About Bess - An Interview With Rachael Smith

Following on from the success of her debut graphic novel House Party in 2014 and this years The Rabbit, Rachael Smith is back with Bess, her new webcomic. We asked her some questions about Bess...

What is Bess?

Good starter question! Bess is a webcomic written and drawn by Rachael Smith (me!) which will update every Tuesday and Thursday here

Who is Bess?

This is a tricky one. I think the less spoilery answer is that she's a woman who Lyndsey meets. Once these two meet they start to change one another's lives. I think it's better if you get to know Bess through the comic rather than me telling you about her.

And what is Bess about?

It will largely follow two main female characters: Bess and Lyndsey. It's generally about feminism and ideals of beauty. It will heavily involve Japanese yokai and mythology too. Oh, and it's mainly set in a supermarket in Hull. It's a wild ride.

Can you tell us how the yokai element will play in the story or is it something we need to see unfold with the story?

Well, in the old yokai stories, yokai evolve right alongside humans - they change over time as the stories are retold. They inspire us to keep asking questions. I guess it's that nature that made me want to bring them into a modern environment. What would they question in this new world?  

Also, one common characteristic of yokai is their inbetween-ness. They are creatures who come out at dusk - half way between day and night. They live in places on the borders of towns, or in the mountains between villages, or bridges or tunnels. It's this idea of not fitting in that will endear Lyndsey to them - she is someone who feels like she doesn't fit in with anything, but in different ways.

As this is a twice weekly webcomic, do you have the story all planned out in advance with a definitive end or will it be an ongoing story that will grow organically as it's told? 

It's planned out to a certain point, but I haven't written an ending yet. One of the reasons I decided to do this story as a webcomic was because I didn't want to be bound by a page count right from the start. I wanted to be able to spend time with the characters and see them grow without worrying about print costs too much! I wanted to make a story that could just veer off to see what someone is doing and tell stories within stories. Organically is a good word for it actually!

Thank you Rachael.

The first 4 pages of Bess are online now, with a new page posted every Tuesday and Thursday.

You can find out more about Rachael at her website and see her at a conventions around the UK, including #TBCF2016

The 5 Question Interview #40 with Verity Hall

We put 5 Questions to Mystery Circus creator Verity Hall...

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Verity Hall and I'm a comic writer, artist, and wrestling fan

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

I'll be launching my biggest comic to date, Mystery Circus (working title, this may change!). This is going to be a big, beautiful full colour comic book with 100+ pages and is the story of Mal and her obsession with a mysterious circus that pulls into town. I'll also be selling prints, stickers, and hopefully lots of other little bits and bobs for people. People can get a taste for it here: mysterycircus.thecomicseries.com or mysterycircus.smackjeeves.com

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

I've always loved making up characters. The writing side of comics, the characters, the world building, the plot, that is my favourite part. I love being able to make characters that people may not have seen before, and hopefully represent some people who may not often get represented. I love telling stories, and making comics lets me tell as many as I want.

What was the first comic you collected?

The first comic I was ever given was Return of the Goddess by Joseph Michael Linsner. Next came the teenage standards, The Crow and Ghost World, and then finally I started buying Ultimate X-men. 

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Wet Moon by Sophie Campbell. This is the comic series that made me want to make my own comics. It made me realise that the style I loved could work. This series literally changed my life. Give it a read.

Thanks Verity.

Please check out the Mystery Circus website and be sure to stop by Verity's table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello"

The 5 Question Interview #39 with Steve Sims

We put 5 Questions to Steve Sims..

Who are you and what do you do?

Hi there, My name is Steve Sims. I am one of main Illustrators of the "Beast Quest" series published by Orchard books. I am also the creator and artist/writer of my own self published works "Kaiju: Fire and Grimstone", "The Wyrm and the Well" and most recently the "Beast Hunting Battle Badgers".

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

Anyone stopping by my table will be able to pick up copies of my self published works along with various prints, comissions, sketches and examples of my work on Beast Quest.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

The thing I enjoy most about what I do is the ability to make use of the weird and wonderful things in my head. I get paid to draw crazy beasts and weird things and it all helps to keep me sane.

What was the first comic you collected?

The first comic I ever collected (If its classed as a comic, which I think it kinda is) would be Asterix. Uderzo was a true master of his craft. The first American style comic I ever collected was (and still is) the original Eastman and Laird "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" comics (not the archie, original Mirage all the way).

