Saturday 19th May
Arrived about half hour before doors opened as was in with the Ltd edition guys and went straight to the Barry kitson queue sadly I was second. At any other table or event this would have been fine but Barry does such amazing painted sketches but they take time. The guy ahead of me -another Ashley should have realised that he be trouble- got a gorgeous A3 painted Thor which was simply breathtakingly amazing.
Whilst was in the queue was able to bounce to the nearby artists Adi Granov and Gary Erskine and get two. Great sketches of Mr Sinister and Apocalypse. My sketch was finally ready at 11:30 so I had missed the first batch of signings luckily had help from a friend to get me a few sigs from Frank Quietly - thank you- purchased a few original panel pages from Barry -£10 a piece bargain though I cant post them here yet as they not been published yet.
I rushed down to the signing area and managed to catch Nick Spencer before he finished and got my morning glories and ultimate xmen signed and brief chat about each series and how he had morning glories plotted until issue 126 but was off ult xmen as of this weeks new issue.
Next up was David laufente who was pleased to see that I had something other then ultimate spiderman for him to sign. He happily signed my avengers academy and new mutants and once the rest of the queue had gone down he did a quick ult spiderman and gwen sketch for me.
I ran over to join the next queue for the lovely co creator of the new black spiderman Sara Pichelli who was really nice and was v happy that the new spiderman was being received so well. Got my first appearance of him signed so I was happy.
I ran back upstairs to the artists ally to get some sigs from thunderbolts artist Declan shalvey and drop off a blank sketch cover to pick up later.
The next queue is where the trouble began.
First the points of note:
Kapow had a 3 comic at a time limit per person. I don't mind this yes it's annoying but I always will requeue I really don't mind,
If you in my airspace and you will get exploited- meaning if you only have one or two I will give you some of mine to make up the numbers - not breaking any rules still same amount being done.
So I join the queue for Terry Dodson - who Is the big name for me this is who I came to meet and his queue was up against Joe q and Scott Snyder so it was so small maybe 50 people max this should be easy - alas he can't talk and sign and he does like to talk and talk took 40 minutes to be seen and I was number 20 in queue so went round got a quick sketch and sone autos and went around again this time I had few friends with me to help and then a random guy in queue offered to get some done for me I was v happy with this offer I got bits done then ran off to Joe quasadas queue to get my bits signed - very fast line got my first appearance x23 and darken signed which was good and chatted that he prefers to draw spiderman but drawing the webs is a bitch. After 3rd time around I headed back to Dodson as he was still going strong - then I heard the main pitboss of auto section was after me she had stopped that guy getting my bits done saying I was profiteering. I joint the line and the same woman came up to me and ending the queue ahead of me nor once did she talk to me, question me or anything so thought no more of it.
Had a quick chat with james hodginkon and got a quick sketch before heading up to pick up my Declan sketch and some autos from shaky Kane Doug braithwaite Paul grist David hine and Chris Weston - who we all applauded as his comic the twelve was finally finished after 2 years of delays.
Pros for day one
Longer signing sessions for most guests
The queues were still not very well run with an end of line post handed out but told to pass it back when more joint only then later for the staff to take it and move it higher up - I understand they need to cut lines etc but they always did it after people had been waiting a long time and they were usually very rude about it.
I found sone of the staff very friendly but the few that I kept seeing on the auto lines were very rude and looked down on us in the queue
Artist alley was nice that was out of the way but where it was was in small corner and once queues formed you couldnt see the other guests
Missed all the celeb guests and signings as they moved it to other end of hall but couldn't see any timetable anywhere
So my haul from first day was
Shalvey x 6 1 sketch
Grist x 2
Braithwaite x 1
Shaky x 1
Hine x 1
Quietly x 4
Erskine x 1
Joe q x 23
Dodson x 12 1 sketch
Weston x 6
Spurrior x 5
Laffuette x 6 1 sketch
Granov x 17 1 sketch
Hodgkinson x 1 sketch
Spencer x 12
Picelli x 20
Kitson x 3 1. Sketch
So all in all
not a bad day and if I had brought my second set of Quasadas along I prob
wouldn't have gone back ... But I did and the happiness was to be broken
Sunday 20th may
Arrived again before doors opened but immediately
could see the queue outside was smaller so the day should be mire relaxed.
Helped out on the stall setting bits up and generally loitering waiting to for
the queue for Joe quasada. Then I see the pitboss ginger woman staring at me and
not in a good way - she disappeared and I thought no more of it. She returned
with mark Millar himself I assumed they were setting up and he came up to me and
thought I was someone else and walked away but she called him back and he came
up and could see he wasn't happy - she had accused me of going up and down the
line handing books our to randoms and extending the line I tried to argue my
side but he was having none of it and said if I did it again I would be chucked
out- I was not happy as I always go out of my way to make sure I don't put
people out or make a scene - but what else could I do but plead innocence and
apologise if that's how it had seemed -
Ashleys golden rule never anger
the management or you get black listed and no guest or auto is woth that
So as the wee scots man was going on 2 things came into my head
1) man he had bad skin
2) where my books and sharpie
this happened in front of the stall so I don't know how long till I get to
Anyway happy thoughts happy thoughts
Went through the
Joe q queue and was on best behaviour only three items but he was so quick I
went round three times and on third time he just said it was a silly limit let
me sign them all save me wasting con time in same queue. I couldbt believe he
had an open queue and that I had left my original xfactor comics at home totally
forgot he did those and they are sone of my fave comics hope they get him
Then off to kieron Gillian to get my latest batch of comics signed -
seem to see him every 3 months or so. Know there few people who not his biggest
fan but I get on alright with him and am really enjoying his uncanny xmen and
journey into mystery runs - he also found my telling off by Millar
I becoming infamous ... Again
Then was off to try my luck
in the Millar queue was a long one but no where near as bad as have seen in
past. After about an hour or so I finally got close and began to get nervous on
how he would react would he refuse would he headbutt me? And I wasn't the only
only one thinking the same - all the staff at the stall were instantly there all
sales on hold cameras phone ready and rolling .....
I approached his
He said hi and asked If was enjoying con and signed books then
moved me on, he wasn't as happy and pleasant as he was to others around me but
at least he signed my books.
Then I joint my last queue if the day the
dreaded Dodson queue still very very short but still took very very long was so
slow I only managed two times around and two sketches. Hope he comes back he was
really nice but draining to talk to.
But overall I didn't enjoy the
second day the Millar incident really made me feel crappy.
Well would I
go back? Yeah if guests were good enough as that's all I really go for.
Thought it needs a better venue less stairs and more space