THIS year's Bristol Expo is under two weeks away and as ever I'm looking forward to it – although it's going to be a much smaller event than in previous years.
The organisers have also introduced a peculiar admissions policy this year, making tickets only available in advance, something which I imagine is going to have a fairly huge effect on the number of punters coming through the door. In fact, had I known this in advance of booking a table and hotel room, I may well have decided to give the event a miss this year and concentrate on making a big splash at BICS and having a table at Leeds' Thought Bubble one-dayer instead.
Hopefully, my fears of only selling three copies of Brothers, Tim Skinner etc will be unfounded, but I have to say I'm going to Bristol this year in a substantially less optimistic mood than before. I also suspect the size of the event and the strange admissions procedure is going to put off an awful lot of people who I enjoy spending time with there. Worst of all, my collaborator and good friend Declan Shalvey won't be there this year either as he's snowed under with paying work.
I know this year's changes were forced on the organisers in part by the unavailability of the usual venue, so let's hope the event returns to normal in 2010, as it should always be the highlight of the British comics calendar.
* BRITFORCE should be back from the printer this week and Brothers early next. Getting those two projects off my hands means I can return to doing some writing this week - more Blood Psi, another crack at Kurse and something new that I've been tinkering around with in the odd spare moment.