REPORT

Thing 2005 was forgettable, mainly cause I had a shitty delayed train journey and had not heard of any of the comics or people there (Except Ping Teo and Alan Foreman but I didn't know they went XD). And Mal from High Maintenance wasn't able to go XD. This year though, her and me decided to share a table and pedal our own wares. This had already led to a fun excursion to Staples to use their self-serve copiers to create Scum Slaughter issue 1 (stories 1-4), I had also planned to have a "Best of Felney" book and two spoof newspapers, as well as a free spoof leaflet, but the copying costs (and whispering by work-experience chavs) where getting annoying, so I only had one comic to offer (I'll be buying myself a decent laser printer soon XD). The cheap old copiers they had meant that I also had the official worst looking comic there, a fact I'm actually quite proud of (as it is the most tasteless... a statement Mal may dispute hehe).

Anyway having got up at 6:45 to get washed and stuff, I got taken down the station by dad (in the ole 1991 Toyota, it sounds great!), I had to get the train right away as it was due in 2 minutes, so I didn't have time for a last minute excursion to Tesco for pens, paper, headphones for my PSP and other things I had forgot to bring with me XD. Ahh well all I did with the PSP in the end was re-paint my '57 Chevy Belair silver and put red flames on it in Midnight Club 3. The ride up to London was, in sharp contrast to last year, painless, it only stopped at Waterbeach and Cambridge and then carried straight on in speed and comfort... a rare thing! XD. When I got to Kings Cross I went straight down to the underground to buy tickets from the machines down there, which I missed last year. Only to find they have been taken out (but the building work down there is FINALLY finished, what has it been? 7 years?). So I went back up and got them from the machines at the entrance, no queues but very cold wind! The journey on the Underground was, in sharp contrast to last year, painful... the pink line and yellow line had been closed, so I had to get the green one, and then transfer to the black one, which came to a halt in a station, which was then closed XD. I got the Red line and EVENTUALLY ended up at Mile end, a mere 15 minutes late XD.

Walked down the road, this time knowing what direction I was going in (all the shops where still closed... on a Saturday? Proof again that London should not be counted as part of Britain). I got to the hall and talked to the girl there, confusing her by saying the comic I was from was "Felney, Scum Slaughter or High Maintenance", not remembering we where listed as "I Thought Of It First" XD. Mal came along though, and she had already got my ticket thingy anyway XD.

So I finally met the great Mal, who is very friendly and snuggly...aww XD. She's one of those people you just feel better for knowing, that's two of those I have met in the space of a month (t'other being Claudia, the bass player with excellent local band Saint Zoe). She had already set out her stuff, and stuck HM posters on the wall and got the free cookies out XD. We read over each other's strips, compared art techniques (she does it carefully and properly, I don't XD) and caught up on each other's comic making histories. The Con opened at 10:00 and we where swamped by eager buyers ignored, basically. A few people had a browse at Mals strip, and got free cookies. I decided to bring the price of my strip down to 1, as that's what Mal's cost and hers was way better presented, with better printing and paper, and all of the dialogue XD.

Mal started drawing a "Thing Diary" which will probably go up on her site, wondering if the strobing wobbly pencil she could see was hangover or lighting related (lighting, since you ask, I could see it too XD). We wondered what the rumbling and vibrations we could feel coming up from the floor every few minutes where, and concluded it was underground trains. Some more interest from people happened, and we made a few sales, but we couldn't give the cookies away. Some bloke handed me a strip called "Rant!" which is absolutely hilarious! At this time somebody on a table near us had ordered a domino's pizza XD, the delivery guy walked past us with a "what the fuck?" look on his face, on the way back he took the most blatant look ever down Mal's cleavage. A few people Mal had met in the (reportedly shit) official hotel came over and said hello, a few even bought HM, and disinterestedly glanced at my strip XD, one of the makers of Reckless Youth chatted to Mal, I didn't mention the free sweet swiping incident from last year. Then a CUTE friend of Mal's came along, she had flown from Sweden to get HM, that's cool! I sold her Scum Slaughter at half of the reduced price too, recognising I was never making a profit, or even breaking even XD. Mal started off on a sketch for that girl and I decided it was time for me to wander.

