You do realise that the UKs newest comic event is not that far away -right? It's one day so get yourself organised and if you are in the Midlands you have no further to travel than....the Midlands (I never really thought that line through).
Could you get any plushier a comic event venue? Look at it!!
You can see the sort of space involved by checking the website: http://www.thecomicfestival.com/venue
And, of course, if you want to go you'll need ticket info, right? Well, ticket info here:
And guest? Guests??? Twenty seven announced so far and you know what these comic people are like -some probably leaving it til the last minute!
Here's a run down of some.....
DAVID HITCHCOCK BIO
Eagle Award winner David Hitchcock, creator of Springheeled Jack, established himself swiftly within the British small press, being responsible for a series of innovatively designed and well produced comics, each featuring finely rendered pencil artwork and compelling sequential storytelling. Initially self-published, then cameod within the Judge Dredd Megazine, Springheeled Jack has also since been published in France, prior to Titan Comics taking up British national publication.
He also illustrated two volumes of Madam Samurai, published by Scar Comics, with the first volume receiving the Best Digital Comic award at the LA New Media Film Festival in 2011. Concurrent with this he produced art for Boom Studios’ Cthulhu Tales in the USA and Accent UK’s annual anthologies.
In 2012 he contributed to the True Believers Award-winning digital anthology Aces Weekly, writing and illustrating the Paradise Mechanism series. His work has been praised by the likes of Alan Moore and Mike Mignola, and he’s recently been working with the godfather of modern British comics, Pat Mills; illustrating The Visible Man for 2000AD and collaborating with him on an adaptation for Above the Dreamless Dead, an anthology of WW1 trench poems published by First Second in the US.
David Hitchcock will be signing, sketching, and offering original artwork and books at The Birmingham Comics Festival on Saturday 18th April 2015.
For more on David Hitchcock: www.davehitchcock.blogspot.co.uk
Mike Collins Biography:
Mike Collins was born in West Bromwich and began contributing artwork to several fanzines and the early independent publisher Harrier Comics in a pre-internet world, but it was when he began submitting strips to Marvel UK that a 25+ year career took hold. An early partnership with Mark Farmer lead to them forming Britain’s first real pencil/ink art team and Collins himself writing and drawing Spider-Man and providing art for the popular Transformers series.
The partnership would also find them drawing the Celtic warrior adventures of Slaine for Fleetway’s 2000AD, the first of a considerable amount of work Collins would produce for the comic, primarily as an artist but also as a writer, right up to this day. The pair would also work on all-new stories for the science fiction Laser Eraser & Pressbutton series as published in the USA by Eclipse Comics, that would result in Collins working for both Marvel and DC Comics drawing many of their major characters, including Gambit’s team debut in The Uncanny X-Men #266. Aside from drawing the likes of Wonder Woman and The Flash he would also write the Charlton Comics-created Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt for DC Comics, as well as numerous licensed comics including Babylon 5 and Star Trek.
Kept busy on comic books for the USA, his main UK work was illustrating the Judge Dredd strip for The Daily Star newspaper during the 90s. Since the new millennium his British contributions have been more profound, if not epic, including creating the first ever Welsh language graphic novel Mabinogi, a companion piece for the Cartwyn Cymru animated film of the Celtic myths, and illustrating a 135 page graphic novel adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for Classical Comics that The Sunday Times cited as one of the top ten graphic novels of 2010.
A featured artist on Dr Who Magazine since the television series’ triumphant return, Collins has had the longest uninterrupted run as artist on the lead strip, pencilling the debut stories of actors Eccleston, Tennant and Smith as The Doctor. He has also illustrated two Dr Who graphic novels for the BBC, The Only Good Dalek and The Dalek Project, and now provides storyboards for the actual TV series. He also contributed to America’s IDW Doctor Who comics. On a slightly more down-to-earth level he illustrated the Royal love affair biography Kate & William – A Very Public Love Story for Markosia that surreally lead to Dutch TV employing his services to report on the actual wedding, whereas Norway applauds his artistry on the noir crime fiction Varg Veum graphic novels, based on the bestselling novels.
