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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

"I went in a casual fan, and came out an undisputed Kirbyphile."
Comic Book Resources

"Paul Gravett Rules!"
Peggy Burns

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

"When the event was over the audience was left wanting more."
Liban Diriye

"I arrived to find a queue for the sold-out event stretching out of the building."
Paul Tierney

"...he's a natural storyteller. He can't seem to stop."
Paul Tierney

"...packed out..."
Tony Venezia

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

"The whole affair was very effective as an insight into the creative process of a genius."
Unified Review Theory

"...one of the cultural highlights in London's graphic novel calendar."
Joel Meadows