THE BIRMINGHAM COMICS Festival has embraced diversity since it began back in 2015; and by that we don’t mean ticking some politically correct box to shoehorn us into somebody else’s idea of what’s right or wrong. Rather we invite as wide a spectrum of comic book creators as we can to join us in celebrating comics in all their forms, here in the city where UK comic book conventions began.
From The Beano to Batman there’s all sorts of good stuff out there and we have been lucky enough to interview some of the remarkable talents behind such comics, live on stage and for prosperity too.
Here are some links to interviews with past Birmingham Comics Festival guests that you can enjoy… Who knows, maybe you’ll see some of them again this June!
The legendary Ian Kennedy is the air ace of artistry. In his 60 plus years working within the British comics industry he has entertained generations, drawing practically everything from Bunty to 2000AD. The Birmingham Comics Festival was beyond delighted that the first convention he attended was with us here in the Midlands and that he got to meet those who’ve been admiring his work all their own long lives.
Read our interview with Ian Kennedy by clicking here.
Mike Collins used to draw the Judge Dredd strip in The Daily Star newspaper, he also illustrated an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that The Sunday Times cited as one of the ten best graphic novels of 2010. Other graphic novels include the Welsh language Mabinogi and Norway’s Varg Veum crime fiction series, while over in the USA he’s drawn The Flash, Superman and The X-Men. These days he’s rightly renowned for his work on Dr Who, not only for comics but storyboarding the TV series too.
Read our interview with Mike Collins by clicking here.
BAFTA award-nominated for the screenplay of his novel The Girl With All The Gifts, Mike Carey has written for all sorts of media, and his scripting of Lucifer, Hellblazer, The Fantastic Four and The X-Men are just a few of the impressive milestones he’s covered in the comics medium.
To read our interview with Mike Carey click here.
Another thought-provoking writer who’s been a guest at the festival is David Hine. He has been giving his readers food for thought since Strange Embrace first appeared in print right through to his more recent Second Sight series. He’s also written mainstream superhero characters like Daredevil, Deathstroke and Spawn, and all that’s putting aside the fact that he started his career in comics as an inker then full artist on books for Marvel UK and 2000AD.
To read our interview with David Hine click here.
In need of a laugh? Lew Stringer’s your man! The punning cartoonist’s work featured in the classic Buster, the anarchic Oink! and has been a mainstay within Toxic for many years, while pick up The Beano or a Dandy Annual and you’re likely to spot his unmistakeable work inside there too.
To read our interview with Lew Stringer click here.
Ian Richardson’s artwork has featured within the pages of 2000AD, he drew Nobles Causes for Image Comics and 2016 found him illustrating Halo, based on the hit computer game, for Dark Horse Comics. In among all this he’s been producing some cool action-packed covers for Zenescope.
To read our interview with Ian Richardson click here.
Most recently stunning readers within the pages of the Judge Dredd Megazine for his artwork on Lawless, Harvey Award-nominated artist Phil Winslade is renowned for his sensitive portrayal of strong women, notably Wonder Woman and Nevada, among many other books.
To read our interview with Phil Winslade click here.
From The Black Knight to The Amazing Spider-Man, Italian-born artist Lucio Pizzari has been making quite a name for himself in recent years, moving from the independent comics scene to working for Marvel and others.
To read our interview with Lucio Pizzari click here.
From The Avengers to The Mighty Thor for Marvel, to a six month tour of duty on Detective Comics, a three year run on Robin, and the smash hit prestige Batman/Aliens 2 over at DC Comics, Staz Johnson has been delivering the goods on some great comics for quite a while and doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon. His most recent work’s been within the pages of Dr Who Magazine and The Vikings mini-series for Titan.
To read our interview with Staz Johnson click here.
The byline “first regular female cartoonist for The Beano” is something Laura Howell is never going to shake off, the fact that she’s also worked for Britain’s top-selling boys’ comic magazine, Toxic, is also full of mixed irony.
But then this is a talent whose work has also appeared in America’s classic Mad Magazine and the series artist on Boom Comic’s hit The Regular Show among others. What’s more her talents as a writer are on a par with her contagiously humourous art.
To read our interview with Laura Howell click here.
He first caught your eye on the ground breaking Troubled Souls, the anti-hero Hitman
proved a modern classic, and if anything John McCrea’s artwork is becoming more impressive with each passing year, if not actual comic strip he produces.
He’s drawn Batman, he’s drawn Judge Dredd, The Simpsons, Transformers, and Spider-Man… Publishers in New York City through to the Middle East seek him out, and you get to enjoy his work.
To read our interview with John McCrea click here.
The winner of several national and international manga awards for her short stories, Libyan-born creator Asia Alfasi is producing a semi-autobiographical graphic novel among other works that you can find out about by clicking on the video below.
Since 2015 when The Birmingham Comics Festival first began it has proudly played host to some brilliant writers and artists, click on their names and learn more about them: Dan Abnett (Guardians of The Galaxy), Jim Alexander (Star Trek Manga), Asia Alfasi (Native Narratives: Libyan Folk Tales), Roland Bird (Legion of Superheroes), Ryan Brown (2000AD), Mike Collins (Dr Who Magazine), Gary Crutchley (2000AD), Al Davison (The Dreaming), D’Israeli (2000AD), Ian Edginton (Batman), Richard Elson (The Mighty Thor), Hunt Emerson (The Beano), John Erasmus (Accident Man), Mark Farmer (The Fantastic Four), Leigh Gallagher (Justice League Unlimited), Mark Harrison (2000AD), Graham Higgins (Discworld), David Hine (The X-Men: Civil War), Laura Howell (The Regular Show), Mike Higgs (Whizzer & Chips), David Hitchcock (Judge Dredd Megazine), Staz Johnson (Wolverine), Dave Kendall (2000AD), Ian Kennedy (Commando), Mark Laming (Uncanny Avengers), David Leach (Oink!), Sonia Leong (Romeo & Juliet ), Yishan Li (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jonathan Maberry (Captain America: Hail Hydra), Jessica Martin (The It Girl), John McCrea (Deadpool), Simon Myers (Dr Who), Kat Nicholson (Thundercats), Keith Page (Thunderbirds), Lucio Parillo (The Incredible Hulk), Luca Pizzari (Amazing Spider-Man), Steve Pugh (The Flintstones), Ian Richardson (Halo), David Roach (2000AD), Rachel Smith (Doctor Who), Lew Stringer (Viz), Ron Tiner (Hellblazer), Andi Watson (Glister), Dave Windett (The Dandy), Phil Winslade (Harley Quinn)… We salute you all and look forward to you coming back to see us all in Brum again!
A full list for this June’s guests along with new interviews will follow soon!
Photographs, Videos & Artwork (c) Their respective owners.