Well, Carl, I also had three conversations with that moron at Bristol Comic Expos and twice with other people present and he said: "There isn't anything you can call a British comic industry today" but I see his one word (oh, it pierced me so!) put-down as a call for attention. He mixes with the same crowd who tell everyone the UK has a "thriving, strong comics industry" (who is delusional??).
And, yes, I know what certain people are saying about me but I don't even check the links people send me because, being brutally honest, their words and opinions matter as much to my as those of Donald Trump.
So, Carl, and you others who don't want to be named (you are grown people for goodness sakes!); thank you but I'm not that interested. Unlike those people I have work to do.
What all this kerfuffle did, though, was make me ask why so many creators, getting no work and having to go work as shelf-stockers in supermarkets, public lavatory cleaners (two I know in the UK), warehouse and stores work and even trolley boys at supermarkets, are not standing up and speaking out? Why are small publishers who are not making any money and struggling for sales not speaking out?
The average person, even the average comic buyer, hears and reads nothing and so thinks "They're at another show -they must be raking in the cash!" So no support.
Well, when you get right down to it there is one very good reason why these people do not speak out. It is cowardice pure and simple.
As I used to point out, and no one challenged me on this because the internet is full to overflowing with all the back-up needed and accessible to all, the same people turn up at every comic event. People who run comic events know each other. They know ALL the "usual guests" and exhibitors. So a small publisher wanting a table to sell his/her goods does not want to upset anyone. "Hey, yeah, we did great. Fantastic event!" is what they write. Personally, to your face if you know them, they will tell you had badly they have done. It's why a few of the old faces have vanished from events.
Don't worry, I'm not going to go into costs and so on. Go here for that stuff:
And on small publishers not speaking out:
Why? Well, firstly back issue comic dealers have resorted to Ebay to sell because many that depended on a year's worth of comic events to earn a living were simply squeezed out. I have emails from THREE event organisers who, when asked about comic dealers at their events stated (paraphrasing here): "They can take up 2-3 tables and that means friends won't get tables" which is saying "Oh, we must include our friends. They just go there to chat unlike those persons who want to make a living!".
And the small publishers? They are quite literally terrified of incurring the wrath of spiteful little pieces of scum who will troll them, bully them, get their hangers-on to bully them if they speak one word out of line. They must speak-out and tell everyone how "great" the UK industry is whilst losing money and going out of business.
What the hell is going on? You are adults then you do NOT give in to internet bullies. Report them. Oh, but then they might come up to you at events. Well, at that point claim you felt threatened and had to defend yourself. Or just ignore them. You could report them to the event organiser but the event organiser is either a friend of theirs or scared, too. Yeah, yeah, not everyone is as thick-skinned as me or willing to thump someone pushing into their faces and mouthing off as I am. But this is the problem.
I've had it all. You put a point forward with back-up and the response is "Oh yeah, and so what?" Not "Well, I see it from this point of view...." What the furry turds do is respond by phrasing something that they hope will push buttons and solicit an angry response. They can then report on this on their own blogs or Face Book pages: "ALL I did was say, humbly, that I tended to disagree and he went ballistic. He's not rational!"
There is also the much-loved re-editing of emails or blog comments. When one slippery little one made a nasty and vindictive comment on the old CBO (I have a file with all those comments) he found he could not get out of what he had written so he demanded -demanded- that I remove the comments or face "legal consequences". I said okay...see him in court. So he then called in his hanger-on with a very low IQ. But I put a stop to all that.
Look, they are just emails and comments. Ignore them unless you can sue over them or complain to the ISP involved. If the persons approach you in person walk away or photograph/film them and report them. This is the 21st century.
I only write and put forward views if I have information/sources to back what I've written. My greatest 'crime' according to the critics is that I have broken their golden rules. I have never hidden what I think and can prove about comics in the UK and that they do not like.
I have been called "the most open and honest comic publisher online" and I'll accept that. As certain publishers have found out, you can no longer publish and make money and try to hide from the Tax Office -bleating about getting caught when you've "had a go" at more famous people for not declaring earnings and paying tax is a joke back atcha! I've made no secret about my own sales -and since HMR&C are fully aware of this it also back-fired when certain persons attempted to tip them off to my 'earnings' (that got a laugh from the tax man). And I know who that was by-the-way.
You see, you are supposed to keep quiet and put up with it. Why?
Well, these bullies and their hangers-on, like to pretend to be "the real nice guys of comics" which hides, they think, the truth of what they really are. And I've seen the internet chat in the past so you all know who I'm talking about. Mediocre artists and writers who 'modestly' accept high praise (from friends) and all the kudos. But that means nothing if there is no imagined "comic industry" in which they see themselves as stars.
If you've followed CBO long enough you'll remember how I once suggested all UK publishers, artists and wrtiers simply add a banner to their blogs (of their own creation if they wanted) that simply said "Let's revive the UK Comics Scene!" The nasty and downright evil barrage of comments aimed at me after that suggestion proved a point. Amongst the nicest was "He has a Jesus complex" and "Oh, only Hooper can save British comics -messiah complex!" Yes, suggesting everyone get that "brotherhood of creators spirit" and promote British comics led to 99.9% negativity.
Here is the thing, you see, the morons admitted in their own vindictive responses that the UK comics industry needed saving -but they were having nothing to do with it. Again, why? Because if an industry was revived newer, younger and certainly in some cases, better talent would come along and these morons would no longer be 'stars'.
The answer to this is all quite simple. You organise comic events and wipe out the "same old, same old" guest list and exhibitors lists. First come for a table gets it but the criteria has to be the table goes to a comic publisher or trader. In other words: take back comic events for comic people. Those 'big names' want a freebie pass because "it will boost your prestige" (no, that has never worked with the UK 'names'!) just do not get one. They buy a ticket like everyone else because all they do is meet up with mates and conspire and back-stab they do not move around the crowds saying "Hi!" (the crowds tend not to kinow who they are anyway) or do much else other than go to the bar and bitch. In other words they do ZERO for your event...but they get a free pass because you know them or do not want to upset them. Angry little bald me....phew!
You see, this has been going on for so long that it could take decades to get a revival of comics going. Or, you can find a hall or anywhere that an event can be held (unlike the United States there are so many local rules and regulations by local authorities that you can't just open up your garden to an event) and start promoting it and asking comic dealers or publishers if they want to book a table.
Personally, I'm bored beyond redemption with the UK comic scene and how cowardice and greed are the only things seemingly governing what goes on. There are countries half and even a quarter the size of the UK with successful comic scenes. I've tried for a decade or so but this is NOT a one man effort. People need to get off their asses and DO something.