Thursday, 2 June 2011

Suffering from Hay Fever is NOT a Bad Thing!

Here, as promised, is the first of our festival reports, kicking off the action with the mighty Hay Festival.

On Monday, after a delightful Sunday evening at The Old Rectory Country Club (swanky, I know) spent dining and giggling with the ever-lovely Louise Vallant and Kelly Tapper from Random House and literary superstars Jonathon Stroud, Mini Grey and Candy Gourlay, Lorenzo and I awoke ready for action.

After all, it was HAY DAY, and we were extremely excited!

Despite a slight Welsh drizzle in the air, the famous Hay deckchairs were out and waiting to greet us as we arrived at the festival marquee venue, just outside the town of Hay on Wye. The crowds were already thronging as we were led to our performance space, the delightfully named and decorated, Starlight Stage.

After setting up and checking everything was working, the doors opened and a hungry horde of comic book fans filled the tent. Although we had sold out, a queue of hopeful attendees still tried their hardest to wriggle in. Unfortunately it was already standing room only!

Show time. We took to the stage ... there was an audible hush ... then Lorenzo and I began to monkey around in our usual fashion!

Here I am demonstrating what Rivet would look like with a mustache. Priceless!

Our audiences are always fantastic but this show was special and we spent about as much time chuckling as they did. I can't remember what cracked Lorenzo up in the pic below because there were simply too many amusing comments coming from the crowd!

Never scared to add a little drama to the proceedings Lorenzo and I held an impromptu competition to see who could do the best impression of Professor P (seen behind us) ... so come on then - who's more convincing?

Now, I don't say this often enough but Lorenzo is an inspiring teacher. It's one thing to be able to draw well, but quite another skill to be able to share the secrets of your art with an audience aged 6-60, and my brother knows how to make learning fun for all our fans.

Just look at him blabbering on about that Ogre ... masterful stuff.

After over-running (we're too rock and roll for timekeeping, baby!) we were hurriedly shepherded over to the main festival bookshop for a signing session. Imagine our delight when we saw the board below!
A.A. Gill then us! Genius.

Lorenzo sketched and I daubed my name in crayon for a solid hour (I've never seen such a queue) then it was finally time to meet up with our dear wives for a spot of lunch.

Nothing says "this festival is awesome" quite like steak and chips and a bottle of red wine with friends.

(Had to get a food shot in there!)

Our first Hay experience was an absolute joy from start to finish. Many thanks to Kelly and Louise and Sophie (our Hay chaperone and future 'Hay Mexico' festival host - fingers crossed!) for making our debut so entertaining; and to everyone who came, saw, laughed and bought, we hope you had as much fun as we did.

We cannot wait to return ... next year's show is going to be a MONSTER!