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

It would have to be the original Eastman and Laird/Mirage run of Ninja Turtles. Those books are full of pure freedom, fun and creativity. Two guys (and there mates) just doing what came naturally and totally knocking it out of the park.

 

Thanks Steve.

Be sure to check out Steve's website and stop by his table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello".

 

 

The 5 Question Interview #38 with Beyond The Bunker

We put 5 Questions to Steve from Beyond The Bunker...

Who are you and what do you do?
We are Beyond the Bunker comics. Bringers of ice cool mirth and high end awesome. Creators of Moon, a comic featuring the satellite of the planet dropping out of the sky, early hours of every morning, putting on a suit, taking out a gun and fighting ridiculous crime. No, really. Stop by and have a look if you haven't already heard of us. And if you have come and see what's new.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?
Comics, prints, posters, badges, one of the creators sitting with a sharpie ready to chat endless bungle about whatever subject you choose - as long as it has something to do with the Moon...

Thanks Steve.

Be sure to check out the Beyond The Bunker website and stop by their table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello"

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
We answer to no one. There have been a lot of e-mails and a few bills. In hindsight that might be counter-productive now I think about it...

What was the first comic you collected?
Incredible Hulk 403 (Hulk vs Avengers) by Peter David and Gary Frank in '92 sold me on comics.
 

The 5 Question Interview #37 with Tanra Studios

We put 5 Questions to Tara and Nadia from Tanra Studios...

Who are you and what do you do?

We are Tanra Studios, comprising of Tara Washington and Nadia Williams. We are freelance digital (and occasionally traditional) artists, mainly specializing in comic illustration with a Manga-style influence. We're a new publishing group founded in July 2015, though individually, we've been creating comics and art for far longer.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

Manga-style comics that were written, drawn and inked by ourselves, such as comics based on fantasy or on mythological myths and legends, and also some of our earlier works, along with additional art and merchandise that are linked to our work. We'll also be revealing several previews of our current projects, and will also offer commissions.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

For both of us, it's creating new worlds and story ideas, and watching them come to life on paper, seeing how the characters we've created grow and deal with various situations, and expanding on the worlds that we've created. Its a satisfying feeling to see people enjoying what we've created, and getting involved with the characters that we have given life to. But at the same time, its also just fun to be able to work at something we love.

What was the first comic you collected?

Nadia: I can't remember the comic for me. It was either 'The Dreaming', or 'YU-GI-OH,'

Tara: As for me, it really depends on if you're thinking Manga or Western comics. For western comics, I believe it was either Spiderman or Batman, something I shared with my dad, while for Manga, I distinctly remember that as being Rurouni Kenshin, which was what got me interested in Manga in the first place. I've always enjoyed action based comics.

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Nadia: Black Butler, no doubt. It has amazing visuals a great story line and characters that you get invested in straight away from the first chapter. It ticks all the boxes for a stand alone comic and a great series. What more do you need?

Tara: Hm....That's kind of difficult for me, cause I've read so many that its difficult to pick just a single comic or story arc. However, if I had to pick one, I guess that it would have to be Rurouni Kenshin - and not just because of nostalgia. Rurouni Kenshin not only has a great story with characters you really want to succeed in their struggles, and worry about when the danger really starts, but its also great on a historical level, with information on actual events that occurred during the Japanese Meiji Revolution. So not only is the story interesting, but if you're into Japanese culture, language and history, it is an all around great story.

Thank you Tara & Nadia.

Be sure to check out the Tanra Studios Twitter and stop by their table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello"

The 5 Question Interview #36 with Marcus Wood

We put 5 Questions to Ninth Circle's Marcus Wood...

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Marcus and as Ninth Circle I sell and talk about comics, graphic novels and a host of other pop-culture stuff. 
 
What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

At True Believers people can expect to find a range of graphic novels with a mix of the classics, newer releases and some hidden gems.
 
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Getting to attend conventions, talk about comics and calling it "work"!

What was the first comic you collected?

The first comic I actively collected and sought out was the original Crisis On Infinite Earths series because I thought it would be cool to have the originals from a series I kept hearing about constantly because of it's impact. And years later I still don't have them all! 
 
If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

If I had to recommend one arc it would be Dark Knight Returns. Cliche I know but it's widely considered the best comic story for a reason. The way it builds is almost operatic taking Batman on a journey hitting a man vs god finale which is just incredible.

