martin Connaghan – won Best Writer for penning it.
I remember banging on about how proud he should be, it’s the first ever SICBA and it will always be his, but I was totally steamboats by then, as you’ll be able to tell with the quality of pictures I took. Yankee readers of the blog can look out for it going Stateside soon as Martin was just mentioning something about it on facebook today.
The awards were at night after the dealers had packed up and were a great finish to the day. A lovely moment was when the legend that is Alan Grant was given the Lifetime Achievement award. He paid special tribute to Denny O’Neil, calling him the best editor in the business; then he said he learned everything he knew from his long-term collaborator John Wagner but that John hadn’t taught him everything that he (John) knew, which I thought was a nice line. Got the chance to speak to Alan during the day at a signing and he was a real gent, lovely guy.
And that’s something which really came through on the day, that good-natured vibe. Sold out months ago, I think the event had 500 tickets during the day. It felt the right size for it being the first con, and I suspect next year will be bigger and maybe at a different venue but for now the city’s first comic convention in over a decade was a triumph. Guests like Jamie Grant and David Lloyd were really friendly, Jim Alexander was hilarious on his panels, Gary Erksine and Colin MacNeil were furiously pencilling away all day doing sketches and poor Mark Millar tried to give as much time as he could to the hordes that descended on him for a signature before he had to dive away for his daughter’s birthday. Not having Frank Quitely there due to him being trapped in Argentina by the Chilean ash cloud (Millar: “Has anyone actually heard of this ash cloud? Is it real? It’s more likely to be a hash cloud with Frank Quitely!”) could have been a real blow to the organisers but the absence of the superstar artist didn’t put a dampner on it as far as I could tell.
Of course one of the best things about a convention is buying some comics, and I went loaded for bear. Came back with a load of Alan Grant’s Shadow of the Bat, plugged some Captain America and Uncanny X-Men holes and even got a couple Lee and Kirby Fantastic Four issues.
The small press was quite well represented and I picked up some stuff that I had never read before like Team Girl Comic and Milk+ by Stref. I always like to get some of big Jim Stewart’s Ganjaman Presents and all of those three titles were nominated for Best Comic.
My big purchase though was the sublime 75 Years of DC Comics by Paul Levitz, published by Teschen. Every review I had read (here’s Neil Gaiman losing his mind over it) said it was out of this world and I almost treated myself to it at Christmas. It was staring at me from the Forbidden Planet table all day, and it retails for £115 but I got it for £80. I’ve barely scratched the surface with it, but already I can tell it’s the best book about comics ever, a real delight. And it comes in a case it’s that heavy!
I spent a fair bit of the day queueing to get some signatures as well, but I couldn’t help myself. Best of the lot was the fantastic sketch that David Lloyd obliged me with inside the Absolute V for Vendetta. Digital artitst Jamie Grant was another proper gent and put his name to my Absolute All-Star Superman, feeling sorry that I had to hump it all the way in there. I finally got Martin Connaghan and Will Pickering to sign my Burke and Hare. Alan Grant signed a bunch of Judge Dredd and Batman books. And luckily I managed to get near the front of the queue for Mark Millar to sign my Making of Kick-Ass because the crowd went tonto for him after his panel finished.
The panels I heard were pretty good. David Lloyd, Martin Connaghan, Jamie Grant and
Stref were among people talking about how to publish your comic. I can’t really remember what the panel with Mark Millar and Jim Alexander was about, but it was pretty funny.
The awards party was a great laugh and the beer wasn’t too expensive, and we headed off to a club called Classic Grand for the after-party, where the password was “Comic Con” although I thought “SHAZAM” would have been much better. Here’s a terrible picture of David Lloyd on the Guinness at stupid o’clock.
Anyways, here’s to Glasgow Comic Con 2012!
And now, for some pics of my swag!