Hotel Beds and Hungover Heads...

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Itís six p.m. on the Sunday, and Iím in the hotel bedroom typing the column up while Dan tries to pack his clothing away, shambling around like a broken shell of a man, grasping his stolen small tubs of jam (from breakfast) with the need of a drunkard with a hangover from hell. Which to be honest? Is a part that heís pretty much managing to play quite well. I meanwhile am laying on the bed in a state of calm relaxation while Skinner and Dan shuffle and twitch, because Iím not leaving the hotel until tomorrow morning, which means that I get to spend another night in the bar, albeit sipping weakly at glasses of water while I whimper silently and shiver to myself. The bottles of gin have been tidied away and the boxes of pizza are being folded into rubbish bin sized portions. Having been bought at around 2am on the Friday night, this pizza has been the sustenance for all our needs and has pretty much kept us alive since day one. The three day pizza is now looking bad, but not to Dan, who munches slowly while crying weakly to himself.

The Bristol con has always been ĎBar Coní to me, the Christmas party for creators that weíre never able to have throughout the Winterval season and the Ramada Plaza bar is a mecca of wonderment for the variety of Artists, Writers, Editors, Letterers, Colourists, Pimps, Drug Pushers, Fluffers and whoever else is there on a nightly basis.

And as ever I sit in the bar in the early hours of the morning in a sense of confusion, still not sure how the hell I manage to sit and drink with people that I respect as legends in the industry without my fanboy side emerging like the Hyde to my Jekyll.

Tony gives 2000 A.D. editor Tharg his latest pitch...

This year was actually quite relaxed, with Top Cow busywhizz Rob Levin coming all the way from the West Coast of Americaland to see how the British creators party. The fear was evident on his face from the first moment he arrived, followed quickly by amusement and then loathing, but he seems to have settled into the British way of life quite quickly. We might have made an Anglophile of him already.

The broken shell of Dan Boultwood is now muttering Ďthis isnít my faultí as he tries to pack away his final items of clothing. If it wasnít so pitiful, it would be amusing. But now the convention is done and the long journeys home begin.

Apart from me. I get to sleep now.

How was the convention for me? Great. I got to hang out with the Geek Syndicate crowd and a whole wealth of new podcast friends. I caught up with old chums and met new ones. We gave out awards. We signed comics. It was a nice weekend with only one thunderstorm the entire sun drenched time.

And now itís over. And thereís a relief mixed with regret.

Still, in two weeks itís the MCM Expo in London, and weíll start all over again...

Highlight of the convention however? Was Black Cat.

Last year, there was a girl, very well endowed dressed as the Marvel character Black Cat. Pretty much every man who saw her (as the costume was VERY accurate and she was close to bursting) was appreciative Ė until it came out that she was actually fourteen. Then, it spread around like wildfire and everywhere you could see were men flagellating themselves, convinced that they were going to hell.

This year she was back again on the Friday night. And this time we knew to look away. Until it came out that she was actually twenty seven, and the whole Ďfourteení thing? Was spread by her savvy boyfriend who knew that this was a surefire way to stop men trying to steal her from him.

Well done, sir Ė we salute you.

And so the Saturday night had the highlight of the entire convention, well at least for us Ė the 2008 Golden Champagne Glass Awards. And in a star-studded gala of guerrilla bar-hogging, we announced the following winners...

Best Comic Created By A Friend: Surburban Glamour (Jamie McKelvie)

Jamie McKelvie wins his award - later he breaks it while 'being a Dalek'...

Hardest Drinker: Jamie Boardman

Editor Jamie Boardman finally beats the entirety of Mam Tor to win his award...

Best Journalist (US): Heidi MacDonald

Best Journalist (UK): Mike Conroy

Gayest Gay Creator In Comics (Also known as the Bevis Musson award): Bevis Musson

Bevis Musson winning the second of his three awards of the night...

The James Redington Memorial Award: Posthumously awarded to James Redington for the first year. No vote required.

Hottest Creator: Emma Vieceli

Emma Vieceli wins Hottest Creator to her utter embarrassment...

Best Online Podcast: Geek Syndicate; Birds Of Geek (Tied)

Scariest Fan: Derek Hartley

Breakout Award for Best New Talent: Chris Lynch

Favourite Writer: Paul Cornell

An emotional Paul Cornell wins best Writer...

Favourite Artist: Mike Collins

Favourite 'Other' (Letterer, Colourist, Editor): Rob Levin (Top Cow VP, Editorial)

Top Cow VP for Editorial flies over from LA to receive his 'Best Other' award for Editorial services, Top Cow...

