Last week was the launch bonanza for Nelson from Blank Slate Books. It really seemed to catch some sort of comic-cultural zeitgeist thingy… although that might be down to a combination of having 54 different creators involved, and all the associated Twitter, Facebook, Blogging related to the 54 building up to some kind of comic critical mass?
However, it really is a work of genuine importance (and refreshingly for a work of genuine importance, it’s damn enjoyable on many levels as well).
Beginning the week at Thought Bubble Leeds…. the big launch event. And for most of those involved, the very first time they’d seen the completed book. In fact, because of the way they completed the work, each artist receiving the material done up to their year, it was often the first chance many had to see the completed story!
(Anecdote of the weekend – Suzi Varty (1974) comes up to the Blank Slate stand, chats to a few people and then enquires of the Scottish gent who he is…..
“I’m your publisher” says Kenny Penman, the notoriously camera shy boss of Blank Slate Books.)
In the weeks leading up to the convention the buzz about Nelson had been building, and having at least 30 of the artists involved in the book at Thought Bubble meant a much larger sales team than usual. There were times during the weekend you couldn’t walk more than a few yards without seeing one of the Nelson team, clutching either the book or wearing one of Lauren O’Farrell’s exclusive Nelson badges.
Molly even got into the whole fun of the Nelson launch as well, deciding she was going to get as many signatures in the book as she possibly could. All weekend she wandered the halls finding more and more contributors, and as we walked round clutching the copy of Nelson looking for contributors to sign, a lot of people were talking about how lovely it looked and just how intriguing it was.
My couple of Nelson at Thought Bubble pics…
(Woodrow Phoenix – fresh off the plane from Buenos Aires, but looking amazingly fresh and utterly cool.)
(Rob Davis relaxing at the SelfMadeHero stall, in front of his Don Quixote display)
After this I’ll be handing over the reporting and photographic duties to the lovely Sarah McIntyre, who has almost turned into a one woman Nelson documenting machine – excellent reports, excellent pics….
Next up in Nelson week….. The Cartoon Museum Launch, London…..
I didn’t go down to London, but Sarah McIntyre’s report and pics captures the event perfectly, including this wonderful picture below, taken by Dan Fone, which I just love, a perfect picture of the two men without whom….. etc etc. Mr Woodrow Phoenix and Mr Rob Davis:
All in all, a spectacularly good week, capped off with the news that the Nel auction raised £250 and little knitted Nel is off to the USA and that the first print run of Nelson has now sold out with Blank Slate going back to print on it very soon.
If you haven’t already considered it, I’ll add my voice to those encouraging you to pick it up, read it and love it, just as everyone who we talk to about it seems to. And yes, it would most certainly make the perfect Christmas present.
Buy it from all good book and comic stores….. and if you want the exclusive limited edition hardback head to the Blank Slate website.