Fan favourite and all round top guy, Mark Buckingham has been added to the roster for the inaugural show in April. The organisers said “Mark was one of the first major guests we invited and who heartily agreed to attend, but we’ve kept that kind of a secret until now,” “Back in the day, just as he was starting out he attended one of the early Birmingham Comic Art Shows and he was often a guest at the more recent BICS events so we not only wanted to keep that continuity going we also knew there was a genuine demand for his presence. What we didn’t anticipate was that Mark’s career would continue to escalate to where it’s now at such a high profile level.”
Mark Buckingham has not only been the principal artist on the bestselling and multiple award-winning Fables series from DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint for most of its lengthy publication history, but has now established himself as a writer with its spin-off series Fairest, as well as consecutively drawing the Dead Boy Detectives series, that follows the adventures of characters from The Sandman.
Following the Birmingham Comics Festival’s announcement that Bram Stoker Award winning novelist Jonathan Maberry is flying in from the USA to attend the show comes new that Ryan Brown, cover artist on his V-Wars and Rot & Ruin series, will be playing wingman to him on Saturday April 18th 2015 at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium.
In but a short time, Ryan Brown has become a go-to guy for publishers looking for a highly expressive digitally processed colouring finish. Skills that have been applied gainfully in concept design, video and board games, and a number of comic book series; beginning with Northern Ireland’s Berserker Comics for whom he was a co-founder and now for a number of high profile titles.
Brown’s signature full bleed covers have enticed readers to try V-Wars since the series debuted at IDW Publishing and his work on Rot & Run is also finding favour. Rogue Trooper and Judge Dredd: Year One are also titles he has contributed to for that company, applying digital painting to the work of Glenn Fabry and Greg Staples, and achieving similar effects at Marvel on Liam’s Sharp’s art for Revolutionary War: Death’s Head.
Working with Matt Wagner to produce the cover on a fund-raising edition of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide #42, he would go on to supply interior colour for The Tower Chronicles, written by Wagner and published by Legendary Comics and is again working with the artist on that series, Simon Bisley, for the 13 Coins mini-series being published by Titan Comics in the UK. Adding diversity Brown has also worked on covers for The Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Other guests added to the roster are Coventry based graphic novelist, Al Davison, artist on comics featuring Dr Who and Hellblazer, and Sonia Leong, acclaimed for her artwork within the graphic novel Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet and published by Self Made Hero. The book was listed among the Young Adult Library Services Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and Best Books for Young Adults in 2008. Sonia Leong’s artwork can be seen in the British film Popcorn, and her illustrations featured on-set for Series 3 of Channel 4’s award-winning British sit-com The IT Crowd.