Since I didn't have much to sell, I only booked a half table at Comiket but it's tricky to arrange a display on such a small surface without encroaching on your neighbours in the other half. Fortunately my table-sharers, Myriad Editions, were friendly and helpful.
I was still fussing with the alignment of four books and few cards when my first visitor of the day stopped by. To my delight it was Alison Bechdel. She was leafing through My Life Unfolds and I explained how the original came about. She seemed to connect with my autobiographic images and bought a copy of the book instantly. I must admit that I was not familiar with her work until recently but having discovered it, I'm impressed with her unsentimental self-awareness, humour and directness and have ordered her latest graphic memoir Are You My Mother?
I would have liked to talk longer with Alison but she was booked as the first artist of the day to go up on stage and draw a comic strip. I was too far away to get a decent shot but you can just about make out her hand on the big screen in the photo below. She began by drawing a grid of blank frames then proceeded to confidently fill each one with the figures of her story. I was astonished by the ease and speed with which she, and later the other 'performing artists' drew their comic strips, some of them highly detailed. My own process is usually agonisingly slow and full of erasures since I keep changing my mind along the way. Lesson to learn: have a fixed plan.
Deep in conversation with Colin, Philip is unaware that his purchase may not be approved by the Authority.