Next week, It's the Birmingham Comics Show, and I've managed to scav myself a free weekend ticket! Huzzah! The nice people behind the StripSearch initiative (which started my comics arts adventures), Hi8us, are paying for all the ex-StripSearchers to go! Yay!
I'll be manning the Midlands Comics Collective's table from 10-12 on the Saturday, and from 2pm on Sunday, if you want to pop by and have a chat, and possibly even buy the MC2 book. I will also be propping up a bar somewhere from about 7pm onwards.
I'm glad there's a con in Brum this year. Last year's con in Brighton was fun, but it was a wanker to get to. I don't know if I've regaled you all with the story of last year's trip, but if you have already heard it, stop listening now.
My lovely girlfriend specially booked a train that would take us straight to Brighton. It cost a bit more, but we didn't have to fuck about changing trains. That was the plan, anyway. It turned up half an hour late. The heating in the carriages had packed up and as this was November, it was fucking freezing. We got to Leamington Spa and stopped for forty-five minutes only to be told to get off as there had been a derailment a bit further down the line. We get off in the fantastic town that is Royal Leamington Spa, and after fighting through what appeared to be a world record attempt for the biggest rugby scrum ever attempted I managed to see the man at the information desk to ask how the hell are we going to get to Brighton. He said there will be coaches along in a minute that will take everyone to Banbury, and there we can get a train to Reading, and there's loads of trains from Reading to Brighton.
The coaches took ages to arrive. When they did, it was like Royal Rumble in Royal Leamington Spa, with people wrestling with each other to get on the coaches. People were getting speared with umbrella points, getting showered with hot coffee, falling over them stupid fucking little wheelie suitcase things and generally being squashed and sworn at. We finally got on the last coach and head to Banbury.
At Banbury we got on a train that we thought was going to Reading, but was in fact heading for London. So we got off it, and waited for the train to Reading. This train finally comes, but it is full to brimming with people so the journey down to Reading is spent with me and my partner stood up outside the toilet the whole way there. The bog was one of those automatic things, but the door wouldn't shut properly, so we had endless fun watching people who are desperate for a piss struggling like fuck trying to keep this door closed.
We disembark in Reading only to find out that, contrary to what the poxy print-tie wearing motherfucker had told us in Leamington, that there are NO trains to Brighton at all! This particular bit of news breaks my patner's resolve, and she starts crying. Bloody women. Anyway, through the tears she asks the nice man behind the counter if getting to Brighton is beyond the realms of possibility. He told us we had to get a train to London (remember that train we got off earlier?) and get a tube train to Farringdon, from where we are to get a train to Brighton. This part of the journey went to plan, except for a minor incident when the turnstile at the tube wouldn't accept my ticket. We finally got to Brighton at about half-five, ten hours after we left. You can get to Canada in less time. So we missed almost all of the first day of the con, and because we had to go early afternoon the next day, didn't really spend much time at the actual convention at all. Still , on the night, we got royally pissed, and I met Glenn Fabry, who was out of his tree and talking to a door. We also got bought drinks by the editor of Nuts magazine and Dez Skinn was also breathing fumes on us ao we made our excuses and buggered off.
We get back and complained to (surprise, surprise) Virgin,filling a form very similar to the one below, who gave us rail vouchers, despite the fact I never want to go on a train ever again.
Well, at least this year I won't have that problem. I've just got to rely on West Midlands Travel.