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.