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.
Ok, so now its that time of the year when we are heading into the Big Con. You may wonder which I am referring to, but be in no doubt, with Record breaking attendance at the last show, and over 88,000 people passing through their doors, it is one hell of a Big Show!
In just over 2 weeks I will be there from the 23rd of May until the 25th Sketching my proverbial Butt off. I was going to say 'Ass' but it seemed rather Rude. So I will stick with Butt.
Ok so what's the deal? Well I sketch what you want, whatever that may be. But with numbers of 88,000 and growing, it really is 1st come 1st serve. So this is your chance to jump the queue & Pre-Order. No waiting around, no wondering if I can get it done, Just click & collect, & what could be better than that?
To Pre-Order a Sketch simply go to the COMMISSIONS section of this Website along the Top Bar, Click what you are after & pay by Paypal. It couldn't be easier.
Keep an Eye out for more announcements over the next couple of weeks...
NEW PRINT - THE DINOBOTS!
A bit of a last minute decision for me. Especially with so many shows this year. But it's time to let everyone know I will be at AUTO ASSEMBLY this weekend! Although I am not officially a guest. I was asked by one of my valued fans and friends to come to the show. With an offer of giving me one of his dealer tables just to sketch at and ply my wears. How could I refuse a request like that?
I was hopping to launch something special this year, though with my current workload that will have to wait for another show. Keep an eye out for later this year folks! Of course I am being cryptic, how could I not? After all where's the fun in that!
What I do have with me is a brand new print, and Yes it features none other but the Fantastic Fivesome themselves, The DINOBOTS!
I gotta say I had some fun putting this one together!
Also of course I will be sketching, there is also a chance to pre-order a sketch at show prices if you want to guarantee one. If you already know what you are after, don't miss out. Just Go & check the Commissions Section of this website for details!
With a brief interlude between posts, here's a quick interview with me at the MCM Comiccon