Committed to using comics as an educational tool and heavily involved in the Read A Million Words In Wales initiative, he has produced storyboards for TV and films, including Doctor Who and Horrid Henry, and graphics and/or storyboards for clients as diverse as The Daily Telegraph, Coca-Cola and Lifebuoy. He also recently illustrated a music video for Agnetta and Gary Barlow.
Mike Collins will be signing, sketching, offering original artwork, discussing his career and talking with fans as a guest at at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium as part of The Birmingham Comics Festival on Saturday 15th April 2015
LEE BRADLEY BIO
Birmingham’s Hi8us art programme put Lee Bradley on the right course to develop his classic American superhero styled influences leading to what’s become a seven year career that now finds him putting together his own creator-owned book to be edited by John McCrea, who he began his career with working in the role of inker and colourist.
Bradley found an early niche in the modern British youth market, working on a triumvirate of books for Titan Comics, namely Transformers Universe, Transformers Animated, and Transformers Movie: To Draw Guide alongside issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spider-Man: Tower of Power. Halfway round the world, Middle East publisher Teshkeel employed his services on their superhero series The ’99 while via Mam Tor Publishing he would contribute to London’s Mother Comics.
Illustration work has lead to his involvement in the advertising world and film/television storyboarding alongside becoming an accredited Lucas Film artist and producing work for BBC TV’s Blue Peter. However, it is demand for Lee Bradley’s work as a sketch artist that has found him involved in such popular collectors’ trading card series as Mars Attacks and Mars Attacks Invasion, Star Wars Galaxy and Star Wars Galactic Files, alongside Marvel’s Greatest Battles, Women of Marvel, Retro Marvel, Marvel Premiere and this year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron on the superhero front, as well as card series reprising great events and personalities from history. Fittingly an exhibition of his work, Retro Marvel Now – The Art of Lee Bradley, is taking place from 7th March to 12th April at the Forge Mill Museum in Redditch, in the heart of The Midlands.
A popular live attraction on the British convention scene, Lee Bradley will be sketching, signing and offering original artwork while talking to fans at The Birmingham Comics Festival on Saturday 18th April.
From his first forays within the early British small press scene and for American independents through to him becoming truly established during the late 1980s, D'Israeli’s work has always been quite unique. During the late 1980s he was assigned strips featuring Matt Wagner’s Grendel and took on the role of pencilling artist for Canadian publisher Vortex’s Mr X title, while within the pages of the cutting edge UK youth media magazine Deadline he created the surreal serial that was Timulo, then latter co-created the more whacky Fatal Charm.
History now tends to forget his full colour explosion on the cyberpunk saga of Lazarus Churchyard originally part-serialised within the pages of Blast! but somehow recalls he coloured Miracleman. As the nineties bloomed he would ink both the Tank Girl: Movie Adaptation and Kill Your Boyfriend plus The Sandman series for DC’s Vertigo imprint, while drawing Metalscream within the pages of Marvel’s 2099 Unlimited.
Having worked together on a strip for Revolver, D'Israeli began an ongoing extensive collaboration with writer Ian Edginton, notably Kingdom of the Wicked, a trio of related graphic novel collections: Scarlet Traces, The War of the Worlds and The Great Game, and Leviathan and Stickleback for 2000 AD, plus work on Batman for DC Comics. Much of his work has been collected in book form and at one time or another D'Israeli has also scripted, illustrated and coloured strips for 2000AD and The Judge Dredd Megazine and self-published limited editions of his own creator-owned strips. Most recently he has been illustrating Ordinary for Titan Comics.
In 2008 D'Israeli was awarded the Favourite Comics Artist: Inks Eagle Award, having been also nominated for the Favourite Colourist Award. These days, his artwork is created directly on computer, and those keen to find out more about this fascinating process can do so when he attends Edgbaston Cricket Stadium on Saturday 18th April as a guest at The Birmingham Comics Festival.
