This year I returned to London Expo to check out the market and do some souvenir-hunting.
There wasn’t really much that jumped out this year but previously I haven’t had the time to look through every table.
So I bought a weekend ticket.
Friday 28th October – I spent most of the day searching for a decent souvenir.
I found Duncan Gutteridge (the artist behind SEGA Megadrive’s Sonic 2). We had a chat about the history of Sonic on the Megadrive. I found out that the artwork was originally used for a promotional calendar (and a couple of children’s books that I own) but was then carried over to European box art by SEGA. Following the success of Sonic 2, he was then commissioned to create the logo for Sonic 3 and character design of Knuckles.
Saturday 29th October – Saturday’s are always the busiest day and the building was packed as usual.
I queued up for a photo with Nolan North and Troy Baker, both were extremely polite and humble. Then I wandered around searching for other opportunities and discovered the signing tables featured two guests from Cartoon Network but did not specify.
Signings for cartoons were free so I went to check it out. It was only a small line so I couldn’t complain.
The guests finally arrived. Table #1 was Kent Osbourne – lead writer / storyboard artist for Adventure Time. I got his autograph and a Lemongrab doodle. Pretty cool. Table #2 was Ben Bocquelet – creator of The Amazing World of Gumball and Mic Graves – writer of Gumball. They both sketched Gumball and Darwin for me in silver and bronze Sharpies. I was also given a FREE ComiCon London 2016 T-shirt with Gumball’s family dressed as other popular CN characters.
On the way out, I saw Marvel comic books with blank covers and artists accepting commissions so I quickly ordered one to be collected the following morning.
Sunday 30th October – Final day. Apparently not only me but a few thousand others expected a relaxed day. It was a bigger turn out than Friday.
The Marvel cover that I commissioned was ready for collection.
I didn’t know what to expect having not seen much of the artist’s work but the price wasn’t too bad.
I asked for Spider-Man’s Venom but with a slight twist: Eddie Brock is replaced by 2016 presidential candidate and real-life comic villain – Donald J. Trump.
As a comic book artist, I can’t imagine too many are commissioned to draw Trump, let alone in a flattering way that honours his pure villainy. This guy delivered.
I always wanted an original comic cover and aspire to have something drawn by Kevin Eastman someday but the timeless novelty of immortilising Trump as a villain will never cease to make me laugh.
And now we wait to see if Venom becomes President of the United States…