Thanks Marcus.

Be sure to check out the Ninth Circle website and stop by Marcus' table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello".

The 5 Question Interview #35 with Bakeology

We put 5 Questions to Graham from Bakeology...

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Graham from Bakeology. I make cakes for all occasions.  I've been to a few comic cons when I was younger and over the last few years, seeing all the comic themed cakes I thought a comic themed cake table at comic con would be a great idea.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

A great display of tasty cupcakes and some display wedding/birthday cakes.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

When you finish a cake and hand it over and all the work that's been put into it has paid of.

What was the first comic you collected?

Punisher: circle of blood reprint by Marvel UK. I still have it from about 1992ish.

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it
be?

Hmmmm....not sure what it was called but the Spiderman/Venom story of when they 1st fought, or any where its hero against hero... Punisher/Daredevil spring to mind.

Thanks Graham.

Be sure to check out Bakeology's website and stop by their table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello!"

The 5 Question Interview #34 with Blue Jay Cartoons

We put 5 Questions to Jay from Blue Jay Cartoons...

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Jay, I am a 3rd year student at Staffordshire university doing BA (Hons) Cartoon and Comic Arts. 

I am a freelance cartoonist and animator who enjoys character design.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

My completed comic 'Bubblegum Vampire' alongside some of my previous comics, such as an amusing retelling of Rapunzel aimed at children.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Creating my own characters and stories, i loved comics because they were like the perfect mash-up of movies and books, images to go along with the story helped me to visualise movement and places. But seeing people flicking through my comics and laughing or even better relating to the characters makes any amount of work worth while. 

What was the first comic you collected?

I started comics young so my first comics were Sonic the Hedgehog and the older Batman comics (with bundles of newspaper comic pages stashed away too).

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Any story with Oracle or the Birds of Prey is cool (disabled characters are few and far between), also the new hawkeye comics are great.

Thanks Jay.

Check out the Blue Jay Cartoons website and stop by Jay's table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello"...

The 5 Question Interview #33 with Gingerbeard Press

We put 5 Questions to Tom and Saskia from Gingerbeard Press...

Who are you and what do you do?

Gingerbeard Press is an illustrative collective made up of Tom, Saskia and Jason. We are based in the South-West specialising in pop culture crafts and the natural world.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

An array of pop culture and animal-related badges, postcards, t-shirts, jewellery, the list goes on!

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Collaborating as a group to come up with a variety of different ways to promote our creative force!

What was the first comic you collected?

Tom: The first series of comics I remember collecting, when I was a teenager, were the X-Men series that WHSmiths used to sell back issues of old well known storylines. I used to be obsessed with them, and always looked forward to collecting each issue every month. 

Saskia: The first comics I remember getting were the ever-cool Simpsons comics when I was young. Though technically not my own, I also used to love pouring over my dad's Peanuts collections again and again as I'm a big Snoopy fan.

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Tom: Anything by Dan Berry, particularly 'The Suitcase' & 'Throw Your Keys Away', & 'Garage Band' by Gipi. Beautiful artwork and great stories to match.

Saskia: If I was going back to a classic it has to be Tintin - great adventures and iconic characters. At the moment though one of my all-time favourite series of novels has to be 'Blacksad'; a mixture of gripping detective noir stories and anthropomorphism with beautiful illustrations to match.

Thanks folks.

Be sure to check out the Gingerbeard Press Facebook Page and stop by their table at #TBCF2016 and say "hello".

True Believers presents The Christmas Comic Fair at Smokey Joe's

On Sunday 29th November 2015, Smokey Joe's in Cheltenham will host the first True Believers Christmas Comic Fair.

The Christmas Comic Fair offers people a mini taste of what's to come at True Believers 2016 - with a taste of 50's Americana - and will feature tables selling comic books, merchandise, prints and self created work, offering people the chance to buy some great Christmas gifts for friends, family and themselves.

Amongst the tables on the day will be Proud Lion, Nick Gribbon, Rob Crebbin, Michelle Harvey and Jamie Pocket (with more to be announced soon).

We'll also be there with a True Believers table, where you can buy True Believers tickets, mugs and more and talk with us in person about True Believers 2016 and more.

Smokey Joe's will also be serving food, coffee and milkshakes, so why not grab some comics and something to eat while you're there as well.

