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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Cue memories: Bearpit Zine & Comic Event -Cafe Kino

With a new Bristol Comic & Zine event being help this October, I thought I would cast my mind back to last year's Cafe Kino event (where I fell down wet stairs).  Enjoy.

Hooper is on his way to a zine event….the excitement is just killing him!

As it happens all the omens were there…I fell down very slippery steps in Cafe Kino but, apparently, so did two other people. Note to owners:HAND RAIL and MATTING to avoid slipping on wet and greasy metal edges to steps.

I may write a report on the event but at the moment I am too tired and my leg hurts!

Below: Warning 1

Below: Warning 2:”Relentless optimism” says it all.

Below: I thought this was a funny walk routine but it’s the way they normally walk….Northall’s is a classic “mince”.

Well, it was a cold, wet and very dismal day, as I’ve already written. I woke up feeling that I ought not to go but stay home and finish off a couple of books.  However, Simon and his mates at the Bearpit zine crew had gone to the trouble of organizing the event and it being local I felt I had to support it.

A case of putting myself forward in support or shut up about the lack of comic events in Bristol!

Greeted at Café Kino, in the Stokes Croft area, we were ushered downstairs to a nice space that I thought might be a bit too large for the event but I would be proven wrong.
Below: setting up at Cafe Kino

Still setting up….

Things were going quietly once we’d set up and the Berlin police interrogation room lighting was a bit depressing…or that may have been us!  Two old farts hoping to sell zines. My own attempts to sell vintage zines from the 1980s/1990s were hindered greatly by the bastard with us who kept butting in as people were looking and basically described them as tatty old school.

I was surprised to an extent that the people attending seemed to know nothing about comics. I had some original appearance Burglar Bill comics by Paul Grist. I pointed this out to a few people who stared blankly.

“Paul Grist –created Jack Staff?”


“More recently the Mud-man comic?”


“They’re both published by Image Comics…?”

Blank.  “Sorry –who?”

“Image Comics. American independent publisher…?”

Blank. Shrug.
Below: Mr Brown tries on the hat and gets no respect. Bless him, he looks happy….or he’s going to be sick…?

During a lull Mr Brown shows me a problem he’s having. I point out that it should NOT be that colour or scabby but that he ought to put it away as ladies were present.

Highpoint of the day was meeting Liz Lunney and we talked David Bowies…it was just bound to happen!  Gave her a few zines for an exhibition she’s putting on and got a few in return –reviews coming up.

Good to see regular Dave, now sporting a beard!  Also to meet Ross, ready to leave the UK and live in Finland.  Oh, and Jess Bradley who schlepped her books and badges to the event –a review of one book to come.

I watched as usual and discovered what I’ve been saying for a long time is true.  Usually it is a friend(s) going to see a friend who is a publisher or goes with a friend of the zinester. They buy there, look around and it’s a social event more than business which is what makes it hard on old sock sucking cynical business types like…me.

Nice young people who looked rather worried that the old fart with the long beard might just suddenly start asking where he was.
It’s started kicking off! Things get a go-go!


The Bearpit zine event, if all goes according to plan, should be an annual event and that’ll be good and next time I get a table by myself and away from certain hinderances.  Or one hinderance in particular. Yes, Mr. Brown will have to take one for the non-existent team!

So, next year, I’ll go.  I’ll lock the doors and no one will leave until they buy my books.  Old school.
Below:Hooper House where all the action is!

Let me tell you: this is the second small venue event I’ve been to and it is generally more friendly and definitely NOT “make money! Make money!” people there.

To find people looking back at you blankly when you mention Image Comics or some other comic thing that comickers generally know is refreshing (BUT frustrating if you are trying to sell).

I had one fella rub his whispy whiskered youthful face and say -”You’re a legend aren’t you?” To which I SHOULD have responded: “Yes, son. Yes, I am. And you are what this is all about” (Cue theme from The Green Berets). He did tell me his name but the cacophony of the event and permanent tinitis do not mix. So, young whiskered guy with the slight dreadlock-thing going on: Thank you.

It is sad that they have no idea about the history of the Small Press or Undergrounds BUT in a way it means they are making their own little circle of zinesters and not getting corrupted by Marvel or DC. But, oh boy, did some of them have their 21st Century Youth “PC” hats on. “Johnny Condom? Seriously -Johnny Condom?”

I was THE oldest man there. My companion is in his late 40s but next time I get a t-shirt:”My Name Is Methuselah”!!

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