Some memories I'll take away from the day:
Meeting artst Arthur Ranson, who worked on some incredible Psi Judge Anderson stories. His artwork is amazing (see below) and I told him so. He replied that some of it was good, but he feels some other bits weren't good enough. "Nonsense!" I told him, "It was all amazing". That wasn't typical fan-meeting-artist-and-gushing. His art is amongst my favourite in 2000AD, because of the care and detail in each image.
Spending about 20 minutes at artist Lee Sullivan's table. His work on the Radio Times Doctor Who comic strip of the 1990s has been highly influential on me. I told him about my prose spin-off adventures featuring the characters of the strip, and promised that I'd show him next time he visits my work (he has a comic book, Rivers Of London, published through Titan). He let me buy a sneaky fan-made collection of the Radio Times strips, which I was especially happy about, as I've waited 20 years to own them again!
Talking to the team behind Hachette's Mega Collection part works, and getting the opportunity for helping me become a 2000AD/Dredd fan in the first place!
I bought a metal Dredd badge off them. That will sit nicely on my writing desk!
Luckily I had a copy of Thrill Power Overload to hand, and managed to secure signatures from lots and lots of the 2000AD creative droids. What was nice was, for the majority of the people who signed, it wasn't just a case of quick-signature-and-done. We had proper conversations, often going into some detail - and it made me feel like these guys all cared about 2000AD and its fans.
As I said up top, this was a smashing day. To make sure I missed as little as possible I skipped meals and somehow willed myself not to need the toilet for a good chunk of the day! I loved the atmosphere - the positivity from everybody was contagious - and there was enough on to ensure I wasn't ever bored, but not too much that I felt I missed it all. A really good balancing act!
Most importantly, it felt like me making further steps into the world of 2000AD. They're a great bunch of people - readers and creatives alike - and I one day hope to write for the publication, and serve them all well!
It doesn't end there! Last night I visited a signing at Gosh! Comics, and met Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neil - there to sign Read Em & Weep Book 1: Serial Killers. I made Pat a promise to review the book when I'm done - so watch this space! (In the meantime, let's presume it's great - and let's presume also you haven't yet bought it. What are you waiting for? Go grab it now!)
Afterwards I headed to the Prince Charles Cinema to watch the first film in their Wes Anderson series - Bottle Rocket! I've only seen it once before, with Gabi. Truth be told, neither of us paid it the attention it deserved at the time, and so it went completely over my head. I'm so glad I got a chance to revisit it at the cinema! Man, it's funny! I think it's gone from the Anderson title I liked least of all, to one of my favourites! I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the director's movies on the big screen across March/April.