The event is free to enter and will be held at Smokey Joe's between 11am and 4pm so come on down and check it out.

The 5 Question Interview #32 with Janine van Moosel

We put 5 Questions to Janine van Moosel...

Who are you and what do you do?

Janine van Moosel, freelance artist of many kinds. I have an honors in Animation, though I don't animate any longer. I illustrate children's books, adult horror comics, do sketch and concept work for tv, portrait commissions, fan art, logo design and even beer labels.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

Mostly fan-art prints. I am a huge horror fan so some of my work is geared at the film geeks... I am also a batman fan, so a large percentage of my work revolves around that too.

Everything else is eclectic! I usually try to have some original one of framed sketches for events, and a stock of comics I have worked in.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Creative license. I pick and choose what I want to do, and I do what I love. I work with wonderful people and aim to keep a good work ethos so they keep wanting me back! There is nothing better than knowing you are blowing people's minds - when a writer see's their characters and stories visualized, when someone becomes a fan and your work inspires them... that is pretty cool :)

What was the first comic you collected?

Bunty, Beano, Dandy, Topper, Oor Wullie, The Broons. These are all comics I grew up on, especially being from Dundee! But if we are talking the one that made me want to work in comics? Clive Barker's 'the Yattering and Jack' (scripted by Steve Niles) Two of my favourite comic writers! I was never one for collecting individual issues, I prefer trades or stand alone stories.

 

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Tough one... Honestly... I would not know where to begin. I LOVE Joseph Michael Linsner's Dawn, 'Return of the Goddess'. Beautifully drawn with so much visual metaphor. Great story and characters too. Steve Niles' 'Criminal Macabre' which eventually merges with his '30 days of night' books though... I say those two arcs that meet and continue intertwined would win out. Best take on vampires in a long time. Also love Slaine by Pat Mills for barbarian fantasy and Batman 'Arkham Asylum' for super heroes. Or 'Luther, Man of Steel' because it is from the view point of Lex Luther. :)

Thanks Janine.

Be sure to check out Janine's website and stop by her table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello".

The 5 Question Interview #31 with Robert Harkess

We put 5 Questions to Robert Harkess...

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Rob Harkess. I write - usrban fantasy, steampunk and science fiction. I like to mix in a little Young Adult as well, just to keep things fresh.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

Books. Mainly my books, but some others from authors or publishers I respect and think are outstanding enough for me to want to sell on my table.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

People. Readers. Watching someone reading the description on the back of a book and suddenly engaging with the book. Talking to anyone who expresses an interest.

What was the first comic you collected?

Spiderman, many, many years ago. 

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

I despair of story arc, books, comics or TV. Anything I follow seems to get cancelled, so I don't want to name anything and put a curse on it.

Thanks Rob.

Be sure to check out and like Roberts Facebook page and stop by his table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello".

The 5 Question Interview #30 with Dropdogg

We put 5 Questions to Mark, Stewart and Ryan from Dropdogg...

Who are you and what do you do?

We are Dropdogg (Mark, Stewart & Ryan), a printing company from Leicester that sells officially licensed canvases, wall art and posters.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

Canvases, wooden wall art and posters covering the likes of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and more...

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Getting paid for attending conventions that I probably would’ve gone to anyway!

What was the first comic you collected?

The Beano. I loved saving my pocket money and searching car boot sales as a kid finding issues that I needed. First American comic – probably The Amazing Spider-Man.

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Come on, who can pick just one! Punisher MAX, Preacher and The Goon are all good reads.

Thanks guys.

Be sure to check out the Dropdogg website and stop by their table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello".

So what is going on at True Believers 2016?

So - at the time of writing this - True Believers 2016 is just over 4 months away. It's crazy how fast it's coming around again, especially as this years event feels like it only happened a couple of months ago. It's been great to talk to people about True Believers and hear what they thought of our first event and what they are looking forward to at next years show.

Most of you reading this probably already know what's going on at True Believers 2016 (that's been announced anyway), but for those who don't know - or just want a handy refresher - here's everything you need to know (so far) on one handy page.

Here goes then...

So who's going to be on the Guest List in 2016?

We will be joined at #TBCF2016 for the first time by Paul Cornell, Andy Diggle, Jack Lawrence (Jackademus), John-Paul Bove, Rob Williams, Sonia Leong, Lee Sullivan, Tim Quinn and Dirk Maggs.

