Artist and illustrator Graham Higgins will be making what has been an all-too rare convention appearance when he attends The Birmingham Comics Festival taking place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Saturday 18th April 2015.
Renowned for his adaptations of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Mort and Guards! Guards! into the graphic novel form, Higgins’ work has appeared in the venerable satire that was Punch magazine, 2000AD during its glorious heyday and been featured internationally in as diverse a range of publications as X-Men 2099 and The Deutsche Post.
Graham Higgins exaggerates semi-realism in a spirited movement across a comic page, his finished ink lines flowing masterly in the classic illustrative sense but also often offering whimsy and being a joy to behold while his colour work is charismatically in service to the imagery presented.
“With its intent to cover as many of the aspects of the medium as possible, The Birmingham Comics Festival has scored a hat trick for comic fans of all ages in Graham Higgins attending the show,” said the festival’s organisers. “His is a rare talent that has been featured in lofty high-brow periodicals, low-brow humour mags, and comics for all ages, so it’s an obvious our privilege to have him as one of the show’s guests.”
From the anarchic underground spirit of Knockabout Comics to the more feminist work-ethic adventures of Zippy Couriers in 2000AD onto the surrealistic heroics of DC Comics’ Doom Patrol and beyond, there is a depth beyond the obvious in the work of Graham Higgins’ published work, much as he might make light hearted of the matter, as those attending The Birmingham Comics Festival will find out for themselves on Saturday 18th April where they can find the man busily sketching away, taking commissions, signing books and happy to share his thoughts on his craft, its practical uses as an educational tool and obviously his own published work too.
Graham Higgins Biography:
Studying Illustration and design in Birmingham during the 70s Higgins assumed the nom de plume of Pokketz and became associated with the British underground comix of that period; initially the city’s own Ar-Zak Press, and then Hassle Free Press – contributing to their anthology Knockabout Comics (the name that company later took up) and books such as Outrageous Tales of The Old Testament. Concurrent with this was an illustrative and cartooning career that found him to contributing to periodicals published by the likes of Galaxy as well as the Radio Times, Q Magazine, and Punch where his comic strip Luke Carew, Lone Wolf Detective – The Hogfather appeared.
Mainstream comics were where you would find his work during the early 90s. At 2000AD that included the Zippy Couriers series while for younger readers there was the Spitting Image spin-off of Winjin’ Pom. He also contributed overseas to American publications that found him at Marvel Comics illustrating gritty adventures such as Ghost Rider 2099 and inking Steve Pugh on X-Men 2099 and similarly at DC Comics on Animal Man and Doom Patrol, as well as him producing strip work for their Piranha Press imprint The Big Book of Weirdos, and more extensive material for the independent comic company Mu Press.
Thereafter, he would juggle adaptations of the Discworld novels Mort and Guards! Guards! into graphic novel form between an extended career that took him back and forth between Germany and the UK, working on the immensely popular Kapt’n Blaubar for Honk! Studios, in the form of its daily newspaper strip, comics, animations, CD-Rom games and assorted merchandising.
In recent years, Higgins has turned his talents to illustrating educational publications featuring health and social advice for children and young people alongside teaching art classes himself at schools and libraries throughout the West Midlands. A plus for those who get to see his work, too much of a loss for comic fans as a whole, and that is why The Birmingham Comics Festival is exceedingly privileged that he has chosen to attend its inaugural event at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium on Saturday 18th April 2015.
For more information on The Birmingham Comics Festival visit:www.thecomicfestival.com
For more information on Graham Higgins visit: www.grahamhiggins.co.uk