WELCOMEWe hope you will join us and enjoy exploring the worlds of comics, graphic novels and manga at the annual Comica Festival and other special Comica events held throughout the year.
—Paul Gravett, Megan Donnolley and Peter Stanbury, Team Comica
Posted: February 3, 2013
Following its European premiere at the 40th Angoulême International Comics Festival, the brilliant new documentary movie Graphic Novels! Melbourne gets its UK premiere in London at a special Comica Festival screening, supported by the Australian High Commission. It features comic book makers Nicki Greenberg, Bruce Mutard, Pat Grant and Mandy Ord, and commentaries by fellow Oz creator Shaun Tan, American guru Scott McCloud and from New Zealand, Hicksville author Dylan Horrocks, as well as Comica’s co-director Paul Gravett.
Co-directors David Hayward and Bernard Caleo will be in London to introduce their film on Wednesday February 13th in The Anatomy Theatre at School of Arts & Humanities at King’s College, The Strand, London WC2R 2LS. Doors open 7.10pm for a 7.20pm start. To book your tickets at £5 each, please send an email to give your name and how many tickets you would like, and we’ll confirm by return. You can pay on the door. Some tickets will also be available on the night. Don’t miss this chance to be the first to see this excellent doc!
To get a flavour, watch the trailer below:
Posted: January 21, 2013
For the first time, Comica Festival has been very lucky to be offered a stand to hire at the prestigious 40th Angoulême International Comics Festival in France next week. We’ll be presenting the Festival in its own booth, along with Escape Books and special guests including John Miers and The Comix Reader. We want this to be a hub and meeting place for the UK comics community, and welcome other non-exhibiting creators and publishers attending from the UK and Ireland to drop by. We’re also there to build more connections across the world with other festivals and communities.
Come and say hello! The Comica Festival stand is in the special section of the ‘bulle’ or tent called the Espace BD Alternative. This is at the far end of the Nouveau Monde tent in the Place New York, opposite the Town Theatre. Here’s a section of the exhibitors’ map with Comica indicated at F23 (above), so you can find us. Team Comica and others be there right through the four-day festival, from Thursday January 31st to Sunday February 3rd. Looking forward to seeing lots of you there!
Posted: December 3, 2012
As part of Comica Festival’s ongoing Score and Script Exhibition at C4RD (Centre for Recent Drawing), we will be running a “Santa’s Ghetto” fair day, where the artists featured in the show will be exhibiting work that will also be available for purchase.
Interested in meeting the creators of comics and supporting independent publishers, and looking for reasonably priced gifts for Christmas? Then come along to the fair day on Saturday 8th December, where you will be able to buy comics, graphic novels, zines, objets d’art, hand made box sets of mini-comics, bags, badges, cards, signed prints and art du jour!
Score and Script Exhibition:
In comics, visual form and narrative content constantly inform and imply one another. But what could be revealed about the process of visual storytelling if an attempt were made to perform that separation? In this exhibition devised by cartoonist & researcher John Miers and co-curated by Megan Donnolley, 23 cartoonists, working either from an entirely verbal description of a single-page story, or a visual diagram based on that same page, present a unique set of answers to that question.
Artists: Andrew Godfrey, Andy Bleck, Andy Poyiadgi, Dan Berry, Daniel Fennings, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, David O’Connell, Douglas Noble, Elliot Baggott, Gary Northfield, James Hickman, John Cei Douglas, John Miers, John Riordan, Karen Rubins, Kripa Joshi, Mike Medaglia, Richy K. Chandler, Sally-Anne Hickman, Sean Azzopardi, Stuart Medley, Tanya Meditzky, Woodrow Phoenix.
Meet the artists! See the exhibition! A social meet-and-greet, and a shopping treat!
Address: 2 - 4 Highbury Station Road, Islington, N1 1SB (a few minutes from Highbury & Islington rail & tube)
Date: Saturday 8th December
Times: 1 – 6pm
Posted: November 29, 2012
As a grand finale for this year’s Comica, the 9th London International Comics Festival, authors Hunt Emerson and Kevin Jackson celebrate the publication by Knockabout Comics of their irreverent yet faithful comics adaptation of Dante’s Inferno at this special Launch Party appropriately at the Italian Cultural Institute at 39 Belgrave Sq, SW1X 8NX in Belgravia (nearest tube is Hyde Park Corner). It runs from 6.30 to 8.30pm.
