Sunday, 21 September 2014

Rant of the week - Etiquette at the NYCC.

It's getting nearer to the NYCC and there's a lot of talk quite rightly about the etiquette of attendees.

These cover the very important issues of sexual assault and harassment that we hear has gone on in years before.

Nobody male or female deserves that kind of crap. We all agree. It's a big event and there's a lot of crushing etc so keep your hands, mouths and minds out of the gutter.

It's important to have a good time but to do it in such a way so that others enjoy themselves too.

Don't push and scream. Wait your turn. Be polite. Don't be sleazy. 

I've queued up for signings for getting on 35 years now in some comics centric event or other all over the world.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a comics obsessive! Yet I also function as an everyday human being. I am not Comic Shop guy from the Simpsons. I am also not a Rich Johnson kinda guy. I just love comics, love reading them, talking about them, seeing movies about them, the whole thing.

Coming from the UK it's also a really expensive yearly trip for me. As a 46 year old man in the week before I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve! It's embarrassing to admit but I kinda can't sleep the night before! Genuinely.

I prepare plans of where I am visiting. Who I want to speak to. Comics I want to buy and get signed. It's the nearest thing that an atheist like me gets to visiting Rome or Mecca

You get where I am coming from. It's a big deal for me.

Over the years I have met pretty much all the greats. It's those moments that are important. When Stan Lee walked past and shook my hand and smiled and thanked me for being a fan. Or the minutes I got to spend with Joe Kubert. Or bumping into Alan Moore on the stairs at a UKCAC as a spotty teenager and him taking time to speak to me like an adult. These moments make me smile even now. 

Because of moments like these I will stick by whichever creator gave me those moments. There are too many to list here. But I'm sure you get where I am coming from.

So. Hmmm. If you are a pro attending. Please don't be a dick. I won't try and shake your hand at the urinal. I won't insist we share a cab. I won't ask for your contact details so I can send you my 'big idea'. I also don't want to become your best mate, confident or boyfriend. I won't plague you with tweets or Facebook messages.

I just want to chat for a couple of minutes about comics with you. Shake your hand, and walk away with a spring in my step.

Don't be that guy who doesn't look up from the signing. Throws the comic at you and then grabs the next one. Don't be that guy who looks at you like you are a socially inept freak. Utter some fucking words! Force a smile if you have to. 'Cos if you do I am gonna back you and buy your comics.

I won't recount the bad experiences I have had (cough, cough Chris Claremont). But there have been a couple of shockers. I'm not being a pussy about them but they kinda broke my heart a little? I understand fully that there are weirdos out there but please don't treat me and the rest of us normal fans like we just are one of them.

And let's have fun (and beers!)

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 15 September 2014

Nottingham Comic Convention - 4th October!

This year Nottingham sees the second outing of 'Nottingham Comic Con' (formerly known as Nerd Fest).  Kev Brett is the idea man behind the Convention and after searching for a local comic con and finding nothing in the local area, he thought about putting one on. Kev had wanted to see an event that celebrates local artists, shows the world comic goodness and generally something for people to enjoy. He matched this with a desire to support charities close to home and the event was born.

In 2013 Kev and his team were overwhelmed by the success of Nerd Fest and so decided to do it again with a new venue and new brand.  The idea behind the day is to provide a fun day out for families interested in comics, art and superheroes and raise some money for charity.

This year Nottingham Comic Con will be bigger and better than last year’s event with double the exhibitor tables and twice as many guests. 

Amongst them there are four returning guest artists; Marc Laming, John McCrea, Steve Beckett and Gary Erskine and eleven 'first time' NCC guests including Dan McDaid, Marc Ellerby and Paul Grist, all showing there amazing talents, selling their art and waiting to chat to visitors.

Some of my favourite artists are going to be attending. Chatting, sketching and selling some great art.

Marc 'Fantastic Four, All New Invaders, Kings Watch, Splinter Cell' Laming will be there. (He's not this angry!)

John 'Hitman, Preacher, Dredd, Dicks, Mars Attacks' McCrea will be there (this is not his brain!)

Christian 'Porcelain, Briar, True Grit, In The Dark' Wildgoose will be there (His hips don't lie!)

Gary 'Roller Girls, Star Wars, Pendragon, Warheads, Dan Dare' Erskine will be there (on roller skates?)

Dan 'Jersey Gods, Vandroid, Doctor Who, Catalyst Comics' McDaid will be there. (Don't say 'Woo' for fear of getting a pinch!)

Paul 'Kane, St Swithin's Day, Jack Staff, Mud Man' Grist will be the (flying a flag).

The convention is a family event with attractions for all ages; returning for a second year we have the 501st UK Garrison (one of the main Star Wars Costuming groups in the world) and face painting for the children (THE busiest attraction last year!!).

During the day there will be a number of guest Q&A panels as well as live music from bands who are based within the East Midlands. There will be demos from local table top game companies such as Mantic Games and photo opportunities for all!

I shall be the representing NIA and and running a panel with a few of these names. If you want a question asked just pop along and put your hand up.

For 2014 Nottingham Comic Con is supporting three charities; Nottingham Based 'The Ear Foundation', The Marfan Trust and MacMillan Cancer Support.  £1 from every standard ticket sold and 100% of money raised through the charity raffle will be donated. 

We really hope that comic fans and their families enjoy the event and help us to support the charities and their much needed work. 

Visit the website: and get your tickets booked!!

Sunday, 14 September 2014


We all know this.

But some comics fans are completely deluded. It's no surprise I suppose but this guy has a load of followers from (what I can see) being mostly negative.

Slagging something off and trying to be controversial seems to get you a lot of followers. I think I'll just stick with my few pals and continue promoting good work.

