Posted in Comics n Stuff, Miscellaneous

Thinking about Thought Bubble

I never know what to get for my birthday. I accept that it’s a very much a first world problem, but it is what it is. Purchases fall very much into 2 categories for me, necessities (which I should pay for myself) or usual things I buy (also best to be got by me rather than someone else) which puts most people in the ‘what hell do I get that person’ camp. Which I accept is quite frustrating for the people who know me. So no one knows what to get me and I don’t know what I want. I occasionally buy blu-rays, I frequently buy comics, but beyond that, what do I spend money on that isn’t a necessity of some description.

This year though, I didn’t do any of that. As part of a whole happiness thing, which has had mixed success to be perfectly honest, I have been trying to do things that I hadn’t done before or things I had been scared of doing. One of which was Halloween’s trip to an indoor sky-diving centre. But for my birthday, I went to Thought Bubble. 

Thought Bubble is the Yorkshire festival celebrating the comic arts. Writers, pencillers and colourists from established comic companies, together with up and comers and those trying to make their name are there to ply their trade, there are panels on several subjects, cosplay competitions and signings. I have never done comic-cons, one of the reasons is that the ones local to me don’t have anything to offer me, being not a gamer or cosplayer and so have often decided not to bother. Thought Bubble however, is a proper comic con. The other problem is my anxiety. Crowds, strangers and other worries (both real and imagined) have kept me from doing this, but I went for it, with the help and support of the MIGHTY Rosie.

At first, it was supposed to be the three of us going, but as the time grew closer, we realised several issues might make this difficult for all three of us to go. Then I became anxious about going on my own. Then I started planning the trip (a task most often taken on by the MIGHTY Rosie) and the more control over things I took, the better I felt about it and was only really anxious about it on Friday. But I went, getting the train from my home of Liverpool to Harrogate, the new home of Thought Bubble, after several years in Leeds. As expected there were many cosplayers (many of which were characters I didn’t recognise) and even more queues.

So you got past your anxiety and went, well done, but did you enjoy it? I arrogantly assume you ask. Yes I did and that comes in three waves.

1st: These are my people. Everybody there was either working in or into comics and judging by the many stalls and panels, quite a few fell into both categories. There were families, couples, friends and like me people on their own milling about buying and talking comics. There wasn’t movies related stuff, but people who enjoy the art-form that has been a constant in my life for too many years. It was relaxing to be in my element a bit.

2nd: The comics themselves. I bought many trades, a few comics an excellent teeshirt and a poster of Peter Porker: The Spectacular Spider-Ham for my son SuperSam. There wasn’t loads of stuff there, but I did spend into 3 figures.

3rd: This is the big one, the people. As well as meeting two of my favourite UK podcasters Steven Lacey who co-hosts the excellent Fantasticast. I also met Al Kennedy co-host of House to Astonish one of the first podcasts I got into and is still excellent. He was part of the panel SILENCE to Astonish with Gary Lactus and the Beast Must Die, which remains one of my favourite memories of that weekend. I also met several writers and artists. I met Zenith artist Steve Yewoll, Terry Dodson, Mahmud Asrar and Declan Shelvay. I also have conversations with Sean Phillips who lent me £1 and signed my copy of Sleeper Vol 1. I also got a copy of Watchmen signed by Dave Gibbons, who I got to thank for drawing a series that stands up as a work of art 35 years after it was written and 25 years after I first read it, he referred to it as a gift that keeps on giving.

 

In terms of writers, I got stuff signed by Al Ewing and Si Spurrier, who was at the SILENCE panel and we talked about his writing of the character Legion and the TV series it inspired and I also picked up his creator-owned series Angelic, which was a fantastic read about a flying monkey who struggles against the fundamentalist restrictions of her tribe before teaming up with a manatee in a flying chair. If I haven’t sold you on that series, I don’t know what to tell you. I was also lucky enough to meet the team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, the people behind the good run of Young Avengers and the team behind The Wicked and the Devine, the 3rd and 4th trade of which I bought to be signed as well. Both of them were lovely people who had plenty of time for the huge queue that formed to meet them.

I got to meet creators, podcasters and took pictures of some epic cosplayers.

   

Even on the when in and out

There were negative things, I didn’t like being so far away from the people I love. I recognise that this wasn’t for them and it’s always nice to have experiences for yourself that are nothing to do with everyone else, but I was grateful to get home on Sunday evening, ready for my birthday the next day. I may do Thought Bubble again next year, depending on who they get, but my best time away are still shared with Super Sam and the MIGHTY Rosie.