Come dressed as your favourite sinner or devil! Copies will be available for purchase and signature. All are welcome, subject to capacity, but please RSVP in advance by email to info[at]knockabout.com or by phone on 020 7243 2280. Don’t miss this diabolical soirée which brings Comica Festival 2012 to its utterly wild, debauched conclusion - it’s going to be one helluva evening!
Posted: November 25, 2012
Everyone is invited for Sunday tea and treats from 2 to 5pm! Come for an afternoon of coffee, cookies, cake, and comic books at London’s first comic book café, Eggs Milk Butter at 192 Southgate Road, London, N1 3HU, run by Jess and Milo (above).
They will be in the company of the illustrator and visual artist Helen Ashley, who will be signing copies of her graphic cookbook Recipes From the Kitchen Drawer (Square Peg).
Helen and Eggs Milk Butter are collaborating to devise a special recipe for the day with Eggs Milk Butter, featuring a selection of exclusive speech-bubble- and thought-bubble-shaped Comica Cookies and a grand tasting ceremony! Yum-yum! Come and try them with us.
Posted: November 23, 2012
We’re having a Manga Comics & Cosplay Party tomorrow, Saturday November 24th, at the Goethe-Institut, 50 Princes Gate, London SW7 2PH. You’re all invited - and it’s free, you just have to rsvp by calling 020 7596 4000 or emailing to info[at]london.goethe.org !
Whether you’re in Germany or in Britain, people adore Japan’s vibrant pop culture of manga comics, anime TV and films and costume-playing or ‘cosplay’ and love to make their own versions. The much-loved German artist Christina Plaka, famed for her series Prussian Blue and Yonen Buzz (above), published in English by TokyoPop, is currently exhibiting her comics artwork at the Goethe-Institut’s Comics, Manga & Co. show in London.
Christina is coming over specially to meets for the first time the brilliant Chinese-born, London-based manga artist Yishan Li, internationally published, notably Cutie B in France, Manga Females Clip Art in the UK, and The Clique (below) in the USA. (Please note that the previously billed Emma Vieceli has had to cancel her appearance due to illness - we hope she gets well soon).
Come and see Christina and Yishan as they share their passions for creating manga and to draw their characters together ‘live’ on a projection screen. They will be joined by talented cosplayers, by special invitation, whose costumes are inspired by some of the realistic and fantastical British and German characters who have appeared in Japanese comics and animation. Why not come to our party in costume yourself?
Posted: November 21, 2012
Comica Festival continues through the rest of Novenber by unveiling this fascinating experimental comic art exhibition, SCORE AND SCRIPT, devised by John Miers, curated by Comica co-director Megan Donnolley and featuring 23 of Britain’s finest comics creators: Sean Azzopardi, Elliot Baggott, Dan Berry, Andy Bleck, Richy K. Chandler, John Cei Douglas, Daniel Fennings, Andrew Godfrey, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, James Hickman, Sally-Anne Hickman, Kripa Joshi, Mike Medaglia, Stuart Medley, Tanya Meditzky, John Miers, Douglas Noble, Gary Northfield, David O’Connell, Woodrow Phoenix, Andy Poyiadgi, John Riordan and Karen Rubins.
When a cartoonist begins making a comic strip, questions of how to give visual form to narratives expressed in text, or lurking as-yet-unrealised in cognition, form a central part of the decision-making process. What imagery would best depict the essence of the story I want to tell? And how can I organise that imagery into a flowing structure that is at once unified and multiple? These questions cannot, in any meaningful way, be separated – in comics, visual form and narrative content constantly inform and imply one another. But what could be revealed about the process of visual storytelling if an attempt were made to perform that separation?
Cartoonist and PhD researcher John Miers created a single-page comic, from which he derived two descriptive texts: The script, a verbal account of the events depicted in the comic, with all visual detail excised; and the score, a diagram showing the dimensions and location of depicted narrative actors, with no information regarding the narrative content. At C4RD (the Centre for Recent Drawing), 30 of the UK’s best cartoonists are creating their own single-page comic in response to one of those descriptions, with 15 working from the score, and 15 from the script. This exhibition presents the first set of 23 results from this project. While examples of comic scripts and their realisation as drawn narratives are not difficult to find, the opportunity to examine a range of responses to a single starting point is rare, and the chance this project offers to examine the relationship between visual structure and narrative content is unique.
There will also be a “Santa’s Ghetto” fair day on Saturday December 8, where comics and other artwork by the exhibitors will be on sale.