I headed right for Vented Spleen to pick up his new number, passed Bollox and bought the (Hilarious) Edd Egg stuff, and got the free strip that goes with that. I went over and got the first strip in a cool series called "Violent!" I'll be ordering the rest off their site, it's excellent! Also picked up the Thing anthology for a mere 50p, it looks real professional. Then I got the best comic of the day- Brodie's Law, its the one with Capris that was sold out last year, this year it was completed and all in one book, which the creators kindly signed for everyone, and threw in a free poster. The story is brilliant, like a cross between Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (Snatch was shit), Sin City and, er, The Fantastic 4 if you only included the shape-shifting bloke. And the price for all that was 10, I'm sure once it becomes more famous the book will show up in Borders for 19.99 with no free poster and not signed, make sure you buy one off their website now! I got the first two issues of Zarjaz, the 2000AD Fanzine, nearly everyone who was selling more than one thing had a special reduced price if you bought it all, except for them. Guess who the only people I asked where XD. I also got Redeye, a magazine about mini and web comics, which is cool. I wish I had taken the plunge and got some comics I had never ever heard of from random people too. If only to encourage others to do the same, and buy mine XD. Next year I'm gonna get like 50 in pound coins and buy EVERYTHING XD, except stuff I already have XD.

Went back to the table and sold off a few more Scum Slaughters, and a lot of HM's. Chatted to Mal a bit more about things like how much bigger the con is this year (probably double the number of tables?), and how I wish I had got a copy of The Sun and left it in the "Comics reading area" XD. Oh and dumping 2 or 3 Scum Slaughters there too, just to 'seed' the area and get people interested. Or at least to get them to notice my memorable web address XD. This woman came over and asked if we where the reading and writing team, so we had to explain that we live hundreds of miles apart, just do strips with the same theme XD. She showed us some of her stuff, which involved people pulling steam trains out of their pockets XD. I wish I had bought it.

Mal had to go and sell tickets for an hour, and during that time I sold NOTHING, should have pushed the cookies more XD. Some woman had bought some little kids in, as this was a "comic" convention there was bound to be something for children right? She looked rather bemused at the wall-to-wall castration and impalement (and that was just our table!) on display and left, avoiding eye contact (actually quite a few people slipped away avoiding eye contact after looking through my comic XD). Still maybe for next year (if there is a next year, I'll be a student and all... and Mal might be busy XD) I'll revive my child-friendly strip Cart Wars. Or maybe not 'cause it was crap XD.

Mal came back and started to draw picture 3 of the Thing Diary, but couldn't be arsed XD. It was winding down by now anyway... a few more people looked through Scum Slaughter, and some old woman was so offended by the title she didn't even come close XD. At 5:00 we closed up shop and left, I went to the bog and realised I had eaten next to no real food, except a tuna sandwich, and only drunk a tiny can of Fanta (next year I take a 12 pack of coke cans and me mini fridge. LOL).

We rode the underground together for a while, and only then did I chat to Mal about her vast range of cool and funny life experiences around the world... we had to part ways at one station so I gave her a soft snuggle then went home, reading Brodie's Law next to an offended woman. Having to wait at Cambridge station for half an hour, at least I had something to eat XD. Texted my dad as I left Cambridge station, got to Ely and tried to ring him to ask if he was in Tesco's car park, but it said his phone was off... actually it was on and next to him, its just Virgin are shite XD. Rang the house number and got taken home, made a quick website update about the thing and went to sleep.

Next day I opened my envelope of mysterious stuff from Bollox, and got a thing to take back to their table for a special prize (bet its a Boat), ahh well, I'll have to take it to them next year now XD

And I still forgot to visit the Weebl and Bob table XD

CON PICS

Er, there's only two XD. If any ones of me and Mal turn up on the official site I'll nick them...er, with permission XD

Me and Mal, note the cool HM posters

Mal drawing Mal drawing Mal XD

LINKS

(some probably wrong)

Scum Slaughter: http://www.fagshategod.co.uk/comics/scums/

High Maintenance: http://www.thefallenangel.co.uk/highmaintenance.htm

SSDD (Al Foreman's strip): http://www.poisonedminds.com/

The Jaded (Ping Teo's strip): http://www.thejaded.co.uk/

Bollox: http://www.bolloxcomics.co.uk/

Vented Spleen: http://www.ventedspleen.com/

Factor Fiction (Violent!): http://www.factorfictionpress.co.uk/

Brodie's Law: http://www.brodieslaw.com/

Zarjaz: http://www.zarjaz.blogspot.com/

Redeye: http://www.accentukpress.co.uk/