As “Comicons” increase in number and the term becomes ever broader to describe events with varying focus on comics, cosplay, merch and media stars of yesteryear the UK small press community has increasingly turned to small press events at willing local comic shops to introduce more readers to the world of independent comics, and last weekend the Incredible Comic Shop in Swindon held its second such event – our roving reporter Andy CT headed along!
Organised in partnership between the store’s owners and local indie comics aficionado, artist and official ICCP* Sarah Harris, the main objective of the event is to showcase some of the finest talent the small press scene has to offer.
Sarah, who already ensures Swindonians have a selection of indie comics available to purchase in the store, has now organised two such events with the main objective of sharing her lvoe of indie comics with the fine folk of Wiltshire. For this iteration of the event Sarah gathered a truly impressive collection of creators including two thirds of the Awesome Comics Podcast Crew (Vince & Tony), Two Fifths of the Wine & Zine Creative Collective (Claire Spiller and Jessica Lesley), and 100% of other indie powerhouses Susie Gander (Perrywinkle) Steve Simms (Battle Badgers) & David Leach (Psycho Gran) all of whom brought along their A-Game when it came to meeting and chatting with visitors to the store, and their comics hoping to find new readers.
The event was well, attended and well received by all concerned, with several shoppers leaving with new books discovered and some younger readers having purchased the excellent Little Heroes Comic Creation Kit & Anthology returning to show the artists some of their own creations. Who knows, maybe we’ll see some of them on the other side of the tables in the future.
The rise of the store based small press event holds a lot of appeal for creators and general public alike. For creators there’s the higher degree of certainty that comics are the item on the agenda, and less odds that the people passing your table are really only here to snag a selfie on the Iron Throne, check out the cosplay events or meet a famous** face. For the public, a trip to your local comic shop isn’t as much of a time or financial commitment as attending a full con, you can fit it into a trip into town & there’s no fee on the door meaning if conventions aren’t your thing or you’ve never considered one it’s a far less daunting and more accessible event to come along to, discover new books and meet the people behind them.
All of these factors lead to a final result of new and different audiences outside the small press initiated and convention attending crowd learning about and (hopefully) buying and loving new independent books, and there’s not much better than that. Be on the look out for future events from Sarah and the Incredible Comic Shop guys, you won’t be disappointed.
*Indie Comic Community Personality
**Degree and contemporary relevance of fame may vary
You can find out more about future events via the Incredible Comic Shop Website