8b.2 Dave Prowse NSPCC & Childline Event – 21st June 2008

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Location
Lampton Worm Hotel, Durham 18:00 – 22:00

Mission Report
Following the success of the David Prowse event the night before, the owner of the hotel had convinced us to have a repeat performance on the Saturday night. This time I was in armour myself, although weirdly Mr Prowse still maintained a noticeable distance. Whether he’d figured out I was the one in black who hadn’t been there before or was just unsettled by this suit which didn’t appear in any of the films I don’t know, but I did feel slighted at the end of the night again when, after removing our helmets for a group photo, he made a point of shaking hands with all the other troopers and not myself.

Prior to this though, the poor weather endured. It was impossible to go outside in those conditions and while cramped space would otherwise have made things difficult the very same weather apparently kept away the “sold out” crowds who had been phoning up for tickets all day. In the end a much smaller crowd turn out attended the second talk and auction event, so much so that on returning to the room after a quick comfort break we found the place empty of public and the night was called early.
A better social from my point of view and the landlady was clearly taken by the black armour, inviting me to come behind the bar and serve drinks (to which I responded that I wasn’t old enough to sell alcohol) and she made sure to have her photo taken with me several times.

As a coda, it’s worth pointing out that Mr Prowse kindly signed copies of the program for the event to each us personally that night and prior to our departure the next day was very charming towards Julie and myself when he seemed to realise how far we’d travelled to help out on his behalf. As I write this he’s scheduled to appear at the Glasgow Collectormania in August, so it’ll be interesting to see if we end up friends for life after all!

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8b.1 Dave Prowse NSPCC & Childline Event – 21st June 2008

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Location
Moving Images Toys, North Shields 10:00 – 15:00

Mission Report
The following morning we were delighted to find a minibus had been arranged to transport us to the shopping centre in North Shields, home to Moving Images Toys, where we’d be spending the day.
Alex and all his staff and family at the shop looked after us superbly, you’d have thought we were appearing there for three days with the amount of refreshments they put on, “it were canny like” as the locals would no doubt say.

Despite a small boy who had some sort of fixation with me using my blaster to kill Darth Vader and a late burst of rain which reduced the passing public to a trickle, this event was superb.

We shared the changing facilities (a disused former jewellery store which must rank as about the biggest area which has ever been set aside for us) and the day with some non-UKG troopers who were encouraged to sign up with us. A mini troop at a local garage was called off, presumably due to the weather which had become atrocious by that point and would unfortunately bode ill for the evening to come…

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8a Dave Prowse NSPCC & Childline Event – 20th June 2008

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Location
Lampton Worm Hotel, Durham 18:00 – 22:00

Mission Report
This was a bit of a last-minute troop for us and since it was a couple of hours drive away I elected to spot on the Friday night rather than get into armour.

The venue was actually pretty small (and the changing facilities upstairs >whine<) however the staff and patrons of the pub were hugely welcoming. Although some of the people in attendance I’d met before, there were others who were new to me and brought with them a whole new level of public interaction.

After starting inside the bar, the troops quickly made their way outside to the car park. There was a lot of attention from passing motorists, some of whom even pulled over to find out what was going on, and even the near hijacking of a local bus much to the organisers chagrin.

Unfortunately, while circumnavigating the building, one of the TKs decided it would be a good photo opportunity for them to look in the windows behind David Prowse while I got the event on camera. Against my better judgement as he was last seen eating dinner I agreed and he didn’t appear too pleased and as a result I sort of got the impression he disliked me over the remainder of the week. It didn’t even turn out to be a good photo…

Following this, the troops escorted the man through to the lounge where his talk, Q&A and charity auction was to be held and I doubt his mood improved when he had a personal accident with the table they’d set out for him.

The evening ended with a photo session out in the car park which went on forever and another one of those socials, which they seem insist on scheduling prior to early morning events when I’m trooping!

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Covers for comic books I’ll never get round to producing, part sixty-two

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Now with 100% added post-Convergenceness!

Archer 25

Bit of an homage to the #41 cover for Green Arrow, replicating the murky colouring of Patrick Zirchers original by Gabe Eltaeb by subtly turning down the vibrance and the saturation ever so slightly upwards.  Then throwing a load of brightness/contrast/intensity changes and a curves adjustment on top because I can’t leave well enough alone.  Idiot.

 

75 Erskine Motorbike Meet 2015 – 31st May 2015

GhostbusterLocation
Erskine Home, Bishopton 12:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
Proving that you can never judge a troop by its intended audience, I don’t think any of us were massively optimistic for this event when we arrived to find the organiser unreachable after making our way through successive waves of leather clad bikers intent on denying access to any vehicle with more than 3 wheels to the site and the rock band tuning up over the PA system which had all the signs of rendering RomFXs totally moot.

Confounding expectations though there were a surprising number of children at the event (dogs too, how do they ride a motorbike anyway?) and there seems to be hitherto unexpected deep veins of Star Wars, Judge Dredd and Planet of the Apes fandom amongst the Scottish biker community.
This lead to non-stop requests for photos immediately on leaving the changing area – possibly a bit too immediately for my liking given that we were halfway across a road and there were till attendees arriving on their bikes at the same time – and for the duration of the troop.

It was nice to finally see our glorious leaders shit flinging ape in person at long last and have the emaciated form of Judge Death grace us with his presence

(punch line incoming)

in his Street Judge outfit*, even if he was smiling a little too much to accurately portray a stony faced lawman.

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*Do you see what I did there?  I cleverly equated the Old Git Hamilton with the undead super fiend from 2000AD because of their visual similarity and temperament.

74 Hayocks Primary School Fete – 30th May 2015

Location
Hayocks Primary School Fete, Stevenston 10:00 – 13:00

Mission Report
So after a couple of years of trying, the Hayocks School Fete finally gets to be an official event and wouldn’t you know it, I’m not the one in costume.

The original idea last year was for Julie to be in her TK, but a last minute change of plan meant that I had to go as Batman for the second year. This time round though we were given plenty of notice for the event and turned up early enough to be there for the start following the previous miscommunications where no consideration had been given as to how long it would take the costumer to get into kit.

The event seemed slightly quieter this year, although the stalls getting the most attention seemed to be round the side of the building from where we were sited so it’s difficult to be sure. The weather was generally good for the duration, although a couple of times there was the odd spit of rain but it never really came to anything.

Let’s just hope all the photos public were paying for turned out okay!

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Covers for comic books I’ll never get round to producing, part sixty-one

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Archer 24
You know, just since the beginning of these DC Universe Online covers, I’ve produced 60 of them. It occurs to me that if I’d made that many, but smaller in size and with some sort of narrative, I’d have completed the about-two-and-a-bit issues of Task Force UK that have been kicking about unfinished since 2006.

2006. Geez…

Do you see now why the feature is called “Covers for comic books I’ll never get round to producing”..?