19th November 2013 / Appearances
It’s that time of year again — the Thought Bubble Festival 2013 is already underway in Leeds, and this weekend will host its usual two-day convention.
Of course, the most important thing you need to know is that I’ll be DJing at the Saturday night party again. Make way for this train, ’cos it’s an express.
[EDIT: We all did quite short stints in the end, to fit everyone in. A playlist of my shameless floor-filling set is now up on YouTube.]
Apparently there’s also some comics thing going on?
LOL NERDS IDK.
Ming Doyle, Fiona Staples, Ales Kot, Brandon Graham, Richard Starkings, Image publisher Eric Stephenson and myself will talk about our work, creative freedom in comics, and all that jazz. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few surprise guests, nudge nudge turn up for that one, too. It’s in the Bury Theatre venue.
Any other time, you can find me behind a table on the con floor; and yes, I will have copies of UMBRAL #1 with me. If you missed getting a copy before the first printing sold out, you can pick one up directly from me instead. I may even run a special offer of some kind…
My table is in New Dock Hall, table 174. There’s a floorplan of the hall here, or just look for the banner with my name at the top in big red letters.
See you there!
5th October 2013 / Appearances
Once again, I’ll be attending New York Comic Con this year for signings, panel appearances, the usual. If you want something signed, or just want to chat, this is where I’ll be.
NB Oni Press will have a limited number of copies of WASTELAND: THE APOCALYPTIC EDITION, Vol. 3 available for sale at their booth (#1844) throughout the weekend.
The book goes on general sale a week or two after the con, but if you want one signed, this is your best chance for a while — I may not hit the east coast again till NYCC 2014.
12th July 2013 / Appearances
Well, we’re roughly halfway through the year (a year in which I’ve been working pretty flat out), and San Diego Comic-Con looms once again.
Sadly, I won’t be there this year. I’m sorry if you were hoping to see me, but I really need some time off. I’ll almost certainly return to SD in 2014, but for this year New York will be my only American comic con.
Back here in Blighty, however, it’s a different matter. And first up, after that time off, I’ll be at MCM Comic Con Manchester, Saturday July 20th at Manchester Central.
(Yes, ‘MCM Comic Con’ is the same organiser as MCM Expo. As far as I can tell, nothing’s changed except the name of their conventions.)
I’ll be there all day; come along and find me at Table CB13. I’ve only been given the number, so I have no idea where that will be located, but just look for the big white banner with my name in big red letters at the top. Yes, it’s a new banner. Time for a change.
We’ll explain how we created the story and mythology behind ZOMBIU, our thoughts behind some of the big decisions, and show how narrative influenced even the mechanics and marketing of the game. Should be a good ‘un.
It’s Not in the Writer’s Manual: A Q&A Session for New Writers, on the other hand, is a roundtable with me and a bunch of other game writers, and if you can’t figure out the contents from the title, you’re in the wrong business.
Although the Narrative Summit only lasts a couple of days, I’ll be there pretty much all week; I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends, and also just spending time in one of my favourite cities. Get in touch if you’re attending and want to arrange a meeting, or just catch up over a drink.
The idea was that Mike — an indie game designer, and creator of the sleeper hit THOMAS WAS ALONE — solicited feedback from game professionals, including designers, audio producers, and the like, and invited the audience to ask questions too. Kieron and I were there to talk to him about game narrative and writing, natch.
I went into the event with a certain amount of trepidation — I’d played THOMAS, but didn’t know Mike at all, and I’d certainly never before given that kind of feedback outside the closed doors of a game development team. The prospect of talking about this stuff in front of a room full of random people was a little nerve-wracking.
I needn’t have worried. Not only is Mike a great, smart guy (who has now gone freelance, by the way), but the whole event went really well, and turned out to be one of my favourite things we did that week.
Happily, you can now enjoy it too, because the panel was recorded. Watch it here…
…or if that’s not working for you, click through to see it on YouTube.
I’ve been waiting for this to get an official announcement: I’m giving a lecture at GDC in March, alongside ZOMBIU story design director Gabrielle Shrager. We’ll be explaining how we came up with the game’s mythology and narrative, and how those decisions influenced the gameplay, visuals, and even marketing of the title.
Since last year’s GDC Online was the last to be held in Austin, the Game Narrative Summit has now become part of the main GDC event in San Francisco. I love SF, but haven’t had the chance to go back since WonderCon in 2008, so I’m really looking forward to this.
In general news, seeing as I haven’t posted here in almost a month… well, I haven’t posted here in almost a month. That kind of tells you all you need to know. Lots of exciting stuff; new games projects underway, new comics in development, nose to the grindstone, I can’t talk about any of it yet. So, just the usual, then.
