The Awesome Comics Podcast – EPISODE 1

Comics are AWESOME. 

Its that simple. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than amongst the books, convention tables and creators within the small press and independent comics community in the UK. And what do you do when you find something thats awesome? You talk about it; usually to anyone who will listen, and by the power of grey skull The Awesome Comics Podcast has got a LOT to talk about. 

ACP’s mission statement is to give an unequalled voice and insight into the world of small press comics and culture, and to be an exclusive platform for indie creators to shout about their work and talk about what inspires them. Plus, as the show was conceived by three lifelong comics loving mentalists, there’s certainly going to be a fair amount of humour being thrown in all directions, as well as giving you important answers to questions like: 

  • Have you ever wanted to know more about creating and self publishing your own comics? 
  • Wondered what kinds of things influence and inspire small press creators? 
  • What’s the next comic book series you’re going to want to buy every issue of?  
  • And how exactly do you handle getting up at the crack of dawn to travel to a convention and spend the entire day on your feet promoting the book you’ve shed blood, sweat and tears to create? (Hint: CAFFEINE. LOTS OF CAFFEINE).

 Hosted by Vincent Hunt (The Red Mask From Mars), Dan Butcher (Vanguard) and Tony Esmond (Down the Tubes), The Awesome Comics Podcast is the place where the small press community makes one hell of a big noise, so don’t miss it!

http://awesomecomics.podbean.com/

Mark Millar Takes over the World

As part of this year’s Glasgow Comic Con (GCC), the Glasgow Print Studio (GPS) is presenting an exhibition of art from comic books written by one of the city’s favourite sons, Mark Millar.

The free exhibition, entitled Comic Art: Millarworld and Beyond, is on display in the main gallery of the Glasgow Print Studio’s Trongate studio from 2 July until 30 August.  The GPS also held a preview on 1 July, with Millar in attendance, and Comic Conventions was there to get a first look.

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As the exhibition title makes clear, Mark Millar is the inspiration for this show.  He has appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list, walked the red carpet with Hollywood royalty and Stan Lee has him on speed dial.  When Millar stopped writing for Marvel five years ago, he set about becoming his own brand with Millarworld, a plan that was so successful he can seemingly pick his artistic collaborators with an unheard of freedom and who has five works in development by various film studios.

Millar is completely at home at these social/promotional events and chatted happily with visitors for two hours.  It was a pity none of his collaborators were there, although to be fair all but one live in other countries.  At least one GCC guest was there in the form of Barry Kitson, one of the most popular and likeable artists on the con circuit, and representatives from GCC and Black-Hearted Press, including their head honcho Sha Nazir, were also in attendance.  The crowd was healthy, busy while not being crowded.

However, the main reason to be there was the art – and, boy, is it worth the effort.  Images created for Millarworld properties by superstar artists such as Dave Gibbons, Goran Parlov, Leinil Yu, John Romita junior, Phil Noto, Sean Murphy, Adam Hughes and Millar’s fellow Glaswegian Frank Quitely adorned the walls, showing pages from series like Kingsman, Secret Service; Kick-Ass; Rocket Man; Superior and other works including Jupiter’s Legacy.

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Most art was displayed larger than the traditional 11×17 artboard, with some images dominating entire walls.  A rampaging T-Rex on one wall appears almost life-size.  A hooded character from Kick-Ass towers above the gallery visitors, ominously holding aloft a blood-splattered chainsaw.  Another wall has an intricately detailed submarine big enough to climb inside.  A gargantuan figure points a cannon-like gun directly at visitors.  These large displays, while necessarily small in number, dominated the exhibition and alone make a visit to the GPS worthwhile.  They really are incredible to see.

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Very limited edition archival-quality prints of the art, in runs of ten or fifteen, were available to purchase at prices ranging from £180 up to £600, while £2160 would buy you one of the gigantic, made-to-order vinyl prints.  In Millar’s lifetime, comic art has gone from being given away to the kid delivering doughnuts to costing hundreds for a copy of an original work.  Changed days.  Comics are no longer a niche market aimed at kids and their pocket money: they are mainstream, commercial and a legitimate art form with a price tag to brag about.

Anyone attending GCC – or even just visiting Glasgow – should visit the studio to see the lovely art on display, especially the enlarged pieces.  You won’t be disappointed.

It might be an idea, however, to leave the credit card at home.

Mark Millar is a guest at GCC on Sunday afternoon and will be located on the ground floor atrium of the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Sauchiehall Street.

The Glasgow Print Studio – http://www.glasgowprintstudio.co.uk/

Glasgow Comic Con – http://www.glasgowcomiccon.com/

Thanks to Robert Menzies for the review

The Birmingham Comics Festival 2016!

Debuting last Spring The Birmingham Comics Festival made good on its promise: to put the second city fairly and squarely back on the UK comic convention map, placing comics and their fans at the absolute heart of all its events. Now following its tremendous success and the genuinely unexpected waves of affection expressed for it, it can be officially declared that the festival will return in 2016 – But, bigger and better, while still delivering on that promise!

With a string of events being planned, ranging from exhibitions, showcase signings, sponsored talk events, demonstrations & practical workshops, film screenings and much more besides at various venues throughout the city, The Birmingham Comics Festival is your personal invite into the world of comics, be you young or think you’ve seen it all before! It’s your chance to experience the cutting edge of comics today and rejoice in the great and good that’s gone before – From fans of The Beano to The Batman and all points in between.

For those who like things under one roof, The Birmingham Comics Festival will again take up residence at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium on Saturday 23rd April 2016 for a spectacular convention featuring internationally renowned creators, cosplayers adorned in their finest regalia, with a diverse range of publications rare and new on offer… An impressive locality, excellent onsite facilities and free parking to boot makes it’s an unbeatable venue!

Publishers and trade dealers will be pleased to know that advance booking of stands for the convention at Edgbaston is already available and there will be some fantastic deals for those attending, not least those looking to book early.

Events taking place elsewhere as part of The Birmingham Comics Festival will be announced in due course, along with names of special guests who will be featured and in attendance at the various venues, in due course. For now, put a smile on your face as you write down the first important date of 2016 down in your diaries – Saturday 23rd April 2016!