Saturday, January 10, 2015

What's been happening the last three months?

HAPPY 2015!

Okay, it's been a while since my last blog post, so before I get to the awesome that's gonna be 2015, let's just recap on some of the things UO Comics have been up to since Open Book 2014...
Get ready for a gratuitous photo dump!

I just got back from Open Book Comics Fest, when Dave and I had a small book signing at The Unseen Shoppe with Durban author, Luc Haasbroek.

Then it was off to the big show! We went to Rage for the first time, and I dragged Dave with me!
Our table was in the Legion Ink Artist's Alley, next to Warren Louw and Manu Kongolo's tables, so we were in good company!
Unfortunately the only other comic book exhibitor there was Josh Ryba and Daniel Browde's Rebirth. I'll have to drag more of my comic book friends there this year...

It was ridiculous! Rage is the biggest pop culture and games show I've been to in South Africa, and it was very much worth the effort to attend and sell our comics there. Prints also sold very well, and I certainly learned a thing or two about what kind of prints fans are after. Most importantly, it was very good and encouraging to see young South Africans supporting and buying local comic art with such enthusiasm.

Our table was next to Warren Louw - really great artist and awesome person! Yes, I bought an original from him :)

Next up, back in Durban, was Kablam! at Open Plan Studio. This comic art and comic book event was created by myself, Luke Molver and Sean Stretch of Open Plan Studio in an effort to introduce and promote South African comic art to a Durban audience. It also served as Luke's launch of Remember Emma, and my Durban launch of Gofu Part 2 of 6.

As a gallery event Kablam! was a very good opportunity to show off and sell original comic art and prints too. The event was very well attended and we also got some good media coverage, including a segment on The Expresso Show.

All South African comics book creators were encouraged to submit work for the show, and it was great to see so many SA comic books and artworks on display and for sale. Other than my own Gofu and Tomica art, and Luke Molver's Nero art, artworks included those of Danelle Malan and Ben Geldenhuys of Cotton Star, Willem Samuel of Mengelmoes,  Mark McEwan of Ma, the Tree of Life Trilogy, Chris Beukes of Wrath and kEda Gomes. There was also a whole market table filled with almost all self published South African comic books available at the moment.

I had hardly recovered, when it was time to appear at Red Eye Durban! UO Comics was part of the return of the famous Durban art event in a new, monthly format. We were fortunate to have a very good position in the gallery and we also got some awesome giant Tomica banners sponsored by my favorite print shop, The Print Room!

Luke Molver joined me and sold his Nero comics. It was a very successful evening, allowing us to reach a whole new audience.

No rest for the wicked. Next it was time to get ready for the I Heart Market!
Megan, my wife is a long time I Heart Market regular with her Starbright Girl Jewellery, and she encouraged me to join her at the market over the christmas period.
I decided to use the opportunity to further expose SA comics to a Durban audience, so I took all the left over comic books form Kablam! and set up shop as Awesome SA Comics!
Over four holiday market days sales went very well, especially when the Gauteng holiday makers hit the market.

Well that's a run down of what's been happening since Open Book, last year. It was a crazy three months, that put a tremendous amount of strain on the Tomica webcomic to the point where we decided it's better to just take a break than to deliver sub-standard work.
Of course, this also meant that Tomica #2 was delayed more than once.

But I'm happy to say that work on Tomica has started again in earnest, and I'll be announcing a release date soon!
Keep an eye open for the next blog post.
2015 is going to be a very good year for SA comics!