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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

"5 Stars... a superb exhibition."
Time Out

"Imagine one of the world's greatest cities hosting a series of events starring the world's greatest cartoonists, put together by one of the world's greatest comics scholars. That's London's Comica."
The Beat

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

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

"...the social buzz is what I will remember from the day."
Ed Pinsent

"Comica... continues to heap cultural credibility onto this once maligned art form."
BBC Online

"...i left the ica full of encouragement and positivity."
Maartje Schalkx

"Guibert turned out to be a captivating speaker."
Sarah McIntyre

"...will be talked about by those who saw it for years to come."
Bart Beaty

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