Saturday 8th was the second Small Press Day at venues around the UK and Ireland, a chance to celebrate our incredibly diverse and vibrant small press comics and ‘zines creators. Forbidden Planet Glasgow had organised a bash again, and this time it was being held in collaboration with the city’s landmark Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. I was able to nip through to take it in and also to catch the absolutely brilliant (and huge) Frank Quitely exhibition which is currently running at Kelvingrove (a total must-see – I will try and post a proper report on that later on).
The tables were set up in the magnificent stone and marble main hall at Kelvingrove, a wonderful space to be in at any time, and as Kelvingrove attracts a huge number of visitors of all ages, local and tourists, it meant the comickers were right there in a spot where they could be seen by a lot of non-comics folk who were coming over to check out what was going on. Of course the comics crowd were supporting it but it’s no bad thing to be in a position where you can interest people from outside the comics reading community too, it’s a good way to reach beyond the regular audiences and spread interest in our beloved medium.
I was lucky enough to arrive just before the lunchtime concert – the enormous main hall has a huge pipe organ on one of the upper galleries, and regular free performances are given on it. In a nice nod to the large geek contingent that day the organist had included music from the Harry Potter films in his playlist – imagine that thundering out of a great pipe organ in a huge stone and marble hall, pretty amazing. There was also a group of tables in the middle with plenty of paper and drawing materials so anyone could sit down and have some art fun themselves, adults and kids alike.
I chatted to folks around the tables, some I know from other events and festivals, some were new to me, like the duo on the Team Girl Comic stand, and bought a good bunch of comics, including some from the TGC gang (they had a good sales patter and talked me into it easily, and in that nice way comics folks do they scribbled down a couple of recommendations of some works I had read recently that they liked the sound of, so it was a nice exchance), and as Neil Slorance was there and he had just released a new comic I obviously had to buy myself a copy (I do love Neil’s work).
I had a terrific time and picked up a good selection of comics, from a tiny, landscape format black and white collection of gag strips to some nice anthologies (the TGC folks had some good-looking anthologies of all-women collections) and I treated myself to a couple of small prints as well for good measure. I was meeting a friend who stays nearby, and she doesn’t really read much in the way of comics (although she has been happy to dive into a few with subjects she found interesting, like Sally Heathcote, Suffragette), and she too found it all very interesting and enjoyable, even as a mostly non-comics reader, and she also liked the fact that with the small press most works were short and pretty cheap to buy, so you could easily try out several different things for very little money, a nice wee treat to yourself without breaking the bank. Great day and nice to catch up with some of the creators, kudos to the SPD guys for the idea and to FP Glasgow and Kelvingrove for making the Glasgow happening come together so nicely.
(all pics from my Flickr, click for the larger versions)