I have emails and letters going back to the 20th Century. No, really -I am THAT old. Anyway, I wanted to check on a number of things and stumbled upon all the emails between myself and European publishers pertaining to the Bristol Comic Expo.
2002 was the earliest year I went all out trying to get European publishers to the UK and I have emails from Casterman, Delcourt and a couple others who tried -after the Expo fell under new ownership- to book tables and get a presence there. They received no replies.
Mind you, I received no replies and I live in the same feckin city!
I recall that, under Mike Allwood, the Expo was interested when Koream Manhwa publishers wanted space at the Expo and that was after very intensive work and persuasion by myself.
What happened? Well, Korea is a very complicated country (I'm talking South Korea here) and a committee agreed that it was a good idea after long, long discussion. "YAY!" I screamed. But, apparently, another committee needed to then discuss that decision. If they agreed there would be need for another committee to discuss the finances to be spent. Another to decide who should represent Korean Manhwa. Then a committee needed to....you get my point here?
Two years and there was still no decision but what was to stop a publisher just bringing their goods? ooooh, no. Must be approved.
India I talked to Raj, Diamond and others including (I'm not spitting, honest) Virgin Comics. Absolutely no interest what-so-ever and why break into a new market? Three more years wasted.
China. Now, China, if any country in the world with a publishing industry that produces such great books could see the potential it would be China. Sadly, by that time the Expo was dead.
I'd still like to see Bristol -a big City with a strong "cross-cultural" history- put money into backing a big Manhua exhibition. Local interest not to mention tourism attracted to such an event would surely make it worthwhile...unless...no. No politics.
Once China discovers its Manhua potential there'll be no stopping it -Manga will pale in comparison.