Monday, 14 August 2017

Rest, realisations and LSCC.

I'm home now, following a heart attack and an angioplasty. I had a stent fitted, which is apparently a little bit of titanium that keeps your artery open, one small step closer to being Wolverine. On Doctor's orders I am now attempting to do something that anyone else who is self employed will be unfamiliar with - Rest. I'm officially supposed to be not working, and it's made me realise that I had slipped into a lifestyle of never not working, often not getting paid, but never not working. So it's been a good opportunity to stop, kick back and watch a few movies, read some books and comics and take stock of my existence.

After much soul searching and self examination, I have come to one inescapable truth - I really, really don't like having heart attacks.

So I've now gone into a predictable health obsessed frenzy of watching everything I eat, drinking pints of filtered water and reading articles on kidney function. Cheese and coffee are now distant memories. Pizza is something other people enjoy. It's not a very interesting diet, but I do want to stay alive at least long enough to see how the latest Star Wars trilogy ends.

I also realised that my love of books has become more a love of buying and owning books without actually ever reading them, so I have a big pile next to me now and intend to spend at least a week catching up on all the things I've been putting off reading. Just finished PG Wodehouse's Something Fresh (still very funny even after 100 years) and started Ernest Cline's Armada, after really enjoying Ready Player One a few months ago. Also catching up on films - finally watched Heartbeeps, an Andy Kaufman vehicle from 1981, which was a massive flop but I quite enjoyed.

heartbeeps andy kaufman

Also watched Nine Lives, which isn't nearly as terrible as everyone seems to think, didn't realise until it began that Barry Sonnenfeld directed it, it's not quite Citizen Kane, but a fun family film and easily the best film I've seen where Kevin Spacey turns into a cat. Today I will be revisiting the classic "Warlords of Atlantis" that I last saw at the cinema in the late seventies.

More realising. It comes with having time to actually stop and think. I realised I spend too much time doing jobs just for cash. I know this is how most people live, but I'm going to really concentrate on doing work that I enjoy, and dumping a lot of the writing and art work that makes my soul shrivel. I'll almost certainly earn less, but I figure the reduction in the household cheese/pizza/coffee bills alone should save me a considerable amount.

Unfortunately I had to cancel a couple of appearance at conventions following my recent heart attack (Did I mention enough times already that I had a HEART ATTACK!!) The Hull Comiccon and the Blackpool Comiccon fell within my "must not leave the house" period, apologies to anyone hoping to see me at either of them. The organisers of both were very gracious about me cancelling, but I still feel bad, I don't like cancelling.


My Doctor said I should be fine to be a guest at London Super Comiccon (LSCC) at the end of August, where I'm doing a "100 years of Jack Kirby" panel on the Saturday. This will be in panel room 3 at 15:15 on the Saturday, not quite sure what format or content it will have yet, but I do know two important things - I will be giving away some Kirby prints and vintage Kirby comics to appreciative members of the audience and it will be the Greatest Comic Con Panel of All Time!

I was going to drive down with John Watson, but now we're both coming on the train, maybe one day John will learn to drive. For the rest of the con I'll be sitting in the Artist Alley upper deck with John Watson on table #116 in between Chris Weston and Dan Slott. It'll be nice catching up with old friends and chatting to people. LSCC is one of the very few remaining Comiccons that is ALL about comics, with tons of comic artists and writers as guests, so if you love comics and want to come to a proper comiccon, then do so. And come say hello. And come to my Kirby panel. And buy one of John Watson's superb sketches.

See you there.

LSCC 2017 panel schedule

LSCC 2017 Jack Kirby panel Russell Payne


  1. Thanks for posting the table number and floor plan, I hadn't gotten around to looking! Pity about cheese.
    I know you won't be drawing at the con because you can't draw after your heart attack. This won't change a thing as you couldn't draw beforehand either.
    I'm overjoyed to hear that you'll be concentrating on work you enjoy now as there's a chance that you may produce something decent. However, I am concerned that earning less is something you consider a possibility. You don't actually earn enough to live on now!
    The train will be fine, you can avoid getting the killer 13th to 15th points on your license and chat without clogging up the middle lane of the motorway for the other drivers.
    Sure it'll be an entertaining trip!

  2. I asked the Doctors if I would be able to play the guitar, ski, swim and draw after the operation, He said yes, in 4 to 6 weeks. Which is amazing, I couldn't do any of them before the op.....

    1. How about writing coherent, structured and logical passages in books?

    2. Darn it...that was my only hope.

  3. Firefly Gorammah it, you need to watch firefly! (I could also led you quite a few books and graphic novels, although, thinking about it, they may too have a Firefly theme....)

    1. If I didn't know better, I would think you like Firefly.....

  4. Great to catch up albeit briefly after what seems like a week but is closer to 20yrs!! You looked well for someone who's had a heart attack. Definately keep in touch ( simon )