I try to pick and choose my moments wisely. I could’ve spoken to illustrator Russell Mark Olson on several occasions on the Saturday of this years Portsmouth Comic Con – well, when he wasn’t being talked to fans and busy selling on his table in the tented area outside the impressive Portsmouth Guildhall – but I wanted to hold off until it had been officially announced that he was a recipient of the Best New Talent category of the inaugural Tripwire Awards, handed out on the Saturday evening.
(Full disclosure: I was one of the number of people asked to submit nominations for the Awards this year and, while I had no hand in remotely influencing the voting, I was the one that administrated the Google Forms voting procedure, including tabulating the votes coming in – I saw his deserved win, as it happened.)
With the shiny-shiny in hand and taking pride of place at his table, Russell was suitably flabbergasted by the honour, especially considering the standard of nominees in that category. With mic in hand, I went up to congratulate Russell on his win and also ask what winning such an award means for an indie creator, how it helped or hindered in terms of pressure to deliver in the competitive marketplace, and what is next for Russell down the line, especially in the world of GATEWAY CITY… Enjoy!
Thanks to the entire Portsmouth Comic Con team for their help in putting on the event, and to Joel and Andrew for the invitation to participate.
Portsmouth Comic Con is confirmed as returning to the city’s Guildhall in 2020, over the Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday 2nd / Sunday 3rd May. Find out more about the show at their official website, www.portsmouthcomiccon.com