For more information on D'Israeli visit: www.disraeli-demon.blogspot.co.uk
Dave Kendall Bio
Kendall is renowned in Europe as the illustrator of the series of La Compagnie des Lames graphic novels published by Soleil, a dark fantasy saga that roughly translates as “The Company of the Blades” alongside artwork for 2000AD and much trading card illustration work for publishers in the USA.
The artist began his professional career working with the godfather of modern British comics, Pat Mills plus Tony Skinner; co-creating the PsychoKiller series that was featured within the pages of the British comic anthology Toxic! A brief detour into the world of comic strips, created Mosh Pit for Metal Hammer magazine, proved good grounding for meatier works of a musical nature for American comic publisher Malibu’s Rock-It imprint, most notably illustrating official Metallica comics, and then moving onto work with British horror author Brian Lumley adapting his Necroscope vampire series for that company, then latterly covers for the writer’s books – Much of this early work being featured in Sound & Fury an exhibition of heavy metal imagery, originally held at Bradford Museum before it toured the UK.
The international world of illustration, by way of gaming and trading cards then called upon Kendall’s services and he has produced work for the likes of Future, Sony, Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard, Rebellion, Thomas Jane’s Raw studios and Games Workshop.
He contributed to Mam Tor’s award-winning Event Horizon anthology and was the artist and co-creator, along with writer Mike Carey, of Houses of the Holy a digital motion book produced for the Madefire platform. As European interest gathered in his work he began to illustrate graphic novels for French publisher Soleil, with two volumes of La Compagnie des Lames having now seen print. He has also produced a number of eye-catching covers for 2000AD.
Dave Kendall’s work is created by applying a mixture of traditional and digital techniques, the subject of which he writes on within the pages of Imagine FX magazine from Future Publishing. Such skills and techniques he may share with those attending The Birmingham Comics Festival on Saturday 18th April, where he will also be talking to fans while signing, sketching, and offering original art.
For more information on Dave Kendall visit: www.rustybaby.com
Mark farmer bio
Mark Farmer began his inking career partnering penciller Mike Collins, the pair contributing strips to Marvel UK prior to assorted Future Shock strips and the Slaine series for 2000AD, thereafter working on the Laser Eraser & Pressbutton series for American publisher Eclipse Comics.
Concurrent with his early comic strip work Farmer assisted Birmingham cartoonist Mike Higgs on his Moonbird children’s books and would in due course illustrate and colour books himself for Oxford University Press. An inking artist, being a craft generally called for more by American publications, Farmer’s subsequent British comics work has remained limited, so sought out by collectors. However, there have also been rare occasions where he has produced full art as was the case with the original Anderson: Psi Division series published within 2000AD.
Inking Dave Gibbons on a reboot of DC Comic’s Green Lantern Farmer’s US career truly began to take off, continuing on the series when Joe Staton returned as pencil artist and the series evolved into The Green Lantern Corps. For what was then being hyped as “The new DC” he would also ink the first issue of a new Justice League series and what became an ongoing series with the brand new Animal Man. Rival US publisher Marvel Comics would also begin employing his skills notably on The Punisher and The Incredible Hulk. Such was the demand for his talents by both companies (not only inking but producing finished art over rough pencils and breakdown art), rare were the occasions he would work for other publishers like Dark Horse and WildStorm.
Aside from Superman True: Brit, created by Monty Python’s John Cleese, much of Mark Farmer’s high profile work in recent years has been partnering pencil artist/writer Alan Davis. An early outing or two on Judge Dredd in 2000AD and taking over its back page for D.R. and The Quinch back in the late ’80s proved more profound when they took on Batman for DC Comics, a decade later there was JLA: The Nail and six years after that JLA: Another Nail. Over at Marvel the pair would be involved in heavy hitters such as The Avengers, The Fantastic Four and The Uncanny X-Men. There have been others of course, and working with different pencil artists, for Mark Farmer’s workload remains a busy one, such are the demand for his talents, but he will be taking time out to take part in The Birmingham Comics Festival on the 18th April.
