The series of talks at the ICA yesterday (Sunday, 4 November) were a great success, I'm pleased to say. A small but perfectly formed audience were on hand for three talks. Having planned the trip down to the last second, I managed to arrive late and missed the first half of the opening act about girls' comics which proved to be quite a lively discussion judging by the latter half.
We -- that's David Roach, David Kendall and myself -- were up next and after a battle with the laptop, which kept crashing when we tried to load pictures, we managed to jabber on for 70 minutes about war comics, mostly concentrating on the old war libraries but rambling over various other aspects of war comics from their use as propaganda to why they're still popular today. I doubt if we managed to shed any great light on the subject but it was far less nervewracking than I expected.
Having wandered off to chat to people and sign anything that needed signing we subsequently missed the first half of the next panel which was Pat Mills and Gerry Finley-Day talking about their time on comics, both girls' and boys', and then Pat and Kev O'Neill talking about pretty much the same subjects. There were some fascinating insights into the editorial workings of putting comics together and it proved so popular that they managed to overrun by half an hour.
From the reaction in the bar later I think everyone enjoyed the event and the only regrets I have are (a) not having enough time to talk to everyone who came, although it was great to see Charlotte Fawley, Ramon Sola, Simon Jowett, Richard Sheaf, Rufus Dayglo and others, and (b) that I forgot to dig out my camera when Pat, Gerry and Kev were talking so that I had some photos to show off. But those regrets aside, it proved to be an interesting experience as it's the first time I've been on a panel for years (I think the last time was at one of the Glasgow Comic Conventions about 15 years ago, or maybe one we did at one or other of the Paperback & Pulp Book Fairs).