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Helsinki Festival Celebrates British Comics

Posted: September 14, 2011

Britain is the guest country at the Helsinki Comics Festival from September 16th to 18th. As part of this, Comica Festival is originating an exhibition Great British Comics Now spotlighting the festival’s special guests, Bryan & Mary Talbot and Warren Pleece, as well as other contemporary UK creators. The exhibition is curated and designed by Paul Gravett and Peter Stanbury, co-authors of Great British Comics (Aurum Press, 2006), and will be touring to other international comics festivals, starting in November at Comica Festival in London and then in December at Strip Turnhout in Turnhout, Belgium, with the support of the British Council.

With hundreds of talents to choose from, these are the sixteen contemporary comics creators who have been selected to have their work represented in the exhibition in Helsinki in this special year celebrating the centenary of Finnish comics: Adam Brockbank (MeZolith), Darryl Cunningham (Psychiatric Tales), Hunt Emerson (Ancient Mariner), Garen Ewing (The Rainbow Orchid), Paul Grist (Jack Staff), Dave McKean (The Savage), Jon McNaught (Pebble Island), Kevin O’Neill (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Luke Pearson (Hildafolk), Woodrow Phoenix (Horse Drawn), Warren Pleece (The Great Unwashed), Frank Quitely (We3), Paul Rainey (There’s No Time Life The Present), Posy Simmonds (Gemma Bovery), Bryan Talbot (Grandville) and Mary Talbot (Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes).

As well as a programme of individual presentations and interviews and a group panel discussion on British comics, including the invited guests and Sam Arthur from Nobrow, there will also be a chance to see the Grant Morrison documentary film Talking with Gods, directed by Patrick Meaney, getting its Finnish premiere.

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Reviews

"...a two-week celebration of the art form..."
The London Paper

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

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

"...one of the most interesting and high quality celebrations of comics the country has ever seen."
Ninthart

"...the social buzz is what I will remember from the day."
Ed Pinsent

"...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

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

"Every time I go to these events I come back inspired to do more work."
Sylvia Libedinsky

"Comica features some of the most highly regarded figures currently working in the form..."
The Observer

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