When I think about Auto Assembly it feels as though it has always been there. Something that always felt fresh & new and yet had been around for longer than even I knew. It most probably had that feel due to the ever changing nature of the show with the location shifts & ever growing and changing fan base. My association with the show goes far back even longer than most people probably realise. I used to be a toy dealer, Specifically 80's toys & Primarily Transformers. The 1st dedicated Transformers show for me was Transforce swiftly followed by Auto Assembly.
Back then I wanted to work in Comics, specifically Transformers. I fell into selling toys just how many do, by being a collector 1st. It was at this show I started drawing a Transformers The Movie Poster at which point Andrew Wildman came over to chat to me, & give me some Sage Advise. Fast Forward a few Years, with many bumps along the road & I was a now a Guest at the same AA. Yes at a different location, with new people, & new Experiences. I was working on The How to Draw Guide at the time alongside John Mccrea. It may even have been the 1st show I was actually a Guest at.
With several changes of location between shows & a growing fan base we finally reached AA 2015. This was to be the final show & I have to admit I was slightly relived. It had been a part of my Convention Experiences since the Beginning and always felt it was best to go out on a high. Which it most certainly did.
For the Final Show I wasn't a Guest but I did appear in the Artists Alley. Hence wasn't around for many of the usual evening Hijinks due to other work commitments. In one way I was glad, I never did feel comfortable on Stage, which is one of the things that you have to do as a Guest at a show. I am fine one to one or in small groups, but when 500 people plus are watching you I tend to go blank & the only thing I can think of saying is 'Buy my Stuff'
I got asked for my usual Sketches at the show, and some of my Unusual ones, some of which I won't even post on here. The one thing I do seem to get is the slightly warped fanbase. Or the Sketches other Artists don't want to touch in case of reprisals. Me though, if I think it will be fun to draw I will give it a go.
Which Brings me Right to the Closing Ceremony. Unexpectedly the Artists Alley was called up to the Stage, I didn't really want to go. As Public Emotion is not really my thing. I save that for when I lock myself under the cupboard. I tagged along as it would have felt bad not to. First up was Jason Cardy with a microphone in hand talking to the crowd in front with enough emotion to make Sadam Hussein cry, even after his death. In short he expressed his love for AA the People involved & his time there. All I could think was 'oh god how do I follow that?' Anything I would have said would have look disinterested & uncaring. Not that I would be. It's just like I said, I save that for under the cupboard.
Which then brings me on to that moment of Relief, where he turned his speech on its head and into a proposal live on stage for TFA's very own Kat Nicholson. Yes it was corny, it was slightly embarrassing, and of course Transformers Catchphrases were used. But most of all it was Sweet.
She said Yes by the way.
There was lots of emotion as that show closed, which I'm not good at. The one think that stuck with me though was how nice everyone was. How nice they were to each other. Yes there is always exceptions. But more than 99% of the people there were fundamentally just really nice human beings. As I drove away it really hit me at how much it was a family & if I said I didn't shed a tear. I'd be a liar.
Sometimes for things to move forward other things have to end. Its Evolution and nothing lasts forever. The most important thing is to make sure you have a good time along the way.
& with Auto Assembly there were great times.
Another Weekend and another New Experience. I have to admit, the start of this one I did not enjoy. That's because it was a 6 hour Drive. After that though, it was All Gravy!
I pulled up early at my old stomping ground, The English Rivera & I have got to say it lived up to it's name. The first thing I did was to re-trace some old steps & head for the beach. Hey who can blame me. It's not often you get to a con only a stones throw away from a Beach.
Before I knew it time had passed & I was propped up the bar, in a purely professional manner of course. Catching up with me old matey Julian Seager as you do. We were then joined by a bevy of other great talents from James Cosmo to Paul Warren.
Featuring Paul Warren, Ross Mullan, Nanette McLeod-Johnson, James Cosmo, Julian Seager Jimmy Vee, Phill Martin, & some other chap who's name escapes me..
On the Saturday Evening the Organisers put a buffet on for our hard work in the coalface, many Drinks were had Especially Coca Cola by my fellow Artistic attendees The Bove & Bradley. Not a Free house I assure you. Stronger stuff was had by others but always with a Slimline Tonic of Course, much to the annoyance of the nameless one..
It was a fun Evening, With much Capacity for laughter & jovial Hijinks with the ever lovely Virginia Hey & he of the Chris Barrie fame.
All in All it was an Extreamly fun & Friendly day out. From the reaction of most of the attendees it was also their 1st venture to a comiccon. Here's hoping they will be back next year, they did a great job this year so it can only get better!