This is one of my favourite events of the year not only because I a big transformer geek but it's relaxed, fan friendly, has great guests and is a cheap event.
It is a two day event but I only went on the Saturday so alas I did miss out on the live panel script reading and party but still for the low ticket price I defiantly got my money's worth.
First off just want to say how relaxed the atmosphere is. There were 700 plus attendiees and it never felt like it. Always room to sit for talks and room to move freely between stalls. The lines for guests were all very steady and was only due to lthe voice guests spending so much time with each person - chatting signing taking photos - that some queues seemed longer for the amount of actual people in it. But when the guests are so nice and really care about meeting the attendees you forget the time it took you to get to the front.
But I'm getting ahead of myself let's start at the begining. I arrived at the Hilton at half nice just as the line was being lead in. Was a nice fast queue picked up my badge and goodie bag with ease.
The comic creators were already at Thier tables so headed out to procure sketches - first stop was Andrew WIldman who I have met many times and was after a final sketch from him to finish off a piece I had started with him a few years ago - the autobot leader vs the decepticon leader- each picture is of a diff time of the comics and each picture has characters in same pose- the sketch price was twenty pounds which was the steepest at the event but as for two figures it cheaper then most other events , i was put out that he wanted donations to sign comics tho as usually at every event comics are signed for free and i had a fair few to be done. II left my sketch book with him and went on to get some other signatures whilst I await it's completion and contemplated should I pay for the autos. I know the money goes to charity and yes I took a lot to be done but being only one charging put me off a bit.
Simon Furman was next to him signing the brand new regeneration issue and were all suprised and happy to see the variant cover i had with me as it was only a few days old and none had seen it yet, i have met simon so many times over the years its gettign harder to talk tranformers and have run out of things to ask btu the new comic has opened up a new world and yet as its ongoing they can never comment - curse you and your non spoiler ways
The next guest I went to was digital comic artist livio ramondelli who was very nice did a couple of quick head shots in my trades and if I honest I not like his art in the comics bit seeing the pencil originals and the sketches he was doing I converted - I now will blame the inker and colourist for them looking bad, though I thinks that's him as well. I booked a Cliffjumper commission and we discusse his future plans for the digital transformer comics and how i still cant enjoy comics in that format.
Next was on to another Auto Assembly regular and writer of my favorite comic at the moment- Transformers More Than Meets The Eye. Had a good chat regarding the style of the book both in look and the comedy aspect. he has the book plotted until issue 20 and hopes for longer brought from him a script from one of his issues and moved on to the longest comic queue of the day the ever talented Nick Roche sadly by this time his sketch list was full but he did do a quick springer headshot in my hardback trade and nick having heard about my redundancy gave me a free print which i love and also why i love this event, havign been for last 5 years i know alot of the comic people quiet well and makes it seem a lot warmer experience.
my next stop was to original uk transformers artists Jeff anderson and Stephen baskerville had nice chat regarding Jeffs previous work and tried to avoid buying any original pages but got an amazing Galvatron and henchmen sketch and had chat with stephen about his new work on the regeneration comic and getting a great Unicron sketch to complete my evil leaders set.
The openign ceremony started about 11 and was a fun event with special graphics and intro music per guest. The way the guests interact onstage and with attendees is so different to most events you do forget that they are all famous as they really include you in every aspect of the day.
After a bit of a wait finally got to meet the voice actors. Michael Bell was first- i found him warm and interested in what i had to say regarding show and his charcaters in particular. Paul Elding kept disapearing btu when finally caught up to him his line was very long and semed like forever but as soon as you meetthe guy you realise why and that it was worth the wait. He loves talking about the work he has done and why the fans love it so and really makes that brief time with him seem like you known each other for years. He was telling my friends son Elijah secrets to the new Ben 10 series he working on and you could see him enjoyin he excitment in the childs eyes.
My last guest meet was from legendary voice of the Tick Townsend Coleman he was funny and loved doing the voices and seeing all the random things people had fo rhim to sign from my random screen shots to actual wooden spoons. i was lucky wenough to get a Tick voice message which made my weekend.
i saw bits of the talks whilst was in queues but i couldnt tell you what was being said the main issue with this whole event was the sound. either it was music that was too loud so couldnt talk to the guests easily and then when the guests were on stage couldnt hear the microphones either and the lighting was just as bad hardly any of my photos came out as was too dark with bright backing screen so that was frustrating, other then that couldnt fault the event at all.
As usual below are the photos of me with guests and my sketchs,autographs and as usual because i got so many comics signed i wont add them here.