Friday, 30 August 2013


The 2013 Edinburgh International Book Festival not only celebrated it's 40th anniversary in fine style, but also saw record sales in both tickets and booksEven the sight of this reprobate hanging around the Authors' Yurt and helping himself to copious amounts of complimentary Isle of Jura whisky couldn't scare people away...

I'd like to think that the Festival organizers' bold move to devote an entire strand of programming to comics and Graphic Novels contributed in no small part to the boost. Stripped certainly appeared to be a huge success from where I was standing. Roll on 2014!

The Drowntown - or Droontoon, as it was known during the Festival - event drew a good crowd and took place in the ScottishPower Theatre in Charlotte Square Gardens on Saturday 24th August. Jim, who had flown in from Seattle the day before, and I were lightly grilled by David Bishop, who we were used to cracking the whip at us from his days as Tharg, alien Editor of 2000AD.

We chatted about the concept of the book, how we developed the story and characters that feature in it, and about our careers in general. Check out some of our earlier blog entries for a flavour of what we were blabbing on about...

Jim and Robbie, on-stage.
Photo: D. Tate.
The audience was also wowed by a sneak preview of Jim's art from Book 2. I hadn't seen the new pages either, and my neck is still stiff from craning to look up at them as they appeared giant-sized on the screen behind the stage. I suppose it would be unfair not to treat those of you who couldn't make it a wee peek as well...

Afterwards, we shifted to the Festival Bookshop and had a great time chatting to the audience and signing copies of the book for over an hour. A number of people 'confessed' that Drowntown was the first Graphic Novel they'd ever bought. Further evidence that comics and Graphic Novels are finally being accepted as a legitimate and exciting medium for telling stories? I'd like to think so.

Jim signing/sketching, Robbie posing.
Photo: G. Gray.
On Sunday, Jim and I took part in Stripped's 2000AD event, a celebration of the iconic UK SF comic, alongside artist Warren Pleece and writer Dan Abnett. The talk was extremely well-attended and chaired once again by David Bish-Op. The signing afterwards was busy, though most people seemed to want Drowntown signed more than anything else. 

L - R: Dan Abnett, Warren Pleece, Robbie & Jim.
Photo: D. Tate
Other than those on the panels with us, it was great to catch up with some old friends and colleagues, including Bryan Talbot, Grant Morrison, John Higgins, Glyn Dillon, Rob Davis, Paul Cornell and John McShane.
Robbie and Bryan Talbot.
Photo: D. Tate

We also enjoyed meeting and chatting to Hannah Berry, Ian Rankin and Neil Gaiman, who, like some magical character in one of his stories, appeared to be here, there and everywhere at the Festival.

Robbie & fiancee, Deb.
Photo: Gary Gray.
Robbie & his Dad.
Photo: D. Tate
Robbie: 'How come I always work with tall artists?'
Photo: D. Tate

Now, I'm sure I've forgotten something. What was it? Och, aye, here's a wee blast of Drowntown Book 2: Execution Dock...

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully you can get petula Clark to sing the theme song for the second book!