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Comica Is Coming! Book Now for Symposium, Brian Bolland & Battle Of The Eyes!

Posted: April 13, 2013

Comica Festival at CSM Poster - Illustration by winner Josh Saunders
Click image to enlarge.

Spring is well and truly springing, as we head towards two days of amazing Comica events in the Platform Theatre, and the adjacent venues of the Foyer (with bar), Studio Theatre and White Lab, all at Central Saint Martins, our fabulous new venue near to King’s Cross, London. See floorplan of these spaces below.

Tickets are now on sale at WeGotTickets for our First Comica Symposium on Friday April 19th, 2.30-6.30pm offering a series of professional development talks and panels aimed at students, graduates and everyone interested in working within the comics medium in the UK and internationally. Speakers include CSM alumni Brian Bolland, famed for his iconic renditions of Judge Dredd and Batman, Nobrow co-publisher Alex Spiro, and acclaimed manga creators Chie Kutsuwada and Inko. Also participating will be graphic novel commissioners from Jonathan Cape, Knockabout, Myriad and Phoenix editor Tom Fickling, Julie Tait, director of the first Lakes International Comic Art Festival, and the 2000AD, Marvel and DC superstar illustrator Frazer Irving.

Your tickets to the whole Symposium or to Brian Bolland’s talk will also grant you entry to a world exclusive preview from 6.30 to 7.30pm, also in The Platform Theatre at CSM, of Sequential, the deluxe digital graphic novel storefront app for the iPad, bringing together literary graphic novels from the world’s leading publishers and creators. Sequential’s Tokyo-based pioneer, Russell Willis, will be joined by Brian Bolland, Hunt Emerson, Terry Wiley, Darryl Cunningham and others on the roster to launch the deluxe digital versions of Bolland Strips!, The Essential Hunt Emerson, Psychiatric Tales, VerityFair and more. Followed by signings and a launch party in the Foyer Bar till 10pm.

To book the whole afternoon and evening, you can book Comica Symposium tickets online here for £12, or only £8 for all concessions (students, unwaged, OAP). Doors open 2.15 for 2.30 start.

Or you can book tickets for just the evening’s Brian Bolland event from 5.30pm onwards, and also come to the Sequential preview, for £8, or only £4 concessions here.

And the next day, Saturday April 20th, brings our Spring Comica Comiket from 11am to 7pm, admission totally free. As well as two adjoining rooms, the Foyer and the Studio Theatre, packed with exhibitors, and our much-loved Drawing Parade with a different artist every 30 minutes demonstrating their skills on a big projection screen, we’ll have extra talks and screenings in the Platform Theatre, and a drawing competition in the White Lab to win a £100 Voucher for art materials from Cass Art. You can also win an iPad from our sponsors Sequential by answering their quiz. You have to be there to enter, and to win!

Saturday in The White Lab will also see the unveiling of Dave Gibbons’ provocative response to WHAAM!, Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic, ironic painting now showing at Tate Modern. Gibbons, famed artist and co-creator with Alan Moore of Watchmen, has gone back to Lichtenstein’s comic book source, a panel by Irv Novick, and remixed it as WHAAT?, his witty commentary on Pop Art (below). The two-part, giant-sized framed print will be on show to the public for the first time. Gibbons will be producing limited edition, signed prints of it and offering this sole enlargement for sale in aid of the Hero Initiative charity helping comics creators in need. Read more about Gibbons’ masterpiece, WHAAT? here!

Comica has also set some challenging creative briefs for Central Saint Martin students, with three winners each getting a £100 Voucher for art materials from Cass Art and other prizes. Firstly, they were invited to design a poster for the Festival, and we got some excellent entries, but in the end, Team Comica and guest judge, graphic designer & comics creator Rian Hughes chose the entry by Josh Saunders. You can see the finished version with logos, sponsors and details at the beginning of this post.

Another Comica/CSM collaboration brings together web wizard Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and CSM students to work on a crazy Hypercomic on the walls of the Platform Theatre Gallery. Black Hats In Hell! starts from Daniel’s own multi-path storyline mixing the Wild West and the Underworld, cowboys and demons, and then adds the students’ own new strips spinning off from the core narrative. Here are some of Daniel’s characters. Come and see the results next Saturday!

And thirdly and finally, students had the chance to demonstrate their storytelling chops to acclaimed UK publisher Nobrow, to win the chance to appear in the next issue of the prestigious Nobrow magazine. One lucky winner will be announced at the Festival! 

For the grand finale of Comica at CSM, from 7.30pm in The Platform Theatre on the Saturday night, Comica presents Battle Of The Eyes in The Noise Of Our Art, the first amazing collaboration between live performance painters Chris Long and Edwin Pouncey and leading musician and DJ Trevor Jackson. An unmissable mash-up of comics, painting and music, before your every eyes, and ears!  There’s also a chance to see Mario Cavalli’s film of BOTE,  What We Do. Book your tickets now for only £5 or £3 concessions. The evening ends with our Comiket after-party in the Foyer till 10pm - do join us.

A last chivy to any exhibitors still interested in booking tables, you should act right away please, using these PayPal links.

When: Friday April 19th, 2.30 to 10pm, and Saturday April 20th, 11am to 10pm.

Where: The Platform Theatre, Foyer, Studio Theatre & White Lab, Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, Handyside Street, London N1C 4AA. 

Don’t miss Comica Festival at Central Saint Martins. Come and see our amazing new venue. It’s going to be a really special two days - see you there!

Read all the latest Comica news here.


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"Yet another fabulous evening."
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"...the viewer's efforts were amply rewarded by the superb quality of nearly every comic in the exhibit."
Alison Frank