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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

"...a very special conversation between two incredible artists."
Chris Thompson

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

"...a place where aspiring graphic novelists get the chance to rub shoulders with established comic book artists..."
Valerie Pezeron

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

"This event showcased some of the great variety of manga art styles and artists working across languages, continents and cultures in the world today."
Karl Pell

"...chat over beers with some of the UK's coolest comic types..."
Thomas Behe

"...another very successful event providing a wonderful voyage into the world of graphic literature."
Dominique Le Duc

"Yet another fabulous evening."
Martin Eden

"Gives the comic form the cultural representation the UK doesn't normally see."
David Greene

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