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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

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

"...a comprehensive, varied and exciting season that demonstrated the reach and diversity of the art form."
The Comics Journal

"With Comica, the ICA is doing what it does best: reaching out to culture's fringe."
Kulture Flash

"I was about to fall off my chair from overstimulation."
Sarah McIntyre

"The epitome of geekchic, it's most definitely worth checking out."
The Rough Guide To Graphic Novels

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

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

"...it's a great time to be a comics fan in London!"
Chris Thompson

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

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