This weekend I attended the BICS (Birmingham International Comics Show), a much improved convention than the one last year. And it was much busier, with people queueing for at least an hour to get in when it first opened. The ThinkTank at Millenium point was a much better venue than the Custard Factory was last year, the convention actually seemed like a proper comics convention and not a church hall-type fete.
I didn't know there were function rooms at the ThinkTank, which is the new home for the old Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry. I thought they'd stick all the tables in and around the exhibition, and I was dreading our table being by the exhibit which is a giant model of a colon, which would send out the wrong impression of our comics!
I spent most of Saturday manning the MC2 table, and catching up with the bods I'd not seen since the Bristol Expo. I left early to watch the England footy match (wish I hadn't-what a shit game!) then I went back out to meet up with the other Mc2-ers at the 'official' bar for the event, which was Bennetts, a pub that used to be a bank on Bennett's Hill. Just as it was getting warmed up, though, they decided to call time, so there was a mad exodus of comics creators and fans across the road to a pub called the Briar Rose. Afterwards we went back to the Britannia Hotel and had a few more in there.
I spent most of the night drinking with John McCrea, and meeting a few new people, at one point I seemed to be surrounded by everyone from Northern Ireland who had anything to do with comics. This isn't a bad thing, as a good time was had by all.
What spoilt it was the two hour wait for a taxi when I left. I'd forgotten it was Eid, so most Muslim taxi drivers weren't at work, so there were less taxis. I didn't get home until five in the morning. So, subsequently, I slept in 'til late, and didn't bother going to the con on Sunday, as I wouldn't have got there until about three, and I felt as rough as a badger's ballbag anyway.
I'm just hoping there'll be another Comics Show next year. I was talking to Shane Chebsey, one of the organisers, on the night, and he told me that they can't afford to do it again next year, unless they get a sponsorship for the event. Let's hope so, it'll be a shame if this event never happens again.
Right, I'm off to catch up on some kip now.