THIS YEAR THE Birmingham Comics Festival invites you to join in a series of anniversary celebrations and meet some of the amazingly talented and ground breaking comic book creators responsible for such works, alongside those who keep their original creative spirit alive and in print to this day.
35 years ago V for Vendetta debuted within the pages of Warrior magazine. This dystopian tale of a Guy Fawkes masked anarchist thwarting the will of a fascist government captured the zeitgeist of the times; seeping into the consciousness of popular culture and remaining so to this day. Subsequently collected as a graphic novel V for Vendetta also became a major Hollywood movie.
The Birmingham Comics Festival is delighted that its co-creator and artist David Lloyd will be attending the festival’s convention over the weekend of 24 – 25th June this year!
David Lloyd established his career illustrating traditional British annuals in the late 70s, contributing to House of Hammer, TV Comic and assorted Marvel UK comics such as Dr Who and The Hulk – wherein he co-created V’s partial inspiration Night Raven, a definitive collection of which has been published for the very first time this year.
While scholarly respectful of the traditional comic strip medium’s strengths, Lloyd’s published work is evidence that he continuously stretches himself to be creatively expressive and inventive with each new venture. That his sombre use of light and dark to magnificent chiaroscuro effect has long since made him a master of its application should by now be frankly superfluous, but then there are new comic fans born every day.
30 year ago DC Comics would revise their traditional horror anthologies with the release of the experimental prestige format series Wasteland and David Lloyd was among its original core group of artists. His work has graced several horror, dark fantasy and science fiction comic book series during his career, notably Aliens, Hellblazer, The Territory and Taboo. He has been involved in psychic thriller like Espers and rebooted classic spy adventurers such as James Bond; he is also the creator of the acclaimed crime thriller graphic novel Kickback, while Dark Matter collects his short stories and has been published internationally, as are many of his major works.
5 years ago, David Lloyd chose a new role. This time, the former Chairman of the Society of Strip Illustration, revered comic book artist and sometime writer became a publisher, establishing Aces Weekly – An anthology for the modern world, available exclusively as a digital sequential experience. Featuring many established international creators it has become a multi-award winning venture in but a short time.
You can meet with and celebrate David Lloyd’s many successes at The Birmingham Comics Festival this June – Second city, first choice, don’t take substitutes!
To visit David Lloyd’s website click here.
To visit and subscribe to Aces Weekly click here.
THE BIRMINGHAM COMICS Festival is tickled pink that one of the great cartoonists of our time, Hunt Emerson, has played such a large part in helping making the festival such a success since it began in 2015 and is looking forward to celebrating some extra special events with him this year.
2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of the You Are Maggie Thatcher – A Dole Playing Game written by Pat Mills, and illustrated by Emerson; an innovative satire on the politics of the times that resonates to this day. It is also 30 years ago since his first solo collection of work Calculus Cat – Death To Television, with subsequent expanded editions still published by Knockabout. It is also amazingly 15 years since he began working for The Beano… Showing time really does fly when you’re having fun!
From his early days on the British underground comix scene where the whirling dervish anthropomorphic humour of his artwork can only be likened to a be-bopping busy bumblebee, to today where his work is affirmed in its clarity as panel sequences dance with the reassured rhythm; he is a master of irresistibly amusing work.
Hunt Emerson’s work has been published in some 30 comic books and albums, and translated into at least 10 languages worldwide. From The Big Book of Everything through to Firkin the Cat, onto his evergreen adaptations such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Lady’s Chatterley’s Lover, and a recent digital collection of his complete works, each are evidence of his talent and that his work continues to hold universal appeal.
Aside from those anniversary celebrations mentioned we look forward to reveal more events that will involve Hunt Emerson over the course of this year’s festival
To visit Hunt Emerson’s website click here.
RENOWNED FOR HIS extensive run on the hit action-adventures series DC Comic Robin, Marvel’s The Avengers, Rogue Trooper for 2000AD, and a powerful graphic novel adaptation of Dracula for Classical Comics, Staz Johnson will be at this year’s Birmingham Comics Festival!
Ever since his early work on Transformers for Marvel UK, Staz Johnson’s artwork has been packed with kinetic energy, adept in its characterisation of body language and facial expressions, and never better than when allowed full-rein to explore the action-adventure mode.
This has lead to him being called upon to draw such iconic characters as Batman in Detective Comics, Catwoman and Batman/Aliens II; Wolverine, The New X-Men, Spider-Man and Thor over at Marvel, Heroes based on the popular TV series and himself appearing as resident on-screen artist for the Channel 4 TV series Zero to Hero. More recently he worked for a number of diverse publishers, illustrating the King’s Road series for Dark Horse in America, Vikings for Titan and Dr. Who for Panini in the UK.
For more information on Staz Johnson click here.
FROM WONDER WOMAN to Ant-Man, through to his most recent work on Lawless: Welcome To Bedrock, collecting the popular Judge Dredd Megazine series, the devil may be in the detail but let’s not under forget the sequential storytelling skills of Phil Winslade who will be attending this year’s Birmingham Comics Festival events.
Be it the future worlds of Heavy Metal and 2000AD, the excitement of Daredevil and Spider-Man swinging across skyscrapers or Batman emerging from the shadows, Winslade encapsulates city life in all its naked rawness just as he portrays humanity’s ugliness and beauty in equal measures: from celebrating morality’s optimism in classically heroic proportions on books such as The Flash and Aquaman through to reinterpreting such richly diverse characters as Jonah Hex and Howard The Duck for a modern readership.
Responsible for portraying positive female role models in the modern comics medium, co-developing and creating the likes of Wonder Woman: Amazonia, Goddess, Nevada, and Lawless for assorted publishers internationally, the worthiness of such ventures aside the actual work itself is well appraised, the results of which have resulted in Phil Winslade being nominated for several awards.
