And of course, a couple of days back, I got to display to the world that other very welcome image, the cover to my novel. I may mention that a few more times.
The Kapow convention was excellent, a little more laid-back than the previous year, but now very much the obvious gathering place for UK comickers and their US counterparts. A quiet drink with DC veteran (he'll enjoy me saying that) Bob Wayne on the Friday night turned into a legendary evening where the comics pros ran into the SF pros (and TV's James Moran wandered in too). I signed for something like one and three quarter hours on the Sunday (when I'd thought the two hour slot was way optimistic), and, courtesy of SFX Magazine, appeared on their stage to be interviewed by Tilly.
I missed the DC Comics panel on the Saturday morning, having got stuck on a train, but I did go along to the one the following day, causing some comedy consternation on the part of Bob and Dan DiDio, mocking me for being in the audience but not getting up on the panel (having signed up to Panel Parity). Halfway through the panel, Dan called an (obviously prepared) female member of the audience up to talk about what she liked about Demon Knights. I've seen that move called 'a parody of Panel Parity' on one news site, but it was nothing of the sort, it was a tip of the hat to it, and Dan treated the woman's contribution with all due respect. (I'm afraid I haven't been able to find out the name of that female fan. If that's you and you're reading this, do drop me a line in the comments.) It was entirely in line with how he often solicits opinions from audience members, except that he brought her onto the panel to do it. 'You're a good man, Dan DiDio!' I called out, and I meant it. Dan got me to stand up and take a bow. It seemed to me to be a graceful way for DC to engage with the campaign. (Which is not to say that it brings us closer to Panel Parity. It was a nod, when a sledgehammer is required. But at least there was an acknowledgement of the problem.)
In short, I spent a rather blissful weekend in the company of both comickers and SF writers (often hoping to be comickers). I didn't talk to any one friend long enough. I saw Scott Snyder start to get the sort of reward he deserves for an amazing year. I had a very funny curry with Rob Williams and the gang. I got to appreciate a lot of great cosplay and coo over some cute babies. (I do that now.) I love it when my worlds come together.
And hey, where else do you get to be interviewed by a toy monkey?
On Wednesday, 12th December, at 8pm, I'll be appearing at Topping and Company in Bath, for a bookshop signing. This is the first such I've signed up for to promote London Falling, and I hope there'll be many others. I'll add them to the convention list on the right.
Out now is the collected edition of the first six issues of Stormwatch, entitled The Dark Side. I'll be signing it (and anything else) at London's Forbidden Planet on Wednesday June 6th from 6pm.
Now it can be revealed that our guest artist on Saucer Country #6 will be none other than Jimmy Broxton, re-uniting the team from Knight and Squire. I couldn't be more pleased, and Jimmy is already producing amazing work. #6 is a stand alone issue, a history of UFO mythology from the perspective of Professor Kidd, and entirely pick-up-able if you haven't been reading our story and just want a history of flying saucers in comic book form. #7 is another stand alone, the dark reflection of #6, from an entirely different point of view, with another cool guest artist. Those two issues set out our stall for what's to come. And then the amazing Ryan Kelly will be back for our second story arc, starting in #8.
And Steve Cook, creator of the Saucer Country logo, shares his own UFO experience.
Bernice Summerfield producer Scott Handcock is running a marathon in Edinburgh on Sunday, in support of Invest in ME, the charity that funds research into the crippling condition M.E.. This is a very personal cause for all of us who've worked for Big Finish. As it stands, he's made his target, but every little helps.
And now available for pre-order is the new book for the creators of Chicks Dig Time Lords. It's Chicks Unravel Time, which is a season by season review of Doctor Who, entirely by women. Contributors include Diana Gabaldon, Barbara Hambly, Seanan McGuire, Rachel Swirsky and Aliette de Bodard. Excellent stuff.
Last night I popped along to the Aylesbury SFF Monthly Meet-Up, which was noisy, comfy and well attended. Worth doing if you're in that part of the world.
My favourite music today is something I just started listening to this week, and have been rather impressed by. I'm quite surprised that I haven't got round to King Crimson before now.
The lyrics are a bit 'Stairway to Heaven' (on most tracks of the album of the same name, actually), but the shape of the music and the way it progresses is pleasing, and any jazz noodling is kept within strictly disciplined limits. I wouldn't say I'm becoming a prog fan, exactly, but I like this a lot.
This Saturday I'm off to the inaugural Melksham Comic Convention, and then on Sunday I'm taking Cat Valente on a tour of prehistoric monuments. (No, really.) So until next time, Cheerio.