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A COMICA REVIEW BY:

BBC Collective


The following article was written by Nadia Shireen and appeared on the BBC Collective web site in advance of the first Comica Festival in 2003.

It’s a celebration of graphic art and literature. Honest.

In the first of an annual event, the COMICA festival at London’s ICA celebrates the art of the graphic novel. Sweaty men absent-mindedly fondling themselves at the sight of dog-eared first editions? Hopefully not.

Expect, instead, talks from Palestine and Notes From A Defeatist creator Joe Sacco (02 July), fellow Fantagraphics author Chris Ware in conversation with Alex Garland (01 July), and daughter of the legendary Robert Crumb, Sophie, talking about her work and the legacy of her father (04 July)... and tattooing someone from the audience, apparently.

A festival highlight should be a rare performance from cult artist and musician, Daniel Johnstone, who has inspired the likes of Kurt Cobain, Harmony Korine and Beck. Johnstone will also be contributing to the OuBaPo project, where artists and guests will “experiment with the comic format in an evolving, wall-sized, multi-pathed artwork”. Find out what that might mean from 27 June onwards.

With a series of lectures covering all aspects of comic book creation and appreciation, COMICA should provide a long-overdue celebration of graphic art and literature. Well, that’s what to tell your mates when they accuse you of going to a spoddy comics convention.

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Reviews

"...one of the most interesting and high quality celebrations of comics the country has ever seen."
Ninthart

"...the viewer's efforts were amply rewarded by the superb quality of nearly every comic in the exhibit."
Alison Frank

"When the event was over the audience was left wanting more."
Liban Diriye

"With Comica, the ICA is doing what it does best: reaching out to culture's fringe."
Kulture Flash

"Featuring some of the most critically-acclaimed international comic book creators..."
Tripwire

"...the Talking With Gods documentary didn't disappoint."
The Guardian

"I was about to fall off my chair from overstimulation."
Sarah McIntyre

"Hurrah! This year's Comiket was a brilliant success."
Sarah McIntyre

"It is turning into one of the best comic-related events of the year in London."
Joel Meadows

"Comica features some of the most highly regarded figures currently working in the form..."
The Observer