 

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Morevember

More-Vember 30th – Duh-duh duh-duh, it’s the Final Countdown

Marvel 30 Day Challenge Question 30 – Favourite Event


Events are the fast food of comics, not the best thing for you, but you like them nontheless. X-Cutioners Song, Phalanx Covenant, The Crossing, Fatal Attractions, the Clone Saga and so on. I was there for them all, but the that holds a special place in my heart is the Age of Apocalypse. 40 issues and change of reality re-written, familiar characters with new looks and shocks galore. There were better stories, but I’ve been so fond of this one that I have started blogging about them on my marvel life

 

SuperSam’s answer


It was only going to be Secret Wars, being the only one that he has read any of.

Other stuff

Now comes to an end my second attempt, and first completed More-Vember. I have enjoyed doing it,  but have found it difficult to find the time to produce even these small posts, but I have enjoyed it, so maybe will do this again. Maybe DCember?

In the meantime, anyone who has read this, thank you. I tried to do this last year and when we lost our dog, my heart went out of a lot of things and I enjoyed finishing this little project. In the new year, I will do everything I can to post on a weekly basis, because I do enjoy doing this and it’s important to do the things that matter. It’s not the highest thing on my priority list, but it is something that I am glad I have.

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Morevember

More-Vember 29th – Nearing the Finish Line

Marvel 30 Day Challenge – Question 29 – Series you would recommend to someone

My answer is Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men.

There are two reasons for this, beyond it’s quality and enjoyment value, both of which are not to be underestimated.

1st – It distills much of the history and feel of the X-Men into one 25 issue run, delivering some of the greatest hits, whilst still telling it’s own story.

2nd – It’s accessible to anyone. Yes, there’s some continuity in there, but it’s absence does not dilute your enjoyment of it.

Super Sam’s Answer

I am Groot!

This was an attempt to capitalise on the success of Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2. I picked it up and gave it to my boy, who told me that there was lots of action and it was quite funny.

To be honest, do you need more of an endorsement than that?

Almost done with More-Vember internet people.

TTFN

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Morevember

More-Vember 28th – Almost there, stay on target

Marvel 30 Day Challenge Question 28

No question for me, it was the 90’s.

From 1991 I have been a big comic fan and have collected comics on a monthly basis pretty much since then. I was there for the image exodus, Marvel’s bankruptcy and the rise of Events, the replacement heroes, the cover enhancements and all the trends and tropes of the time were part of my comics history. Were they great? No, but they were fun, they were cheap and they were there when I needed them.

SuperSam’s answer

His answer was both interesting and clear and straight forward. The Silver Age

I asked why, his reply was simply, it’s where the heroes came from.

Nuff Said

 

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Miscellaneous, Morevember

More-Vember 27th – Hungry

Marvel 30 Day Challenge Question 27 – Favourite non-human race

There’s a lot to choose from here, Marvel have no shortage of non-human characters, from Atlanteans, to Mutants, to Cat People, Eternals, Deviants and even Moloids. But I went with one of the early creations. The Inhumans.

First appearing during the epoch making Fantastic Four run by Lee/Kirby these human adjacent people who all possessed a gift that seperated them from the rest of humanity, the Inhumans are very much their own thing, with their own city which ended up on the Moon. They are as different from one another as from humanity and can be used to tell all kinds of stories. The only misstep has been Marvel’s attempts to replace mutants with inhumans, which made both less interesting and less special. I was on the fence as whether or not to choose them, but then I remembered they have Lockjaw, the best dog in comics.

SuperSam’s answer

After watching Captain Marvel and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Sam would only pick one.

Responsible for 4 of the Captain Marvels, the Inhumans and several other stories and ideas, the Kree are a fantastic sci-fi race full of their own culture, ideals and flaws and are always fun to see showing up. That was a good choice.

Other Stuff

A shout out to my Dad, who turns 65 today. A lovely big hearted man who would give anyone who needed it, anything he had. A good man and a grandad who is going from strength to strength.

Love you

 

Back up to date. Bye for now Internet People

 

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Morevember

More-Vember 26 – What exactly is an elementalist?

Marvel 30 Day Challenge Question 26 – Favourite elementalist

I’ll be honest, didn’t really get the point of this one. I went with a character using one of the 4 elements of the ancient world, ice, fire, earth and air. I ended up choosing Iceman, based on how well his recent solo series had gone.

SuperSam’s answer

He took it as the elements, meaning weather, so his choice was Storm. One of those times when I think he made the better choice. Still not sure what elementalist is supposed to mean.

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Morevember

More-Vember 25th – Did you click the save point?

Marvel 30 Day Challenge – Question 25 Favourite Computer Game

I got a Wii,the day I went to see the 1st J J Abrams Star Trek film. There were several games to enjoy, including Wii sports and WarioWare, but they were often adversarial in nature, the first co-operative game was this one.

