Friday, 17 March 2017

Swindon Comiccon 2017

Saturday, 4 February 2017

2017 Conventions





I'm at the following comic conventions/literature festivals in the coming months. If you'd like me as a guest at your comiccon/litfest, get in touch via the contact form on the right -->

This year is 100 years since Jack Kirby was born, so surely there's never been a better time for a Jack Kirby panel or talk.


4th March 2017
Hull Comicon Spring
Hull Guildhall
(formerly the Toad Man Festival)
I'll be giving a talk about Screenwriting.

8th/9th April 2017
SciFi Scarborough
I'll be giving a talk celebrating 100 years of the "King of Comics" - Jack Kirby.

2nd/3rd June 2017
Swindon Comic Con

11th June 2017
Trafford Park Comic Con
I'll be giving a talk celebrating 100 years of the "King of Comics" - Jack Kirby.

6th August 2017
Hull Comiccon

12th August 2017
Blackpool Comic Con

25th to 27th August 2017
London Super Comic Convention

16th September 2017
Southport Comic Con

For more details about my work see-
Literary Festivals Profile
Starburst magazine article
Recent digital work
Colouring work examples





Thursday, 27 October 2016

Rosie

I'm not an enormous fan of people baring every detail of their lives online, but I'm about to. I'm getting so many lovely messages and I'm struggling to keep up with them all, I don't want them to stop, I just wanted to explain to as many people at one time why I might be a little quiet for a while, why I might not reply to you straight away and what happened to cause this.

On Monday I had three beautiful daughters, now I have two. My middle child, Rosie, took her own life on Monday night. She was 19.

Rosie was a passionate, moody, delightfully contradictory, caring, TV-show-binging, protective, gorgeous, awesome teenager. When she was happy, she bounced off the walls with it, spreading an infectious glee, when she wasn't, she didn't. Her devotion to her dog, Darcy was beautifully intense, she was an evangelically militant vegan and she was better at nearly everything then she thought she was. Like so many teens, like so many people, she battled to adequately communicate her real feelings, many of our conversations revolved around sarcasm, hugs that had lasted forever when she was little now had to be stolen, but I hope she knew I always loved to be with her. Hiding away to watch a terrible movie together when we both should have been doing more productive things was a guilty pleasure I'd now give anything to do with her again just once. I miss her so much, I generally only cry at particularly poignant episodes of Dr Who. That moment when K-9 got rebuilt gets me every time. This is obviously a lot worse. I'm struggling. I'm having to drink more water to fund all of the tears, but I'll get there.

So I want people to know I'm going to be busy for a while giving my full attention to the needs of my lovely wife and daughters. I've lost one of the most important people in the world to me, and so if you are expecting me to meet a deadline/reply to an email/act rationally in the next few weeks, please accept my apologies, but it's even more unlikely to happen than usual.

Rosie hated having her photo taken, I have hundreds of family photos with everyone else smiling and then Rosie with a menu or a hand covering her face, these are the last few photos I took of my baby, there's one nice one where she has baked a (vegan) cake for my 24th wedding anniversary. It was lovely, as was she.

I love you Rosebud. Hugs forever x

Rosie Elouise Payne

Rosie Payne


Rosie Elouise Payne
Rosie Elouise Payne - 1997-2016

People keep asking me if they can do anything, just asking is more than enough. If you are reading this and feeling you want to do something......one thing you can do for me - If you are fortunate enough to have people you love, stop spending time looking at this and go tell them right now, in person if you can, connect with them, hold them, kiss them, treasure them and remind yourself that every single moment you can spend with them is irretrievably precious.

If you were wanting to send flowers or anything like that, then please instead consider a donation to Rosie's favourite charity - Homeless Hounds at http://www.homelesshounds.org.uk



Thursday, 13 October 2016

Keith Giffen Legion of Superheroes poster

I only helped stitch this together digitally, so it's a bit of a stretch even for me having my name alongside Keith Giffen & Larry Mahlstedt, but check out the original art for this amazing Legion of Superheroes poster on the comicartfans site.


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Kirby-Vision - Jack Kirby 99th Anniversary Portrait Gallery



Jack Kirby would have been 99 on August 28th 2016. Next year will be the big 100, feels like people all over the world should be building statues or organising parades or something? The Kirby-Vision blog on the Jack Kirby Museum Website is running it's 99th anniversary Kirby Portrait Gallery and included one of my pieces in it (below), go have a look!

Jack Kirby collage by Russell Payne

Upcoming things for me in the next few weeks -

28th September - BettaKultcha, Manchester
I'll be one of the speakers giving a slideshow presentation. Tickets £6

2nd October 2016 - Bridlington Comic Con 2016
I'm a guest at Bridlington's first comic convention. I'll also be giving a talk on Jack Kirby.

I've also been doing a little work with the tremendous Trevor Von Eeden, who recently did a frank and fascinating interview that you can read in full here on Comic Creator News. The never-ending process of writing a book with John Watson continues, we have high hopes of publication soon. Or at least a new blog entry with some really good interesting news on our latest disagreements.



I'm currently on holiday in the middle of nowhere, trying to relax while at the same time desperately trying to meet some writing deadlines .....and achieving neither. Nice to see a bit of countryside though.


This coming weekend (3rd/4th September) is the always excellent NICE comic convention in Bedford, easily one of the best line ups of guests with a real focus on comic art and writing. If you are a fan of current comics, it's probably the best chance to actually get up close and personal with a range of today's top creators in a friendly setting. I can't recommend it enough - Tickets still available here.