2016 will also see the return of previous guests Mike Collins, Dylan Teague, Paul Duffield, Kate Brown, Emma Vieceli, Lee Townsend and Rachael Smith.

So what kind of stuff will be for sale there?

As with last year, we will have around 150 tables filled with a great selection of independent and small press comic artists and creators as part of our convention floor, who will be selling their own created comics and art from their tables. There will also be traders selling comics (new and back issues), toys, models, Pop Vinyls, Manga & Anime merchandise and more.

So what panels can we expect to see at True Believers 2016?

We will have 5 panels during next years event, including the return of the Celebrate Cosplay panel, the Discover Something New panel and the Comics As Education panel. We have announced the details of this years Celebrate Cosplay panel, which will see a group of our cosplay guests talking about how they find and create their cosplays. We will announce the full details of the Discover Something New and Comics As Education panels over the coming months.

Two new panels for 2016 that we have announced are the Doctor Who Panel and the Amazing Story Of Spider-Man On BBC Radio panel. The Doctor Who Panel will see Paul Cornell, Emma Vieceli, Mike Collins and Rachael Smith discuss everyone's favourite Time Lord and the Spider-Man Panel will see Dirk Maggs and Tim Quinn discuss the story of bringing Spidey to BBC Radio.

Rounding out the panels will be the comedy game show panel Comics In Just A Minute. Picking up from her victory at Melksham Comic Con (two years in a row), reigning champion Sonia Leong will defend her title against three new challengers (to be announced) by talking for a minute about comic topics without repetition, hesitation or deviation.

So what's happening in the Celebrate Cosplay Hall in 2016?

The Celebrate Cosplay Hall will be largely the same as this year, with a selection of Cosplay guests in the hall who will be on hand to pose for photos and talk one on one about cosplay and cosplaying. It will also see the return of the Celebrate Cosplay Catwalk, in which everyone who has come to True Believers in costume is invited to get up on the catwalk and show off their cosplay to the crowd. The catwalk is just for fun and is open to all ages.

So what's new for True Believers 2016?

Instead of having traders and exhibitors up on the balcony next year, we will be using the area for some new stuff. On one side of the balcony, we will have a Table Top Gaming area, where Proud Lion will have a selection of tables set up for demo games (games TBA). This area is perfect for non-gamers to try their hand and see what TTG is all about and for TTG fans to discover some new games to try.

It's our plan to have part of the balcony set up for workshops. These workshops will be a mixture of comic and cosplay workshops and will be aimed at both adults and children and will see people sharing their skills, tips and techniques to inspire creativity.

We will also have an area of the balcony set up for people to just sit down and relax, check out their con haul, read some comics, play some table top games and catch up with friends new and old.

So what else?

Based on feedback from last year, we're looking at addressing some of the points that were raised about last year. These include the following areas;

  The Agent Shirt as modelled by Agent Nigel.

The Agent Shirt as modelled by Agent Nigel.

SIGNAGE: One of the things that was fed back to us was the lack of signage, both in the venue and outside. We will be increasing the amount of signage we have, making it easier to find where things are and when things are happening.

 AGENTS: Another thing that was fed back to us from this years event was that the True Believers Agents didn't stand out enough. So for #TBCF2016 our Agents will be wearing bright orange shirts (see picture).

FOOD: One of the problems with this years event was that the bar ran out of food very quickly. We will be asking the venue to increase the amount of food they have available from the bar on the day.

THE BIG SCREEN: Some of you might remember the big screen we had in the main hall that was displaying the True Believers logo throughout the day. A lot of people suggested that we use it for more at the next event. This year we didn't know we could use it until the night before the event, but now that we know it's available to us we have plans for it for 2016. More details on that at a later date.

We hope to have more stuff to announce as the event gets closer, but in the meantime you can help us make #TBCF2016 as good as (if not better than) True Believers 2015 buying your tickets and helping to spread the word about the event. The thing that made this years event what it was, was the love and support you guys gave us and in doing so you helped us to make it all possible and with your continued support, we can do the same in 2016 and keep True Believers as a regular fixture in the comic book calendar for a few more years to come.

We can't do any of it without you.

Thanks True Believers.

The 5 Question Interview #29 with Store Japan

We put 5 Questions to Nav from Store Japan...