It allowed players to work together as a team, had loads of playable and unlockable characters and told a coherent story, which consequences you could see when the game was over. It had loads of power ups, character redesigns and was so much fun. It made me enjoy this kind of game, that I could share with the MIGHTY Rosie and it gave us several hours of fun with one another. We have played other games together since, but this was where it started.

Super Sam’s answer

It has Hulk, Rocket Raccoon and Groot. This was always going to be his choice. It’s one of the better Lego Marvel games, having a stronger story than the first one and better gameplay than Lego Avengers, we’ve lost hours playing this game together, all three of us.

 

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Morevember

More-Vember 24th – Saturday Mornings (Still behind)

Marvel 30 Day Challenge Question 24 – Favourite Cartoon Adaptation.

No question or doubts on this choice. I liked a couple of the X-Men ones and Spider-Man usually fares well and the 2nd seasons of Marvel Action Hour were a step in the right direction, but there was only one answer.

One Saturday morning, myself and Super Sam were watching cartoons together and he wanted to watch Avengers Assemble. We did, since I didn’t have a better idea (for which I can only blame myself) and it was as bad as I expected it would be. My counter to this was that there was a better adaptation of the Avengers and so we started a watch-through of this show. It distills the essence of several decades of Avengers history into 52 episodes and does it well. There is characterisation, action, humour and several of the stories end up better on the screen. My boy loved it and we went on to watch other things together. It’s the truest adaptation of each of the characters and even made Ant-Man a sympathetic character with flaws and a degree of redemption. I really enjoy this series and recommend it to anyone, young and old.

Super Sam’s Answer

He went to our next series to re-watch

Overly Wolverine centric and slavish to the films in my opinion, non of that mattered to him, with it’s strong anti-bigotry message, excellent voice cast and crazy levels of action, this was a really strong X-Men series that my son loved watched and was gutted that it never got a season 2. Based on the cliff-hanger, so was I.

 

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Morevember

More-Member 23rd – The Wonderful thing about Tiggers

Marvel 30 Day Challenge: Question 23 – Favourite method of transportation

There’s so much to choose from, Bifrost, Lockjaw, Stepping Disks, stargates, superspeed and more, but I went with one of the more fun looking, if not smelling.

Nightcrawler’s teleportation effect is awesome, from it’s BAMF sound effect, to it’s smell of sulphur, it plays with his demonic visage and also his sense of fun. He has a several mile range, can do multiple trips in succession and go anywhere he can see, or infact picture in his mind. How does that not sound like fun?

Super Sam’s answer 

SuperSam went with an obvious answer, but honestly one of the best ones, he went with Flight.

Most of the best characters are fliers, from Iron Man, to Thor, to Captain Marvel and Archangel, flight is one of the powers that seem almost too obvious to want to be able to do. Too many people on the pavement? Fly over them. Roads too windy? Fly over them too and enjoy the countryside. It’s often seen as effort, so counts as exercise too. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

Other Stuff.

Early start this morning as we went to get my new glasses. A sobering thought is that this may be the last pair that I get before the words bifocals become part of the equation. Still the early start needed to get them on me left us with the whole day to play with and once again the MIGHTY Rosie had an idea.

Inflanation.

It’s an inflatables place, slides, assault courses, ball pits and climbing walls, all made of inflatable material. I spent nearly an hour bouncing, falling and sliding and I had an absolute ball doing it. It was fun and liberating and I think that everyone should try it. It is also knackering, to the extent I had a nap tonight. I had to be woken up by the dog, which is never the gentlest awakening. Still after a solid workout, family time and some cartoons, we ended the night watching the Human Target, a cracking series that was fun and exciting and made the docket for Pilot Era, so that will be showing up before long. Like last night, this is one of the good days.

TTFN Internet people, see you guys soon.

 

Posted in Comics n Stuff, Morevember

More-Member 22nd (Belated for the 3rd time) – I will catch up

Marvel 30 Day Challenge – Question 22: Favourite dimension.

I went with Asgard

Whether viewed as a viking castle/city, a space viking utopia or some combination of both, Asgard is a facinating idea. Asgard sits above Midgard (Earth) in the nine realms connected by a rainbow bridge called Bifrost. It sits in another dimension, but is joined to this one and another 7. It is filled with bizarre creatures, sorcerers, gods and demons and many things besides, but for a while at least, it was in Oklahoma. It’s a place beyond imagining, but you would love to see it.

SuperSam’s answer

The Negative Zone, this was mostly due to the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes episodes called assault on 42, where the negative zone based prison was attacked by the forces of Annihilus. But to be honest, for me it was a close second answer for me too.

Other stuff.

Work wasn’t a problem today. Am viewing things a little bit more positively after my gym session yesterday and last night had some time with SuperSam, where we watched cartoons, ate pizza, made cakes and read together. It was amazing and I enjoyed it tremendously. These are the good days.