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A COMICA REVIEW BY:

BBC ONLINE


The following review written by Michael Williams appeared in issue #289 of the BBC Online magazine, the Collective, on 4 June 2004.

Comics Come of Age at London’s ICA.

After a hugely successful first year in 2003, the Comica festival is back at the ICA and The French Institute in London, and it continues to heap cultural credibility onto this once maligned art form. This year, the theme - Confessions & Convictions - highlights the trends towards autobiography and political commentary prevalent in the medium at the moment.

The veritable smorgasbord of tip-top talent on offer includes Chris Jimmy Corrigan Ware and the legendary comic artist Seth, in conversation for the launch of the Comic Edition of supercool US lit journal, McSweeneys. Steve Bell chews the fat with Bittercomix - whose radical strips were instrumental in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa - and the Serbian artist Aleksandar Zograf. Look out too, for talks featuring Sylvain Chomet (Belleville Rendez-Vous) and Craig Thompson, creator of the epic Blankets, set to be the biggest thing since Jimmy Corrigan.

On film, there is the European premiere of The Mindscape Of Alan Moore, director DeZ Vylenzs audience with the fascinating creator of From Hell and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Halloween Shorts: Enchanted & Slanted - The World of Comics On Short Film features exclusive screenings from artists such as Collective regular David Shrigley, Dave Cooper and Tony Millionaire (check his Maakies and Sock Monkey sites), who use Flash sites to display their work.

A mouth-watering prospect then, all in all. Oh, and theres also the chance to see Hergé‘s Adventures of Tintin on the big screen. It’s enough to make a grown man cry.

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Reviews

"The ICA treats comics the way they should be: as contemporary art."
Sci Fi London

"Paul Gravett Rules!"
Peggy Burns

"...far and away the best place to find a serious and eclectic showcase of world comics fare."
The First Post

"It was a real learning experience."
Tom Humberstone

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

"...a fantastically wide selection of comics, to be touched, admired and purchased."
Toby Litt

"PHEW! I just met Matt Groening!"
Jim Medway

"I arrived to find a queue for the sold-out event stretching out of the building."
Paul Tierney

"...a long-overdue celebration of graphic art and literature."
BBC Collective

"The talk - to a full house - was pleasant, convivial and amusing."
Tim Pilcher