The Mindless Ones will be returning to Thought Bubble this year, but for the first year I won’t have a new book to sell there — California Dreaming has turned into a much bigger book than I thought (and isn’t a Thought Bubble kind of book anyway), Head Of State is still grinding its way through the publishing process (unnerving for someone like me who’s used to clicking “publish” and having the book available straight away), and the Cerebus essays have been taking far longer to write than I’d hoped, because basically between June and mid-October I had one of those traumas you’re meant to go through about once every five years happen about once every two weeks, which was fun.
So while the other Mindless will have a variety of great stuff, I’ll only have the same old same old.
So what I’ve done is I’ve bought five copies each of the four most Thought-Bubbley books I’ve done (Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!, An Incomprehensible Condition, the book on Doctor Who, and my collection of SF short stories Ideas And Entities). I will be selling these, in paperback, for that weekend only at half price — £5 (my books are normally slightly more expensive than average because they’re printed on demand — I actually make less from a physical book sold on Amazon for £10 than I do from an ebook sold on the same site for $3).
For one of those books, that’s actually a loss for me on the unit cost before shipping, which is £5.75, but if I sell every copy of them I will have paid for the cost of buying them and my train ticket.
I will also be bringing along any non-battered stock copies I have of all my books except Incomprehensible Condition (most copies I have of that are of the inadvertantly transphobic first edition). If I sell all those, too, I’ll have also paid for my share of the stall.
So come along and take advantage of the half-price book sale, or say hello to the other, more talented, Mindlesses, and buy their stuff, or talk to Plok, who will be visiting once again from Canadialand.
And if you must, go and buy stuff from other people and see all the famous comics people and that. But we all know that’s not why you’re coming.
For the third year running, the Mindless Ones will be at the Thought Bubble comic convention in Leeds, far and away Britain’s best comic convention. This time, we’ll have a whole TWO tables in the Allied London Hall (meaning that we’ll have done all three halls), and we need them, because there’s lots of stuff for sale.
I can only talk publicly about *my* stuff here, but I will have the first ten copies ever printed of my collection of essays about Doctor Who, Fifty Stories For Fifty Years, available — it comes out tomorrow, the day of the anniversary itself (I haven’t even looked at the copies myself yet, so they’re unproofed — caveat lector). I will also have copies of my book about Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers, An Incomprehensible Condition, and my essays about comics and Doctor Who, Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!, as well as my short story collection Ideas And Entities. I may have one or two copies of my music books as well if I have any left over from last year (I haven’t checked). I will also scribble in the books if you wish. If you’re very lucky I may even let you suck on my nuts.*
But along with me will be Bobsy, Illogical Volume, The Beast Must Die, Gary Lactus, Mr Attack, and special Mindless auxiliary/wife of me Hollistic Tendancies. All of them will have things to sell you as well, and they’ll all be wonderful. Most of them have even got actual comics, not just books with words in like what I do.
AND NOT ONLY THAT! This year Lactus and The Beast will be doing a special LIVE SILENCE! — you, yes YOU could be a part of comics’ greatest podcast, and maybe be among those few mortals who have gazed upon the face of Lactus and lived to tell the tale.
There are some other people going to be there as well — nonentities like Kate Beaton, Paul Cornell, Becky Cloonan, Nicholas Gurwitch, David Hine, Frazer Irving, David Lloyd, John McCrea, Peter Milligan, Cameron Stewart, Al Ewing, Oscar Zarate, D’Israeli… but why would you want to see a bunch of nobodies like that, when there’s so much Hot Mindless Action to be had?
*I bring a large bag of sugared almonds for just such an eventuality.
Just in case anyone’s interested in buying my books and having me scribble in them, I and some of my Mindless Ones colleagues will have a stall at the Thought Bubble convention ( http://thoughtbubblefestival.com/ ) again this year, on November 23rd and 24th.
I’ll have copies of my books Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! and An Incomprehensible Condition: An Unofficial Guide To Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers, as well as limited copies of my music books. I also hope to have the book version of my Doctor Who: Fifty Stories For Fifty Years book done by then — and when better to buy it than on the fiftieth anniversary itself? — and maybe the book on Promethea I’m cowriting with my wife, auxiliary Mindless Hollistic Tendancies, who will also be there.
Even if you don’t want any of my stuff, the other Mindless will have their own stuff for sale (which is better than mine, but don’t tell them I said that).
There’s also a load of boring people like Paul Cornell, Al Ewing, David Hine, Ales Kot, Kieron Gillen, Nicholas Gurewitch and so on, but you don’t care about them.
(If you really want, you could also stand around the table of the noxious Tony Harris and be ostentatiously more pleasant than him…)
Thought Bubble is the most female-friendly, child-friendly, nice-person-friendly convention I know of, and you should all come.
Just a reminder that I, along with many of the rest of the Mindless Ones, will be at the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds on the 17th and 18th. You’ll be able to meet Bobsy, Illogical Volume, Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die, along with occasional Mindless guest-contributors Hollistic Tendancies and Scott Mackattack. Plok from A Trout In The Milk will also be there.
You’ll be able to buy my books (I’ll only have a small number of copies of the music ones, but plenty of copies of the comics ones and my short story collection) as well as the comics of Messrs Lactus and Must Die. I believe Illogical Volume may also have a special surprise ready by then. There’ll always be at least a couple of us at the table, with more walking round the convention.
I know several regular commenters here will also be going, including Chris Browning, who will be selling his own superb small-press comic The Common Swings (I’m quite behind on that so will no doubt be picking up several issues).
There are also a load of no-name unknowns that no-one cares about going, too, some people called Kate Beaton, Al Ewing, Kieron Gillen, Bryan Talbot, Cameron Stewart, Frazer Irving, John Allison, Alison Bechdel and names like that. But we all know that they’re only going in the hope of getting some of the reflected glory of being near us.
If you’ve not been to a comics convention before, go to this one. It’s friendly, and has none of the creepy sexism of geek events, because it isn’t one — it’s an event for people who love comics as a medium, instead. It’s a nice, friendly, interesting event run by nice, friendly, interesting people, and you’ll enjoy it.
Just a reminder to anyone going to Thought Bubble next weekend that the Mindless Ones will have a stall there, where you will be able to buy my books Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! and An Incomprehensible Condition and get them scribbled in if you want. Dan White will be selling his great comics, and David Allison will be selling sexual favours (David is not yet aware of this).
There are also some other people there, like Cameron Stewart, Gail Simone, Paul Cornell, Bryan Talbot and so on, but no-one cares about that.