David Hine is going to N.I.C.E., the Northamption comic book convention in a theme park, taking place in September. You know, the first comic con Alan Moore is going to in twenty-five years. Tickets still available. David decided to tell us why;
Jeff Chahal runs the Close Encounters comics shops in Bedford and Northampton and is known for hosting some of the coolest signing sessions in the UK. Several months back Jeff told me about his plans for a new kind of Comic Convention with a more laid-back style than the usual frenzy of signings, panels and dealer tables. N.I.C.E. (Northants International Comics Expo) would have all those things, but in the setting of a theme park. There would be music, there would be a campsite as a cheap alternative to the hotels, there would be all kinds of revelry and relaxation. It sounded great and I jumped at the chance to guest there along with my creator/collaborators Shaky Kane (The Bulletproof Coffin) and Doug Braithwaite (Storm Dogs). But…these days there are a hell of a lot of comics events in the UK and without big backers or a traditional venue, what was going to draw the punters to an untried and untested brand new convention? Big smile from Jeff. “I have a secret plan.” He told me the secret plan. I agreed that might do it, but it wouldn’t happen in a million years. “Alan Moore doesn’t do conventions, you idiot!” Jeff thought it was worth a try anyway and a while later he rang me with an even bigger smile on his face (I could actually feel him smiling down the phone). “We’re on.”
Personally I’m looking forward to the music, a few bottles of Portuguese wine that Jeff owes me, hanging out with friends and soaking up a little sunshine (after the piss-awful summer we’ve had so far, we’re guaranteed an Indian Summer in September, right?) But I also kind of like the idea that Alan Moore is going to make his first appearance at a Comic Convention in donkey’s years because it’s Northampton and because the event will be collecting graphic novels for local libraries, and because Jeff asked him nicely.