His new target seems to be James Robinson who in my opinion is killing it on his titles.


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Marvel UK loves a windy day.


I am having a bit of a nostalgia trip this weekend. I am considering an article on the big Marvel UK explosion of the early to mid 1990s before they were sold to Panini.

It was a time of some really great designs (Death's Head 2 for example) and some little remembered titles (Plasmer anyone?).

Anyway that article is coming soon but what did tickle me was this comparison of titles.

I bought both at the time and it didn't register until today.

Captain Britain issue 4 (1976).
Written by that grumpy so and so Chris Claremont with art by the hugely underrated Herb Trimpe.

It must have been a windy day at the Marvel UK offices.

Because here is the cover to Gene Dogs issue 3 (1993).
Written by John Freeman with cover art by Stephen Baskerville and Dave Taylor.

Let's face it. If you are gonna homage Herb Trimpe is the man!


Saturday, 6 September 2014

Down The Tubes.

I have recently been writing reviews for Downthetubes.

It's a great UK comics centric site and has some great news, reviews and calendar sections.

I have just reviewed two really interesting books for the site.

JOE CAPE - issues 1 & 2.



Both really interesting in different ways.

Pop over and have a read.


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Nottingham Comic Convention - 4/10/2014.


It's now one month and one day until the second annual Nottingham Comic Convention on Saturday the 4th of October 2014. Previously known as 'Nerdfest' I went (along with our Comic Club) to the first event and had a great time.

This year we are returning with a vengeance.

Guests include Marc 'Fantastic Four' Laming, Christian 'Porcelain' Wildgoose, Dan 'Vandroid' McDaid, John 'Dredd' McCrea, Gary 'Roller Grrrls' Erskine and many, many more.

There are bound to be loads of panels, bands playing, back issue stalls, small press, cozplay, sketching and much more on the day. 

A couple of pages from a preview of the upcoming Fantastic Four issue 10 with art by Marc Laming.

I am particularly excited because along with help from Alex 'Galactus' Martin I will be chairing one of the panels and asking some questions of Marc himself. Marc has recently burst into the mainstream of comics with some astonishing work on All New Invaders, Fantastic Four, Planet of the Apes, The Activity and an upcoming annual on The Incredible Hulk. I'm prepping some questions right at this moment.

So if have a question you'd like asking feel free to slip me a note on here or over on Twitter @Ezohyez. If it's good we can include it on the day. 

'What comic character would you like to be made of cheese, what cheese would it be and would you take a bite?'

'Do you like my hat?'

'Who has the best trousers?'

'Can we wrestle?"

You know the sort of thing.

It'll hopefully be a really fun panel so looking forward to seeing you.

It's being held at the Nottingham Conference Centre, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU.

Get your tickets at

It was a blast last year and should be the same again.

See you there.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Preview - 'Headspace' - Monkeybrain Comics.

Headspace - issue 04.

Written by Ryan K Lindsay.

Art by Eric Zawadzki and Sebastian Piriz.

Colours by Marissa Louise.

Published by Monkeybrain Comics. 

Issue 4 of Headspace hits Monkeybrain's digital shop tomorrow (as well as Comixology). It's the mid point in the story and is really already at full steam. It's hard to talk about it if you are someone who hasn't read the preceding three issues (oh you fool!). It's got action and intrigue and keeps you guessing on pretty much every page.

But that's the challenge of the jigsaw pieces that make up Headspace. Unlike most mainstream products I have absolutely no idea where this will end up.

But what really attracts me to this book are the interpersonal moments. They show real clarity of purpose in a fictional world that often is nowhere near what you would traditionally call reality. So when a nightmare appears and needs roping in it has that thumping impact.

The two strands of the narrative are approached differently both art and colour wise but also in writing tone. One is fantastical and dark, the other bleak and white. One talks of monsters and grief, the other cold hard pragmatism (although in a sci-fi thriller setting). 

The themes of fatherhood and responsibility really begin to take new twists and turns. This is going to make a fine trade when finished. It also has some really insightful and interesting back matter. Well worth the money.

But enough already of the spoilers.

You can grab copies through Comixology very cheaply. Catch up with this book if you haven't already it's a real gem.

Thanks for reading.


Preview - 'Grey Area - From the City to the Sea'. Written and drawn by Tim Bird.

Written and Drawn by Tim Bird. @pseudoboy

Published by Avery Hill Publishing @averyhillpubl

There is no doubt that the first two Grey Area issues from Avery Hill Publishing are two of my favourite comics from the last year.

Written and drawn by Tim Bird I was over the moon to hear from the Avery Hill guys that there was a third installment on the way.

Planned for a release in October this year Grey Area - From The City To The Sea is described by the publishers as continuing 'Bird's psychogeographical explorations of our modern existence as he travels east out of London to the North Sea through the outskirts of the city, suburban streets and marginal spaces, loosely following the route of the River Thames to the Estuary and beyond.'

Tim writes personal stories and uses the surroundings he wanders through as characters and mood. The first two issues were astonishingly poignant and show the writer in a connection to his surroundings that has to be read to be believed. 

The art is precise and has a real melancholic quality, beautiful and still. His figures are moments of calm in the rush and chatter of a London (and beyond) landscape. He seems to draw from the theory that the only place to be truly alone is amongst a crowd (or in this case a sprawling city). Life is essentially a map you haven't walked yet, breathtakingly good in all respects and I hope this gets seen by a lot of people as it thoroughly deserves the attention.

 I also loved the moment with the seagul - real class.  

There are some preview pages below that I have just been sent for you to have a look at.

Get over to their website and order yourself a copy.

Brilliant stuff indeed.

Thanks for reading.