(There is one thing I can tell you; I just finished scripting WASTELAND #48, and it’s a doozy. It’s right in the middle of the final Newbegin story arc, and writing it is a weird combination of over-excitement and constant trepidation. So far, though, it’s all working out nicely.)
Another day, another public outing; at Thought Bubble this year, Matt Sheret organised an event called 1000 WORDS, bringing together creators from comics and other media to talk about what, how, and why we do what we do.
Everyone did a 10-15 minute piece (apart from Kieron Gillen, who closed the day out with a final keynote), and by all accounts they were very well received. Well enough that I suspect the format may be revived and perhaps even expanded for next year.
Never one to turn down a chance to lecture people into submission, I agreed to do a slot, and this is what I came up with; a little confessional called “Antony Johnston’s Massive Ego”. Long-time readers of this journal are by now sagely nodding their heads, I’m sure.
(If you can’t see the video above, view it direct on Vimeo.)
20th November 2012 / Appearances
Thanks to everyone who came out to Thought Bubble. It was, once again, a great convention and a great weekend.
Part of that weekend was of course the now-legendary Saturday night party, and this year’s was surely the best yet. The venue, at the Leeds Corn Exchange, was superb; and the dancefloor was rarely less than packed. Kieron, Jamie, Boo, Al, and Clark & Mikey (two of the con organisers) all did sterling work.
And then there was me. If you were there, you know that I basically closed out the night with a two-hour selection of the cheesiest, most shameless floor-filling pop music I could summon from my iPad. I’m not even going to try and remember that setlist, it was nuts.
My earlier “official” setlist, however, is right here:
Sweet Soul Music Arthur Conley
Le Freak Chic
Disco Inferno The Trammps
Can You Feel The Force? The Real Thing
Knock On Wood Amii Stewart
Get Down On It Kool & The Gang
Can You Feel It The Jacksons
Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
I Don’t Believe You Wanna Get Up And Dance (Oops!) The Gap Band
You Sexy Thing Hot Chocolate
The Who Who Song Jackie Wilson
Too Late Larry Williams & Johnny Guitar Watson
Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache Johnny Johnson And The Bandwagon
Don’t Leave Me This Way The Communards
It’s Not Unusual Tom Jones
I’ve taken a leaf out of Jamie’s book, and made a YouTube playlist of the whole set for your edification. Enjoy.
15th November 2012 / Appearances
To nobody’s surprise, I’ll be at Thought Bubble in Leeds this weekend.
“TB” is one of my favourite conventions, and not just because it’s the closest to my house — it’s also one of the few big UK events that’s focused entirely on comics. I’ve watched it grow from a tiny one-day con in the basement of Leeds town hall to a major two-day event, while never losing its heart. Warms me cockles, so it does.
(It’s also because TB is the only con I know of with an official disco night! If you’re at the party this year, keep an ear out — I’ll be DJing alongside usual suspects like Gillen, McKelvie, Ewing and others.)
As always, look for the big red banner with my name on it. I’ll sign anything (of mine…) you care to bring.
I’ll be at the table all weekend, except for the following, both on Saturday:
- At 10.40am (ugh) I’m on the Best Thing I’ve Read All Year panel, talking about… well, you can guess. Also features Kieron Gillen, Al Ewing, Fiona Staples, and Kate Brown.
- I’m also taking part in Matthew Sheret’s 1000 Words conference, a series of short talks about creativity, held in the Alea Cinema Room (see link for programme details — scroll down to “1000 Words”, no direct link). I’m on at 2.45pm, presenting Antony Johnston’s Massive Ego — a piece about the creator’s struggle with humility.
See you there!
If you’re around Nottingham, and/or attending Game City, next week then this is a real treat.
Longtime readers, or those who follow me on Twitter, will know that I’m a big fan of Nottingham’s Page 45, one of the best and most discerning comic stores in the UK. Page 45 have always supported good, diverse comics work — the “real mainstream” fare that creators like me are continually banging on about — and have long been big supporters of mine.
They don’t, however, do many signings. They’re picky. So I’m delighted to announce that next Tuesday October 23rd, I’m signing at Page 45. I’ll be accompanied by the redoubtable Kieron Gillen, and a good time will be had by all.
What brought this on? Well, that’s the other half of this bonanza. Next week is also when this year’s Game City takes place in Nottingham, and Kieron and I have been recruited to show our faces. In fact, we’re showing our faces a lot:
On Monday 22nd, we’re doing a joint Q&A about writing for comics and games, followed by a live recording of Kieron’s podcast Decompressed (which you should be listening to anyhow).
On Tuesday 23rd, we’ll be giving Mike Bithell feedback on his indie darling THOMAS WAS ALONE, and I’ll deliver an abbreviated version of my Comics to Consoles talk. Then, at 5pm, we’ll be hopping over to Page 45 for the signing.
My full schedule, with times and locations, can be seen here.