This weeekend we headed along the M4 to the Incredible Comic Shop in Swindon for a small press singning featuring seven of our favourite small pressers all under one roof.
Although it was nominally dubbed a small press signing, this was more like a mini comic con, with seven fantastic guests showcasing some of the best small press books going. With the west country lacking small press focused events this summer, with no Bristol and no Melksham (hurray for True Believers at least!), and a recent event in Swindon itself being very light on comics, then this was a great example of what can be achieved.
Organised by small press super fan Sarah Harris as a way of making the most of a new larger store, the day featured a great mix of talents including: Slang Pictorial’s Nick Prolix who seems to be at everything at the moment and told me he needs a better idea of where he’s going before he signs up for things in the future; Gav Mitchell and Emily Owen, who we had missed seeing at Cardiff the week before and so it was great to talk to hem about Trolltooth Wars and Brain Shoodles; Matt Gibbs and Sara Dunkerton who were there with a new issue of their wonderful mouse archaeology series MULP; Awesome Comics Podcast host and creator of the Red Mask from Mars Vince Hunt; And last, but by by no means least, Chunks and Cordelia Swift creator Matt Garvey who was there with the debut issue of Ether – plus news of a very intriguing new book as well.
With all these guests being convention regulars they all came compelte with banners and table props to make the whole thing look and feel super professional and very welcoming. The Incredible Comic Store benefits from having a decent amount of floor space, so even though they were tucked at the back it didn’t stop the regulars from picking up their weekend purchases. All the guests are such great company too, that if you were there just to pick up your regular Big two books, you couldn’t help but be drawn in. It was also really family friendly as both myself and reviewer James can attest to as we brought our kids along for the day!
With a lot of talk recently about what can be done to improve the small press scene and get the word out to new readers, this is a shining example of what can and should be done. I came home with more books from this ‘signing’ than I have from a lot of cons recently and with all of those invoveld producing stellar stuff then you could not ask for a better showcase of small press in the U.K. right now. We hope this is that start of many great things to come from the Incredible Comic Shop!