Venue: Centre for Recent Drawing, 2-4 Highbury Station Road, London N1 1SB
Dates: Exhibition runs Nov 22 - Dec 15, with an opening reception Weds Nov 21, 6-8pm. Fair day Saturday December 8.
Times: C4RD is open Thur-Sat, 1-6pm, admission free.
Posted: November 16, 2012
On Monday November 19th, 6.30 for 7-9pm, acclaimed graphic novelist and Booktrust online writer in residence Hannah Berry (above), author of the Jonathan Cape graphic novels Britten and Brulightly, Adamtine, invites you to try a comic or two on for size at Comics: Refreshing Parts Other Literature Can’t Reach. For this extra special evening curated by Hannah Berry, Comica Festival and Book Trust combine forces to present two hours and two panels hosted by Hannah and Paul Gravett in conversation with some of the country’s best graphic novelists, for the bargain ticket price of only £6!
These include Glyn Dillon (The Nao of Brown), Karrie Fransman (The House That Groaned), Rian Hughes (Yesterday’s Tomorrows, On The Line), Simone Lia (Fluffy, Please God, Find Me A Husband), Sarah McIntyre (Vern and Lettuce, Nelson, Airship) and Dave McKean (Cages, Celluloid, Pictures That Tick) and a special appearance by Posy Simmonds (Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe).
They will tell you why they love the funny books. You can ask them questions about comics. We can all rejoice in graphic novels. The world can watch as we present to you just why graphic novels are just as good as literary fiction. Come along!
You can also read Hannah Berry’s column on the evening at The Huffington Post. Our pals from Gosh! Comics will be providing a bountiful smorgasbord of these authors’ works for purchase and personalisation. Book your tickets without delay! Photograph of Hannah Berry © Emily Gravett.
Posted: November 11, 2012
As we kick off our second week of events at Foyles’ flagship bookshop on London’s Charing Cross Road, as well as our continuing exhibitions of Graphic Short Story Prize Winners in the 3rd Floor Gallery and our
Alison Bechdel on Monday 12th for a Laydeez Do Comica special night, where she will be talking about Fun Home and her latest graphic novel Are You My Mother?. Later, Thursday 15th brings Oliver Frey, the outstanding illustrator who redefined British gay culture in the Seventies and is one of the world’s greatest homoerotic artists.
Then this Wednesday November 14th, I have the privilege and pleasure to talk again with the delightful Posy Simmonds: Essentially English, which I curated for the Belgian Comic Strip Centre in Brussels. It’s still on until November 25th, so do consider popping over, even on a day trip by Eurostar, to see it. That’s a snapshot of Posy with me for the private view back in May. So on Wednesday, I will be talking with Posy in particular about her new bumper gatherum, Mrs Weber’s Omnibus, compiling all her previous Jonathan Cape books into one chunky tome. She will also be doing some live sketching for us and will sign and personalise your copy afterwards.
Thanks to Foyles Bookshop, we can make a special offer: if you buy one £8 ticket online from this WeGotTickets link, you get a second ticket completely free, so you can bring someone else with you. Or you can come along on the night and, capacity permitting, purchase half-price tickets at only £4. What’s not to like? Be sure not to miss this wonderful Comica evening with Dame Posy!
Posted: November 8, 2012
ALERT! Last Minute Ticket Deal via Foyles Bookshop for all customers - Buy tickets for Bryan and Mary Talbot’s Comica Conversation with Kim Newman on Friday 9th at 6.30pm at half price at Foyles and on the door on the night, so only £4 each!
The amazing line-up of Kevin O’Neill, Mary & Bryan Talbot, Alison Bechdel, Posy Simmonds and Oliver Frey are all taking part in five unmissable Comica Conversations over the next week at Foyles, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2. Don’t miss these opportunities to meet these brilliant graphic novelists, ask them questions and get your copies of their books signed and personalised. You can book tickets online now to secure a place, or buy tickets on the door (subject to capacity).
Kevin O’Neill: An Extraordinary Century, with Toby Litt - Thursday November 8th
Bryan & Mary Talbot: Grandville Bête Noire World Premiere, with Kim Newman - Friday November 9th
Alison Bechdel: The Paper Mirror - Monday November 12th, in association with Laydeez Do Comics
Posy Simmonds: Comedies of English Manners - with Paul Gravett - Wednesday November 14th
Oliver Frey: The Graphic Gay Gaze - with Sina Shamsavari - Thursday November 15th
For all these events, doors open at 6pm for 6.30pm start in the Foyles Gallery on the third floor. See you there!