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Nav and I own Store Japan.

I started Store Japan as a opportunity for Anime fans to purchase the weird and the wonderful without the long waiting times. 

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers

I will be showcasing various Plush Toys, Playing Cards, Key rings and Figures at the event.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do

I love my Japanese Anime and enjoy collecting figures, toys related to my favourite series. The art style available out there is fantastic!

What I love is the exploring aspect, finding those key moments from series that relate to the fans and then meeting the fans in order to engage with them and talk about series that I may have over looked

What was the first comic you collected

This was a very strange time for myself in the late 90’s as my first comic book experience came in Vancouver Canada when I was visiting family. I had entered a comic book store and at the time I was a huge fan of the 90’s cartoon X-Men.

Not knowing much about comics, story arcs etc. I had picked up a few copies of the Uncanny X-Men series and the rest as they say is history

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be

Deadpool is a character that knows he is part of a universe and engages with the reader in a unique manor compared to any other character in the Marvel universe. The character is built up to be funny and not too seriouswhich leads to a pleasant read.

What I love about Deadpool is the fact he can pop up anywhere and really change the structure of a traditional comic book formula with his characteristics. The Deadpool series I really enjoyed was Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe and I would recommend it all day long.

Thanks Nav.

 
Be sure to check out the Store Japan website and stop by their table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello".

 

 

The 5 Question Interview #28 with Sam Webster

We put 5 Questions to Joe Cape creator Sam Webster...

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Sam Webster, writer and artist of indie comics Arcadia, Joe Cape and the upcoming Unfamiliar Skies.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

Self published comedic, plot based, comics with an art style that fuses Western comics and Eastern manga.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
Coming to draw something from a script I wrote a few weeks earlier and thinking "I didn't consider how I'd actually draw that!" getting angry at my past self but then surprising myself when I manage to pull it off!

What was the first comic you collected?
Fleetway's Sonic the Comic

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?
Batman: Hush. It's got everything! Great art, story, characters and pacing. It's an absolute joy to read!
 

Thanks Sam.

Be sure to check out Sam's website and stop by his table at #TBCF2016 and say "hello"

The 5 Question Interview #27 with Peter Bensley & Cayti Elle Bourquin

We put 5 Questions to Hana Comics' Peter Bensley and Cayti Elle Bourquin...

Who are you and what do you do?

We are Hana Comics, a small comic studio. I'm Peter Bensley, editor and organiser, our writer is Cayti Elle Bourquin, we work with various artists including Mark Pearce and Yishan Li, and Ben Rosell and Harley Williams are helping us with conventions and marketing.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

Issues and merchandise for our first book, Paradox Girl! And Harley in pinstripes.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Cayti: I love exposing my internal wonderland to others, sharing the stories and experiences that I've imagined is incredible.

What was the first comic you collected?

Peter: The original Secret Wars. I only had a couple of issues but some of the images really stuck with me.

Cayti: The first comic I collected was 4 women by Sam Keith. I loved what he'd done with the MAXX, though was only familiar with it via the TV show on MTV. 4 Women was evocative and dangerous on a few levels.

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Peter: Flex Mentallo, a comic about the love of comics.

Cayti: Comic that I'd recommend? Please read Hack/Slash, it's subversive and meta and hot. I love it.

Thanks folks.

Be sure to check out the Paradox Girl website and stop by Peter and Caity's table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello!"

The 5 Question Interview #26 with Rik Jackson

We put 5 Questions to Silent-P's Rik Jackson...

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Silent-P, horror and pinup illustrator from London. I draw dark and unpleasant things, dangerous femme fatales and horror comics to upset your mum.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

There will be blood!

Looking at my art is like watching Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger fight the Suicide Girls, and you'll find plenty of art prints and original pieces depicting my particular type of comic book style horror.

My first horror comic, Brutal Bombshells, launches on Halloween 2015 and you will be able to pick up a copy from my table. Also teasers of my next comic project, a Twilight Zone style horror compilation, Grave Tales will be on display. Script writer of both titles Craig Jex will be joining me at True Believers so you'll be able to ask him how he comes up with the dark stories we feature.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

Drawing anything I want to! Other than commission work, all my art is the sort of thing I like to see. It's great to have the freedom to create the dark images that I do and tell the nasty little stories that are in my head. Seeing a piece come together from a rough sketch to an inked, full colour piece is such an exciting process for me, so I post a lot of work in progress photos on Twitter and Tumblr, as I love to share what I'm doing with people who are interested.