Monday, 20 June 2016

Hull ComicCon 2016




Hull.  

At the end of the M62. Massive bridge. My in-laws live there. The 2017 European City of Culture too apparently. Not sure what happens with that if we leave the European Union.

The second Hull Comic Con was great though, just great. A one day con, just the Saturday. Probably the friendliest convention I've ever been to. I was a guest last year too, for the inaugural event, and it was pretty great then, especially for a first time con. This year the organisers built on that, using the same venue (The “Asylum” at Hull University, what a fantastic name for a comic con venue) but expanded the space they used, spreading it out over three floors.

Hull Comic Con 2016 cosplay
Cosplay!
The ground floor had all the merchandising tables and the TV and Film guests, Trevor and Simon were there with Sophie Aldred promoting their FREE audio sci-fi series Strangeness in Space. I haven't had chance to listen to it yet, but there's no excuse really is there? It's free, it's funny and it's science fiction. John Challis and Hull's very own Jon Campling was there along with his tremendous hair.

The first floor was the Retro Game floor although I never actually visited it. My brother-in-law Keegan was very kindly helping me out and he paid it a visit. It had Retro Games. 


The comic guests were on the second floor, a little out of the way, but to be fair last year the lighting downstairs had been quite murky and they put the artists next to a big window so the lighting was good. Several comic guests, so more than a lot of cons lately! Russ Leach, Lee Sullivan, Rachael Smith and Adam Cheal were some of those up there with me, conveniently opposite the room where I was giving a talk on Jack Kirby later. Initial worries that it was going to be quiet soon disappeared and it got absolutely packed later in the day, with apparently six times as many people coming compared to the previous year and a healthy turn out for my talk.

There were loads of talks too, three rooms worth, so at any one time there were two or three talks/photoshoots going on. The one on Jack Kirby was the best obviously, anyone fortunate enough to hear it was also treated to a rendition of the “Jack Kirby” rap from the Illus alum KABOOM!. LD Wilkinson put a nice photo of me giving the talk on Twitter-
Russell Payne
Jack Kirby talk at Hull Comic Con


I had a few unusual requests for quick sketches. One person asked for a “kawaii Hitler”, which I think means “a cute Hitler”. What would you do with a sketch of Hitler looking cute? Someone else wanted a sketch of an invisible Deadpool. So I just gave them a piece of paper, and they gave me £3. Odd.

As things were winding up, Simon Hickson (the one from Trevor and Simon that isn't Trevor) popped up to say Hi, probably not specifically to see me as Lee Sullivan on the table next to me was doing some work with him. Always weird meeting people whose work you admire, but he was a really nice guy and insisted on paying for one of my prints despite my best attempts to give it him. And he had a nice hat. I only mentioned it a couple of paragraphs ago, but since you probably didn't bother clicking on the link, I'm going to try again - do check out his FREE audio sci-fi series Strangeness in Space.


Keegan manning my table

The after-show party was easily the best I've ever been to. No exaggeration. I'm aware this is all very positive, but hey, I had a good time. I often enjoy the bits after a convention more than the convention itself, whether its just chatting in the bar or something more, but District 14 went the extra mile with this. There was the usual disco and charity raffle, which was fine, but they also had three events on stage, and they were all absolutely stellar quality, I'd have happily paid to see any one of them. With theatre style seating so you could buy a drink form the bar, and then find a seat in front of the stage to take it all in. First up was legendary comiccon quizmaster Tony Hitchman doing a talk/quiz on Gorillas in comics (Ape Escapism). A journey through various bizarre Gorilla based comics, covering Super-Intelligent Gorillas, Alien Gorillas, Nazi Gorillas and of course Gorillas playing baseball. 

Tony Hitchman
Tony Hitchman's "Ape Escapism" Quiz

Tony threw bananas at the audience to reward correct answers, and engraved trophies were awarded at the end. Coming third was one of the proudest achievements of my career.

Very proud. 3rd Prize.

Following Tony, actor and skilled raconteur Simon Fisher-Becker performed a slightly condensed version of his one-man show “My Dalek Has Another Puncture”. Simon has toured with this, his second show in a trilogy I think, (the first was My Dalek Has A Puncture! The last is “Let Zygons be Zygons”!!). Concentrating mostly on his role as Dorium Maldovar in Dr Who, accompanied by slides, it was a fantastic, fascinating, honest and often quite touching autobiographical/anecdotal journey. You can buy Simon's book here.

At this point I would have left feeling like it was a great night out, but then Norman Lovett did an hour's stand-up. I've seen Norman's stand up a few times, and his meandering audience interaction is masterful. I'm not sure he told a single actual joke, but it was very, very funny. A master at work.

@skaromedia did the charity raffle with aplomb. Mysteriously, the Dr Who canvas from Russ Leach and Adam Cheal's Graphic Novels were chosen by the winners before my framed original art. Must have been the poor lighting in the bar......

Add a cheap bar and pizza to this and you can see why it scored so highly. Awesome.

I also got to pick up some of Tony Hitchman's 4 page black and white comics, another blast from the past and exactly the sort of thing I don't see nearly enough of at comic cons anymore....

Tony Hitchman


Thanks to Keegan for helping me out and to all the con staff for looking after us. Enormous congratulations and thanks to the organisers District 14, and masterplanner Steve Bowman for doing such an exceptional job, I don't think I've ever enjoyed a comic convention quite as much as I did this one. Looking forward to seeing what they do next.... Find out yourself at Bridcon in October! If you live anywhere near Bridlington, I imagine that'll be great fun too.