14 reasons Thought Bubble ’14 was even better than last year

A lot of people are saying this weekend’s Thought Bubble comic convention was the best there has ever been.

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Even though the bar was set incredibly high last year, I agree – this one was even better. Here are some reasons why, starting with things the organisers did differently and followed by some more personal factors which improved my own experience of the convention. Continue reading

Thank you Bristolcon

I went to Bristolcon yesterday. Their sixth, my fifth and also my most enjoyable so far. I was one of the exhibitors in the Art Show, organised brilliantly (as it is every year) by Andy Bigwood. I decided to show some of my 2000AD work from the last couple of years, collaborations with Si Spurrier and Rob Williams.

Pencils by Simon Gurr from 2000AD Time Twisters - The Stitch written by Simon Spurrier, exhibited at Bristolcon 2014

I had a great day. My space was right next to the Art Show’s Guest of Honour, Julian Quaye. Julian’s work was new to me but I loved it, and from my neighbouring vantage point I could see a lot of convention-goers really appreciating it too.

Julian Quaye drawn by Simon Gurr

I drew Julian being interviewed. The interviewer highlighted the skilful depiction of fabric and textures in his work, something I think contributes wonderfully to the internal reality of this surreal, eerie series.

Boris by Julian Quaye

It’s easy to make grand claims about your local convention, one which can be enjoyed without the hassles of travel and accommodation, but I can honestly say Bristolcon is one of my favourites. It’s certainly the nicest. ‘Nice’ may be a much maligned word, but Bristolcon is the friendliest, most relaxed, manageable event I’ve exhibited at. A lot of that comes from the hard work behind the scenes. It’s clear that the team work their socks off for the whole year to make that one day so good, but however tired they must be when the doors open they are always absolutely lovely company.

The crucial difference for me this year was that I participated in the art show in the way it was intended, as an exhibition. In the past I had approached it in ‘comic convention mode’, sitting behind a table of Things I’m Selling, but this time I left my work in the very capable hands of Claire Hutt and her team staffing the Art Room desk and explored the rest of the convention. By doing this, people had an unobstructed view of my work while I was able to catch up with other artists and attend some of the many panels and readings that were running all day. Jennie Gyllblad was there (with her splendid factotum Peter), and I was able to pre-order her new book SKAL Volume one. The original watercolour art Jennie was showing yesterday was absolutely delicious and I didn’t want to miss out.

SKal by Jenni Gyllblad

I was also very glad to meet Jenny Haines (You don’t have to be an artist called Jen to be there, but it helps). Jenny’s ‘Games In Art’ series immediately caught my eye and I was fascinated to hear about the painstaking research which goes into these images. There will soon be a new addition to the series, one based on Assyrian art, which I cannot wait to see.

Games In Art by Jenny Haines

The panels I sat in on ranged from practical advice on Discoverability & Representation in the time of Amazon to a rather gleeful discussion of the perils of writing sex and death scenes. All good stuff, but I got the most out of the Common Writing Problems Q&A (which will come as no surprise to followers of my ORT progress blog!) I found Snorri Kristjánsson particularly wise and inspirational on the subject of writer’s block.

Visitors at Bristolcon 2014

Other highlights included a lunchtime invasion by these two terrifying aliens, knitted Death Stars, and even free cake and wine. Not sure how the day could have been improved, thank you to Jo, Chris, Andy, Claire, Meg, Cheryl and everyone else who made it so much fun.

Sketch by Simon Gurr at Bristolcon

Recent Instagram posts

I have an Instagram account at http://instagram.com/simongurr which I use primarily for posting works in progress, warm-up sketches, and test drawings. Here are some images I’ve uploaded in the last few months.

Submission for the Draw Vader project run by James Howard
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A second submission for Draw Vader
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History’s Greatest Monster

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Rob Williams, (the comics writer, not the hairy Patch Adams actor or the cocksure Rudebox vaudevillian), created Cla$$war, LowLife, The TenSeconders, The Royals and most recently Ordinary. He has thrown the likes of Wolverine, Judge Dredd and RoboCop into perils of his own devising. He was one of the brains behind 2000AD‘s cross-narrative spetacular Trifecta.  In short, he writes good comics. So I was delighted to have the chance to draw one of his scripts, especially when I read it and saw how funny it was. Continue reading

Who are you again?

A lot of the comics I’ve drawn or written have had a fairly small audience (or a big audience, but in a small location), chances are you’ve missed them. So here are ten comics I’ve done or am doing.

Comics written and drawn by me:
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Lac in Black
This was my entry for the Thought Bubble 2013 Comic Art Competition and will be published in the 2014 Thought Bubble Anthology later this year. It’s a conversation between a father and son about the insects used in the manufacture of old shellac records and artist’s ink.

 

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ORT
ORT is my first self-published solo comic for a long time. It’s set in Iceland – one of my favourite places on Earth – and has a lot of birds in it. And it should will be finished in time for Thought Bubble.
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12-hour comic half marathon

Inspired by the star-studded 24-hour comics marathon which Dan Berry is running for this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, I wanted to try making a 24-hour comic myself. However, domestic and professional time pressures meant that was impossible this month, so I decided to do a 12-hour ‘half marathon’ instead.

I started at 7PM on 11th Feb (with only a vague idea of what I was going to do) and finished at 7 this morning.

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140 CHARACTERS notes: 2009

140 CHARACTERS is a small sketchbook of some of the drawings I‘ve posted on Twitter. In the previous post I talked about the images from 2008 which make up the first chapter of the book. Here are the drawings from 2009.

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Postlethwaite
Brush & marker pen on paper
Sketchbook drawing of Pete Postlethwaite, done for my own enjoyment.
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