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House Party, by Rachael Smith

Second frame of third chapter:

F and I went to Brussels Comic Con yesterday, and to be honest it was a bit of a disappointment compared to the Antwerp Convention, which we enjoyed last year and the year before. The cosplay was at least enthusiastic, but otherwise the program items were rather thin and the internal layout bizarre - Jeremy Bulloch and other Star Wars actors, for instance, were jammed into a very narrow but important passage, which rapidly got blocked by autograph hunters meaning that those wanting to go through needed to find a long way round (I got a chance to tease him about Summer Holiday though); a crowded and understaffed catering corner was crushed up against the games section, which in turn (my local expert tells me) was not overwhelming; fan groups seemed to have been banished into a crowded and chaotic side room.

However, in a relatively spacious Artist Alley area near the entrance sat two British comics artists, Rachael Smith and Adam Cadwell, with their stock. My eye was caught by Smith's Bryan Lee O'Malley-like art, and I picked up this book, apparently her first full-length story. (In the frame above, Siobhan wakes up badly hungover from the eponymous party.) It's a fairly brief story about three young housemates who decide that they will try to reclaim their youth by throwing a party with the cool kids from the year below who are still at college; it all goes wrong and they wake up sadder, wiser and with aching heads. It's well observed, particularly the central protagonist Mish (short for Michelle). It's just a bit of a shame that the nice people in the story aren't all that smart, and the smart ones aren't very nice. I guess that's necessary for the plot to develop in this case, but it's a barrier to engaging with the characters.

Anyway, I have high hopes that Mancunicon next weekend will be more fun. Hope to see some of you there.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2016 10:35 am (UTC)
O'Malley is popular outside of Canada?
Mar. 20th, 2016 11:05 am (UTC)
The Scott Pilgrim movie - which got a Hugo nomination - brought him to a wider audience, and I certainly bought the books and enjoyed them on the foot of it.
Mar. 21st, 2016 06:18 am (UTC)
I still don't get how they could be so badly organized where food was concerned. I mean seriously, to have all food at the only food stand in the entire convention, sold out by two a clock, when many people didn't even get in until eleven thirty, that's just ... bad organization, pure and simply.

I hope for their sake that they did better on Sunday, but I somehow doubt it.

That and the place was so overcrowded that especially in the first passage way that it was nigh impossible to look at any of the booths in said passageway.

I've got to say, compared to say... Facts, this felt somewhat amateurishly organized.

When we went to Facts last year, we had so much fun and so much to do, that we felt we didn't have enough time to see everything. Here we left by four just because we'd pretty much seen everything we could get into. (and they really didn't make it easy on people to sign up for workshops, or at least in knowing where or when to sign up for them, meaning I had no idea how to get into the one I had really wanted to get into.

And don't get me started on how little place there was around the stage for the cosplay competition. I wanted to watch the show, but it was so stacked that it was impossible to see anything, so we just left instead.
Mar. 21st, 2016 09:53 am (UTC)
I thought the whole thing was very poorly organised. Steven Zeegers' write-up, here, reflects my own experience (and I think yours) rather well. I really enjoyed the Antwerp Convention, last year and the year before; haven't been to FACTS, but it looks like a much better bet. (I can't really go in two weeks - I'm going for Manchester for another sf con this weekend!)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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