Sunday 1 October 2023

NICE Con ( Bedford ) 2023


From the Better Late Than Nearly Never files: here are some of the goodies I picked up at Bedford's wonderful NICE con a month ago. First off, a couple of issues of Stan & Jack and the only issue ( so far! ) of The Kids From Rec Road from my ol' blogging buddy, Peerless Pete Doree. As ever, these timeless tomes are frantically filled with splendid super hero satire, merciless mirth and creative cartooning, and will have you talking in agonising alliteration for doggoned days afterwards. Excelsior! You can order Pete's magnificent mags from his Big Cartel page here  -  and I think you should, Pilgrim.

And, speaking of British indie comics, I also picked up these beauties from the publisher of The '77 Comic. For those of us of a certain age, these artfully-constructed homages to British "papers" of the 1970s are like comics catnip. Evoking memories of Warlord, Action and Bullet ( Blazer ), and Misty or Spellbound ( Pandora ), they're an affectionate update of the boys' and girls' comics that were read in playgrounds throughout the UK back in the days of flares and hot pants. ( Calm down, it was only flares in my case. ) I had a long chat with the line's publisher ( didn't catch his name, unfortunately ) and we discussed the comics of our youth like a right pair of old fogeys. His sales pitch obviously worked as I bought these issues... which cost slightly more than their 1970s inspirations would have. But, they're good fun with a pretty consistent quality for indie comics. He told me that they'll soon be printing an original graphic novel from comics legend Ian Gibson, so that should be worth seeking out.

Of course, I had to trawl through the long-boxes for some Silver and Bronze Age mags. I was on a slight budget here, but I found some bargains, as you can see below  -  all under a tenner! Some fun stories with artwork from an array of industry greats: Ross Andru, Gene Colan, Jack "King" Kirby and the unbeatable Superman team of Curt Swan & Murphy Anderson. Excellent stuff!

This was my first comic con since the bloody pandemic and, as ever, it was lovely to be back at NICE, probably the most relaxed, comic-creator-focused event of its kind. I spent quite some time chatting with Pete, the first time we'd met in person in four (!) years, which was lovely. I'd hoped for us to meet up with former blogger, and Bedford resident, Mighty Joe Ackerman but he'd been ill and couldn't make it. He sounded gutted he couldn't come along, as we've been planning to all meet up for years now, but hopefully we can fix that next year. Sarah came along with me this time, and went shopping whilst I was in retro heaven, so we also had a look around the fair city of Bedford together... which also included a quick visit to the area's premier comic shop, Close Encounters, more of which in a later post.
A great day!


McSCOTTY said...

I haven't been to a proper comic con in around 20 years (at least) most seem to just be folk selling boxes of comics from the 1980s onwards. However , I do know that there are some good ones in my loca! area so I might make the effort to attend one soon. Some nice comic purchases there, Superman issue 242 is one of my favourites and a classic Neal Adams cover. I Picked up a copy of Blazer a few months the ago and for a nano second I thought I was 11_ years old and reading the old Warlord comic

Simon B said...

I've been to a few cons in recent years ( apart from the pandemic times, of course ) and they can be very variable, but often worth it. As you say, there are enough of these "comic" cons that barely feature any actual comics, but NICE is one of the better ones. And the real draw for me is the sheer quality of creators appearing there: this year including Alan Davis, Liam Sharp ( more about him soon ), Mike Collins, Sean Phillips, Esad Ribic and more...


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