GARY CRUTCHLEY BIO
Gary Crutchley, who has drawn strips for Britain’s best-selling science fiction comic 2000AD actually began selling his work professionally contributing to American anthologies back in the late ‘80s during the horror boom, initially with strips to Gore Shriek and Shriek at Fanta-Co Enterprises, then the Killing Stroke mini-series he co-edited for Malibu Graphics, and latterly drawing the cyber-dark fantasy series Stratosfear for Caliber Press.
There followed in the UK, illustration work for The Truth magazine, work for newsstand horror comic Bloody Hell, Future Shocks for 2000AD and private commissions. With the advent of a burgeoning UK independent comics scene in the UK he began to contribute to a wide variety of anthologies, found his work collected in Robinson Publishing’s Mammoth Book of Zombies, featured in the benefit book Spirit of Hope, and he would spend a year’s tour-of-duty pencilling the sci-fi strip Carter’s Column for The Birmingham Mail newspaper’s online comics section. Brief sojourns with US publishers have seen him produce layouts for a licensed Death Race mini-series, anthologised strips for a comic based on the Creepy Kofy Movietime cable TV show and a well-received western one-shot, The Tale of a Well Hung Man, a genre that was to prove increasingly fruitful.
WESTERNoir is the story of Josiah Black, a monster hunter with a colt 45, written by Dave West and illustrated by Crutchley for Accent UK. It has proved both a critical and commercial success for the independent company, with ongoing discussions of external franchising of the brand to other media much in discussion of late.
For more information on Gary Crutchley visit: www.gcrutchley.blogspot.co.uk
PHIL WINSLADE BIO
His classically detailed artwork has found Phil Winslade nominated for National Cartoonist, Harvey and Eisner Awards in his time. Taking the road less travelled he turned away from the commercial illustration that his studies at Birmingham Polytechnic had prepared him for, forgoing record album covers for strips within the independent Sometime Stories before securing work at work at Fleetway/Egmont on their Revolver and Crisis titles, then for Marvel where he fell under the tutelage of the highly respected writer/editor Archie Goodwin who nurtured his visual storytelling talent.
When Goodwin moved to DC Comics Winslade followed, teaming with writer Garth Ennis to produce the eight-issue Goddess series. Winslade pencilled, inked, coloured and designed bookends and covers for the series; the creative energies requiring total dedication and time. The beautiful results can still be seen in collections, French editions in particular. Having proved he was adept at portraying female characters possessing powerful inner grace and outer beauty he was called upon to illustrate another in Wonder Woman: Amazonia, his co-creation for this Elseworlds books being turned into limited edition statuettes.
Writer Steve Gerber’s comic books had influenced Winslade as a youth and together they crafted another female lead in Nevada for DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. For a bird of an altogether different feather they also brought back Howard The Duck at Marvel. Other work for that company has included a Daredevil/Spider-Man mini-series and Ant-Man's Big Christmas written by the Back to the Future films’ co-creator Bob Gale, while at DC he has illustrated a whole range of characters including Wonder Woman, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Batman, Warlord and Jonah Hex, group books such Shadowpact, Threshold, The Brave & The Bold and most recently Convergence: Crime Syndicate alongside being featured within Vertigo imprint anthologies such as All-Star Western and Men of War, as well as co-creating the Monolith series.
Elsewhere he has been featured within Heavy Metal magazine and A1, and begun to make frequent appearances within 2000AD where Lawless has proved so popular there is already a newseries underway, as well as having co-created King’s Road for its debut series within Dark Horse Presents.
Phil Winslade will be attending The Birmingham Comics Festival at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium on Saturday
And, oy! The Exhibitors! Here, the....