I was privileged recently, to be a guest at Stripped, part of the Edinburgh Book Festival’s celebration of comics and graphic novels where I gave zombie drawing workshops for blood-thirsty kids, discussed my latest Cape published graphic novel, Montague Terrace and was part of a celebratory panel on the history of the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic (discuss?), 2000AD. Not only was it a great atmosphere and celebration of storytelling, but it was also rewarding to see comics given the floor space alongside more established authors, who, let’s face it, can’t even draw.
On Friday night, wearing my zombie illustrator’s hat from the Darren Shan Zom-B book series of I’m currently working on, I gave a master class in the best ways to draw half eaten teachers and undead friends to an enthusiastic lot of eager and positively sick kids. I even got the occasional parent and events organiser to dust off previously deceased drawing skills in our ‘drawing gore in black and white therapy session’. This was great fun and the kids produced some truly disgustingly gruesome artwork.
An hour later and dodging past Monty ‘The Don’ Don in the star-studded Author’s yurt, I donned my Cape cape and Montague Terrace hat to share the stage with Harker author Roger Gibson for a conversation on how we both represent and are influenced by London in our respective books. Despite only having just met, it was a good discussion on our shared and differing inspirations, from classic film to 70s Cop shows.
And after a Saturday watching the great Judith Kerr in conversation, scooting around the buzzing city with my wife and son and catching a Leonardo Davinci exhibition, I wound up on the Sunday as part of a panel including fellow Cape authors Robbie Morrison and Jim Murray, creators of recently published Drowntown and writer Dan Abnett to discuss the history of 2000 AD, hosted by former Tharg, David Bishop. A good turn out, some laughs were had and books were signed. Though no 9th Art graphic novel prizes were won. Next year maybe?
A big thank you to all the organisers, the events managers, Robbie and Deb for the stories, everyone I spoke (rambled) to and the guy at the hotel who recommended the Whiskey for making it a truly memorable event.