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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

"British preconceptions of graphic novels are changing as exhibitions such as Comica expose the challenging work out there."
Design Week

"Paul Gravett Rules!"
Peggy Burns

"Comiket... was packed to bursting with enthusiastic, earnest artists hustling their work."
Mike Leader

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

"...a major new international festival devoted to sequential narratives."
Flux

"The Comica Festival's uniqueness resides in its selection of international comic artists [and] its presentation of cutting-edge themes..."
Dominique Le Duc

"...Comica continues to be a must-visit destination each year..."
Joel Meadows

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

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

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