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

" inspiring look into the creative lifestyle."
Pop Culture Hound

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

"It was fascinating and welcoming..."
Mike Leader

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

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

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

"...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

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

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