What was the first comic you collected?

Batman first got me into comics. I loved how he was just a real man who worked hard to be able to do what he did. All the 90's era titles were part of my collection, but I've always had a soft spot for Legends of the Dark Knight.

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

Creepy, published by Dark Horse Comics. I love the collaborative approach to having so many creatives involved in contributing stories and art. It's a goal of mine to have one of my stories feature in this publication.

If horror isn't really your thing then I'd recommend picking up Witchblade, particularly issues illustrated by Laura Braga. But I guess if horror isn't your thing you probably didn't read this far

Thanks Rik.

Be sure to check out the Silent P website and stop by Rik's table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello!"

 

The 5 Question Interview #25 with Nick Gribbon

We put 5 Questions to Dead All Over's Nick Gribbon...

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Nick and I am an Illustrator. I have a BA Illustration degree from the University of Gloucestershire.

I started Dead All Over a few years ago (2013) which is a platform for my horror and zombie pop culture mash up artwork. I draw by hand and make limited edition prints of my artwork to sell at comic book conventions.

What can people expect to find at your table at True Believers?

Lots of Limited Edition prints of pop culture comic-book/TV/Movie characters zombiefied! I also sell original artwork, badges, greetings cards, patches, and do commissions.

What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

I am a comic book geek myself so I love going to comic book conventions, with Dead All Over I get to go and experience the convention from the other side of the table and meet a lot of really cool people. (You'll see me wandering the convention floor too looking for cool stuff, or getting autographs!).

What was the first comic you collected?

The first comic I remember reading regularly was Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr's Daredevil run from the late 80's early 90's. The story was dark and bleak in tone, but thats what I like about the character. And I've always like Romita Jr's artwork since, especially his Spidey run.

But, the first comics I collected regularly were The X-Men and Spider-Man new series' that came out in the early 90's.

If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc) to people, which would it be?

This is tough, (I bet everyone say's that), I really enjoyed the Captain America run by Brubaker and Epting which introduced The Winter Soldier. I thought that was great storytelling and inventive way to bring back a character.

The Walking Dead comic is great, and the first two Marvel Zombies books of course!

 

Thanks Nick.

Be sure to check out the Dead All Over website and Facebook page and stop by Nick's table at #TBCF2016 and say "Hello".

Writers Wanted

Here on The Nerds Who Haunted Themselves, I've posted news updates about True Believers 2016, interviews with Guests and Exhibitors (and some others) and some promotional stuff about some other community events. I've also posted some of my old articles that I wrote for Starburst Magazine and a couple of  new articles I wrote especially for the site.

Time and other commitments has meant that I've not been able to post as much stuff as I would like and it's one of the reasons that I'm now looking for your help. I'm looking for people who are passionate about nerdy things, who would like to share that passion by writing about those things for this blog.

Whilst True Believers is primarily an event about Comic Books, the Nerds blog is about celebrating all things nerdy, from comics, TV, film, games and more and we're looking for people to write about those things and share their love of it. It can be an article about your love of Quantum Leap or a new comic that you have discovered that you're excited about sharing or even a beginners guide to Table Top Gaming. If it's something that is in keeping with the themes of what we do and that is - most importantly - something you are passionate about, we'd like you to write about it for this page.

Whilst it is pretty much anything goes, there are a few guidelines we would like you to follow before submitting an article;

  1. Please don't write an article that is self promoting. If you have something that you would like promoted, please submit it to us as a press release and we will get somebody else to write an article based on that.
  2. If you are writing about a friend's comic or created property, please declare the fact at the top of the article.
  3. Please be positive. Primarily we are about celebrating the thing we love and would like that to come across in the articles we write. We don't want articles like "Why DC sucks and Marvel rules!" That's not to say you can't use counter points in your articles (eg "this is something that Manhunter succeeded at where Red Dragon failed to deliver"), but please remember that there are always people out there that love the thing you don't and we don't want them to feel like we took a dump on the thing they love.
  4. We generally want to keep our articles as something that is accessible and readable by people of all ages, so please keep it clean as much as possible.

If you'd be interested in writing pieces for the blog, please drop us an email at oktruebelievers@gmail.com using the subject heading 'Nerd Writer'.