Hi Leeds, blogging to you today from Nation of Shopkeepers, the funky city centre bar - with the excellent free wi-fi! Today they're holding the Second Leeds Alternative Comics Fair which is running from 12pm to 6pm, at the far end of the bar. There's a semi-circle of about eight artists with stalls, selling their wares and creating new material even as you pass! And of course, crucially, it's FREE.
The turn-out is really impressive - new waves of people sweep in every ten minutes or so, and we even snare a few unwary drinkers from the rest of the bar who had no idea the event was even on - but stay for a read all the same!
Leeds has some great independant artists, and I spoke to Geof, the man behind the deliciously naughty Fetishman webcomic that also does a lucrative trade in paperbacks of his smutty, satirical production.
"It makes sense to hold it on a Saturday, after lunch, because everyone's had the chance to wake up, get over their hangover, and come down." He added "Plus, it's being held in a pub. You can't go wrong!" We talked about how the city itself contributes to the creative element. He said "Leeds has a great balance to it; it's not so big that things become dissolute, and it's not so small that you end up with an insular scene." He's not wrong; the mood is one of delight, amusement, and excited discovery. Whilst it isn't in the same league as the immense Thought Bubble festival (back on 19-20th November 2011), it's a smaller more personal atmosphere and of course,
there's no door charge. And a bar flogging a variety of quality beers and decent grub.
If you've a free hour this afternoon, don't hesitate to pop in to have a look at the art and entertainment on offer for free - and sink a few pints as well. You can also follow tweets from the organisers account as well!