ACE CARTOONIST LEW Stringer, famed for his work in The Beano, Viz, Buster and Oink! will be at The Birmingham Comics Festival this June.
A master of the pun, his sense of timing allows comedic scenarios to be played out to their fullest; ensuring much slapstick cartooning alongside and a keen wit for sight-gags aplenty along the way, Lew Stringer continues to be among the nation’s finest comic strip humorists.
Not only has he contributed to some of Great Britain’s bestselling comics, magazines and the odd newspaper in his professional writing and drawing career, his sense of humour travels well abroad, with his own characters like Brickman and the Suburban Satanists syndicated in comics over in the USA and Scandinavia.
In keeping with the festival’s anniversary celebrations it was 30 years ago that Lew Stringer created one of his classic characters when Combat Colin began appearing in Marvel Uk comics, then 5 years ago be brought Colin back to appear online at Ace Weekly, ten years ago that he started working for The Beano and 20 years ago that he broke in the international market when Suburban Satanists first appeared in Norway’s Geek comic.
Past achievements aside, British kids continue to delight in his work on a regularly basis when they pick up their copies of Toxic, Dr Who Magazine and The Beano at newsagents and supermarkets up and down the country!
To visit Lew Stringer’s website click here.
WEST BROMWICH BORN comic book creator Mike Collins returns to the Midlands for this June’s Birmingham Comics Festival.
Renowned these days for illustrating the adventures of everyone’s favourite Time Lord; from storyboarding the actual hit TV series and producing graphic novels for the BBC, to pencilling the flagship strip within Doctor Who Magazine, and contributing to the US comic book series published by IDW, Mike Collins was previously responsible for the artwork of another major British science fiction icon when illustrating the Judge Dredd comic strip for The Daily Star newspaper, and has also worked on books such as Babylon 5 and Star Trek comics in his time.
The artist’s versatility has never been confined by genres, having worked creatively on most of the major characters published by Marvel and DC Comics, including drawing such superhero heavyweights as Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Spider-Man and The X-Men. His early contributions to 2000AD included pencilling Slaine, and he has illustrated other concepts from the worlds of fantasy and sword & sorcery including a number of TSR game licensed comics for DC during the 90s and at the start of the millennium the first ever Welsh language graphic novel Mabinogi, based on Celtic myths.
He would also illustrate an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that was judged to be one of the top ten graphic novels of 2010 by The Sunday Times while in Norway he is renowned as the artist on the Varg Veum series of crime fiction graphic novels. Notwithstanding all these artistic achievements he has also written numerous comics and strips for Marvel, DC, 2000AD and other publishers.
To visit Mike Collins’s website click here.
COVENTRY BASED GRAPHIC novelist Al Davison and artist on comics featuring Dr Who and Hellblazer among others will be attending this year’s
Birmingham Comics Festival.
TV host and all-round media celebrity Jonathan Ross has described Al Davison as being: “One of the most consistently original and thought-provoking creators working in comics today.” While author Neil Gaiman has likened his work to: “A religious experience, akin to dreaming with your eyes open.”
Indeed, the artist has been turning heads and reaping applause since the debut of his autobiographical graphic novel The Spiral Cage and continued to push boundaries while equally entertaining comic book fans. During the mid-nineties he began contributing to DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, initially drawing the one-shot book Tainted, and since then has contributed to series such as The Dreaming, Hellblazer, House of Mystery alongside other books. He would also illustrate the Vermillion series for DC’s Helix imprint, and become artist on Teknophage for the Sci-fi Channel’s Tekno Comics and IDW Publishing’s Dr Who for whom he also scripted.
He is currently developing The Spiral Cage’s autobiographical themes further with the graphic novel Muscle Memory, A Survivor’s Tale and collaborating with Yen Quach on Future Echoes for Liminal Comics.
To visit Al Davison’s website click here.
THE BIRMINGHAM COMICS Festival is incredibly pleased that cartoonist Laura Howell will once be involved with this year’s activities, most specifically the Birmingham Comic Art Show.
Describing her as the first female artist to produce a regular strip in The Beano during its long and jolly lifetime has become old hat, as was the amusing irony of the popularity of her workin Britain’s bestselling boys’ magazine, Toxic. These days she’s as likely to be known for her work on The Regular Show and Uncle Grandpa published in collaboration with the Cartoon Network by BOOM! Studios.
From contributions to comics as diverse as The Dandy and Viz, eries for The DFC and inserts in The Guardian newspaper, on to publication within Blank Slate Books’ acclaimed Nelson anthology and America’s major satirical periodical Mad Magazine each creative venture has been a testament to her versatility and talent.
The recipient of an International Manga and Anime Festival award for The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan in 2006 ,that was subsequently collected in an expanded format by Soaring Penguin Press, Laura’s able and inspired cartooning is matched by sharp, smart writing that is never patronising and knows when not to get in the way of a good slapstick joke.
To visit Laura Howell’s website click here.
RON TINER RETURNS for this year’s Birmingham Comics Festival, offering a master class in comic book composition course for those attending the Birmingham Comic Art Show on June 24th.
Ron illustrated the Family Man saga for DC Comics’ Hellblazer title, and contributed several Future Shocks for the pages of 2000AD, but his work within the British comics industry stretches far wider than that, working on numerous classic weekly anthologies not least Look-In and Battle, diversifying from comedy to gritty action with consummate ease.
Well respected as a book illustrator, he has taught art and is renowned for the various books he himself has written on the subject, including Figure Drawing Without A Model, alongside contributing essays for such books as The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction.