Leipzig book fair report / piggy sketch dump

(Not ‘Lepizig’ as I mistyped it at first … not even ‘Lezipig’, although that’s pretty much what I am these days.)

So, this year I had a table in the “artist alley” (MCC-Kreativ) at the Manga-Comic-Convention at the Leipzig book fair. I’d been there once before, way back in 2007, which was a rather disappointing experience, but this year they had allocated a much bigger and more open space for the self-publishers, so I decided to give it another go.

The fair was four days, Thursday to Sunday. Thursday was dead, Friday slightly better, and Saturday and Sunday were pretty good.

For extra awesomepants table decoration purposes I made two big Driftwood posters (with the cover images of Driftwood and Flotsam and Jetsam), and also refurbished a Playmobil ship to look a bit like the Eagle Ray. (You can see Shannon and Samona on board, while Aeron is not visible from this angle: he’s at the wheel and can’t see anything behind the main sail. For the other characters I didn’t really have any Playmobil people that were suitable enough …)

One funny thing about German vs. Nordic comics festival buying culture is that in the North (SPX Stockholm and Helsinki comics festival), the items I place on the corners of the table get most browsing/sales, while I discovered that in Germany (now in Leipzig, anyway) it’s the items in the middle of the table. Above is my initial setup, but after I rearranged my books and put Driftwood and Flotsam and Jetsam in the middle, I sold many more of them.

Also, Germans generally want more of a sales pitch, which is too bad for me. Heh.

(Continue reading …)

Ballpoint pen/watercolour piggies

I’ll write more about the festival soon, but the most important things first! To pass the time at the Leipzig book fair, I sketched a bunch of piggies:

White piggy of the woods

At first I only happened to have blue and green colours with me, so the palette was limited. I actually just wanted to bring the grey colour since I imagined that maybe I could work on The Slow and the Relentless while I was there. But of course it wasn’t really possible to alternate between drawing in concentration and interacting with people, so I just painted piggies instead.

Sunbathing piggy

Territorial piggy

East German piggy dreaming of Sweden (inspired by someone I met there)

Piggy living a life of privilege (piggilege)

Vegetable gardener piggy

An old friend as a piggy


Kind of self-portrait

Inspired by Beatrix Potter’s Pig-Wig, who I know best from the ballet (which makes me cry)

Later somebody asked me to draw this same piggy picture in her sketchbook. It’s apparently a thing that people pay artists to draw stuff in their sketchbooks at “manga” conventions in Germany. I was extremely confused when the first person who asked me to draw something actually offered money for it. I didn’t know what to ask, but he gave me 5€, so that’s what I charged everybody else who asked.

Private eye piggy

Piggy receiving a love letter

Piggies in Varna, Bulgaria, enjoying the view from the foot of the Soviet-Bulgarian friendship monument

I drew a tiny sketchier version of this on a calling card and it made me cry, so I had to draw a bigger version for myself, so I could cry even more.

Leipziger Buchmesse this week!

From tomorrow until Sunday I’ll be at the Manga-Comic-Convention at the Leipzig book fair and sell my books and zines.

I’ll of course have Driftwood, and also Swedish Comic Sin books as well as zines in German and English.

I made a new German edition of all the Eva stories in their own zines:

Previously the first four stories were in one fat zine, but it’s sold out. Now I discovered that at some point I had translated also the  more recent stories into German, so I made new German zines with those. And I updated all the translations, since apparently my German has improved a bit in these seven years since I moved here again.

I have some fun ideas for table decoration, so I hope to make some decent photos … V^(oo)^V

Last time I was in Leipzig was  in 2007  for one day, at the claustrophobic manga zine area they had back then. Now the doujinshi area is much larger, more open, and also next to the catering, which is always a plus.
The convention is four full days. I guess some people are staying in Leipzig over the duration of the fair, but the commute from Berlin is just 1,5 hours, which is totally normal commute time for me anyway, so I just got a weekly train ticket and will get to ride awesome ICE fast trains every day.

Stockholm International Comics Festival 2014

Fan art based on the official festival art by Nina Hemmingson.
This year the festival will be May 17th-18th!

Back from Helsinki Comics Festival

I’d actually applied to be in the “International Exhibitors” section this year, but since I spoke Finnish nobody took me seriously. Which was just as well, because now I got to have a table next to Ainur and Kaarina in the small press area!

So then I also got to hear about 5000 comments about how the massive book Driftwood wasn’t really a “pienlehti” (‘small magazine’, the Finnish word for small press). Yay! V^(oo)^V

Compared to last year when all three of us had been placed at one single table, and it was really cold and there were floods in the small press tent, it was really nice this year when we all got our own tables and the weather was warm and sunny. Somehow magically it didn’t even seem like any drunk men pissed on the tent the night between Saturday and Sunday, so the small press tent had a pleasant odour all weekend! Amazing!

I sold some books and zines and met some nice, fun or ‘interesting’ people, and I bought these:

* Nyarlathotep, Ainur’s latest zine – a Lovecraftian side story from Goldenbird.

* Laivakoirat (The Shipperkes/The boat doggies) by Syssy Hiitteenkallio – epic maritime doggie comic.

* >> by Oleg Tischenkov – one of the books with his philosophical and cute “Cat” comics, detailing a bit about the background of the comic and how it came to be.

P.S. I also photographed some doggies:

Shiba and my comics at #sarjakuvafestivaalit Shiba closeup :3 Sheltie doggie at #sarjakuvafestivaalit :3 Fuzzy doggie tail behind Ainur Evil Mochi mini-watercolour by Ainur Epic pommi fail (but you can see its evil tail) Pug at #sarjakuvafestivaalit Pug on the floor at #sarjakuvafestivaalit

It’s Helsinki Comics Festival tomorrow!

At Lasipalatsi Square in central Helsinki, the 28th edition of the festival has once more set up its tents. Now on Saturday and Sunday we will brave the Finnish September temperatures again … Luckily the weather seems a bit milder and less prone to floods than last year!

I’ve been so busy with boring dayjobs that I haven’t had time to do any press work at all for Driftwood. This is the only photo I’ve made of the books so far (right after opening the first boxes upon delivery):

Whee, the books arrived! Me and my super awesome friend Claudia carried all the 25 boxes up to the 5th floor ... phew!

They are really awesomepants. I’ll be selling Driftwood at the festival for 20 € each, and 10 € for Flotsam and Jetsam, the short story and behind the scenes info book.

Of course it’s not enough for me to present only the big fat Driftwood book as a new thing at the festival. I also made a zine with (my apparently totally innovative e-book comic) Electric Tsunamis (in English), mainly because I want to see if I can sell more printed copies than Bonniers can sell electronic copies! :D

Of course it's not enough for me to present only the big fat Driftwood book as a new thing at the festival. I also made a zine with Electric Tsunamis, mainly because I want to see if I can sell more printed copies than Bonniers can sell electronic copies!

I will of course also have all other English-language books and zines that I have currently in print …

See you this weekend – Saturday the 7th from 11:00 to 20:00, and Sunday the 8th from 12:00 to 18:00!

* * *

Bonus doggie etc. chalk drawings from the festival grounds:

Fuzzy necked doggie - chalk drawings at #helsinkicomicsfestival "Doggies are nice" - chalk drawings at #sarjakuvafestivaalit Heroic looking doggie - chalk drawings at #sarjakuvafestivaalit Obligatory piggy and occult symbols - chalk drawings at #sarjakuvafestivaalit Ainur's octopus (but she did not write "David is stupid") - chalk drawings at #sarjakuvafestivaalit

Let’s hang out in Tempelhof tomorrow!

(Click to enlarge)

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