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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

"Comica normally comes up with some great talks and panels, but this was particularly memorable..."
Comix Influx

"...plenty to spark your interest here, even if your last comic experience involved cow pie."
Flavorpill

"...Sacco had some interesting things to say about the comics form in general."
Simon Hacking

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

"Thank you, Paul Gravett, for another wonderful season of Comica!"
Sarah McIntyre

"Comica Comiket at the ICA was buzzing with invention and ideas."
The Guardian

"...some of the UK's sharpest cartoonists gathered at the ICA in London for a unique test of creativity and endurance: a 24-hour comic marathon, during which each artist was challenged to create a spontaneous 24-page story."
The New Statesman

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

"It was definitely worth the trip."
Garen Ewing

"A Comica event - but at the V&A?!"
Jinty