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Blog: Graphic Brighton

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After work on Thursday I went to the PUB - nothing so fascinating or unusual about that, you might think, except that THIS pub contained Mr F A Machine!

For LO! we were off on an ADVENTURE to Brighton! A while back I'd seen a Call For Papers for Graphic Brighton, an annual comics conference looking this year at the link between comics and music. It seemed rude NOT to submit something, so Frankie and I worked up a paper called "The Swingin' Sounds Of Sixties Marvel" about the theme songs for Marvel series in that decade. It got accepted, so off we went!

We arrived in Brighton and set off for our hotel, stopping briefly on the way for a refreshing beer in a pub containing a GIGANTIC cat called Bailey. Our plan was to go to the BEACH to have a practice (so as not to disturb other guests) so after a DELICIOUS curry we headed down to the shore, and found that a) it's not as easy as you'd think to get onto the actual beach in Brighton and b) when you do it is full of people, so instead we went to the PUB and had a gentle sing through together of the various songs instead. Frankie had already sent me mp3s of his versions of the songs, but it was still good to actually go through them TOGETHER, even if only in hushed tones.

After a night of disturbances (heat, seagulls, people outside etc etc) we regrouped and took the long walk back to the railway station. Brighton is a BIG place, and seems to be full of HILLS, also HOTELS, yet it always seems really hard to find anywhere to stay there. Are there just a lot of people who want to hang around temporarily, or are the hotels FRONTS for the many Artisanal Bagel Factories that are required to keep the town running?

We got the train to Falmer, and followed some EXCELLENT fully illustrated instructions to find The University of Sussex, where the conference was being held. Frankie later told me that this was his first time back in a lecture theatre for TWENTY SEVEN YEARS and that initially it had given him THE FEAR. However, this ebbed as the day went on, especially during the first talk by Holly Casio, who was speaking about her fanzine about Bruce Springsteen. It was EXTREMELY interesting, and she spoke about it brilliantly. "Not all comics conferences are this much fun" I warned Frankie.

The rest of the day was GRATE - lots of interesting talks, excellent people, and great organisation. If Frankie ends up undertaking a DOCTORATE next I am pretty sure that this is where it will all have started! We did our bit towards the end of the day, talking about the perceived HIPNESS of the songs and, indeed, BELLOWING them at people. It appeared to go down really well, and though there wasn't a HUGE volume for the singalong at the end, people did CLAP a lot!

Afterwards we took part in a PANEL. I'd thought our bits would be all down to me, but Frankie happily joined in - I was VERY proud, he is a NATURAL at this academic lark! Afterwards a chap came up to talk to us about The Who's cover of "Batman", and it was only when we went back in for the final session that I realised he was HUNT EMERSON! He and Julie Hollings did the final session, which was BRILLO. They talked about the history of their work (including the fact that Hunt designed The Beat's "Beat Girl" logo, which I never knew) and did the GRATE thing where Comics Professionals get perplexed by Academics asking questions. "Why on earth would you want to know that?" they reply. "I have no idea! It was years ago!"

It was a GRATE day, topped off by having JUST the right amount of time to get TRANE BEERS at Brighton Station before heading home. I think both of us thought that this would just be an excuse for a JOLLY to Brighton (it was!) but it turned out also to be DEAD INTERESTING and, actually, quite a good thing to talk about. I think I would like to do it AGANE - San Diego! Call us!

posted 23/7/2018 by MJ Hibbett

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