Lifetime Achievement Award: Dave Gibbons

Dave Gibbons wins a Lifetime Achievement Award...

Best Website: Bevis Mussonís Livejournal

Best 'YoYo' (person who bounces back from adversity): Richard Emms (ex APC/Markosia, now Publisher of Ardden)

Unable to attend, Rich Emms recieves 'Best Yoyo' from Tony and Dan...

Best Shameless Promoter: Bevis Musson

There were many pictures taken and hopefully Iíll be sent a couple today that can also be put up with the column, but if not, expect a photo parade next week.

Shenanigans as Dave Gibbons is disqualified from 'Best New Writer'...

As I seem to be the king of ballot stuffing, Let's make it work for the powers of good with two requests - one for celebrity comic writing chum Neil Kleid aka rantcomics, and the other for celebrity comic writing chum Vito Delsante aka incogvito...

First, Neil Kleid...

"This month, Paul Salvi and I present "Action, Ohio", a tale of heroes, villains, deception, murder and comic books, at, DC comics' online webcomic competition. Each month, Zuda's editors select ten comics to compete against each other. Readers vote for their favorite, often going as far as to campaign and sing its praises and the comics which receives the most votes at the end of the month wins a DC Comics publishing contract to continue the story on the Zuda site for the rest of the year. The only way to see your favorite comic continue is to vote, the only way to vote is to head to and register.

"Action, Ohio" is the story of Detective Andrea Bruce, a Detroit policewoman who doesn't believe in heroes. But when a teenager dies stopping a fire with amazing abilities and the coroner suspects foul play, Andrea discovers a secret town of superheroes while tracking his killer. In the sixties, men responsible for the birth of Silver Age comic books found a town riddled with the fallout of the atomic age and invented fictional characters based on its residents to divert the world from their existence: If America thought super heroes were fictional beings, it wouldn't go looking for them. Supported by an ageing group of heroes, Andrea tries to hide Action from the world but as a town founded on policies of non-involvement begins to crack and Andrea digs into the underbelly of a town that's imprisoned itself to save the world, she begins to wonder: if Action, Ohio is a town of comic book heroes, then where are the villains? Andrea, an outsider with no use for heroes, must choose between solving her case and opening a Pandora's Box of evil closed forty years ago, or putting aside her vendetta to ensure that the sleepy little town hiding from the citizens of the world doesn't reach out, ignite and destroy them.

How can you help?
  1. Click over to Read. Register. Vote for ACTION, OHIO before May 30th. All it costs is a moment of
    your time: - don't forget to send this link around to EVERYONE you know and urge them to do the same!

  2. Head to the production blog at or join where you can find early sketches, behind the scenes commentary and web banners, web flyers and promotional materials you can use in spreading the word.

  3. Once you've voted, make us your favorite then leave a comment and let the team know what you thought!

You *do* have to be a registered Zuda user to vote, comment, and favorite (it's an easy process), so head on over today and put the democratic process to good use this month."

Secondly - Vito Delsante...

"On May 14, Superman #676 is released and it's my first and (for now) only Superman comic. But you can change that!

Pick up Superman#676 at your local comic shop on WEDNESDAY, MAY 14 and help to make a difference. If you're a comic creator, post about it on your blogs! If you're a comic book retailer, help a fellow retailer out and DON'T RETURN THE BOOK! If you're a comic fan, make a statement with your wallets! YOU can make a difference in the burgeoning career of an up-and-coming writer!

And if you're in the New York Area, stop by Jim Hanley's Universe on WEDNESDAY, MAY 14 to get your copy signed! And meet artists Dean (Brawl/Billy Dogma) Haspiel and Mike (Annihilation: Conquest) Lilly and many more guests to be announced from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Jim Hanley's Universe is located at 4 West 33rd Street, opposite the Empire State Building. For directions and more info, call 212-268-7088."

And also...

"**UPDATE: 5/7/08 - If you live in the NY Area, this signing just got bigger. I'm not piggybacking on a huge signing that will see the first time visit of Joe Kubert and Pete Carlsson (Tor) & Adam Kubert (Action Comics)! This is HUGE! Please come and not only support, but meet the legend!"

Go make Daddy proud.

Right then. Short one this week because Iíve lost the ability to type. Go away now, sleepy time. Nap nap nap. Nighty night.

No, really. Iím too broken to end on a, well, end note.

In fact, I should end with—

Discuss this column at the Only A Forum forum.
© 2008, Tony Lee