Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Comic creators invade Birmingham!

Roland Boschi and Steve Rude at Nostalgia and Comics.
I didn't get around to taking any photos at ICE 2014, the International Comic Expo, on Saturday, but Lucy Orchard did, and she's kindly allowed me to show a few of them here.
Steve (The Dude) Rude with Lucy Orchard.

Prior to the expo, mega guest artist Steve Rude (creator of Nexus) was at Birmingham's long established comic shop Nostalgia and Comics on Thursday night for a meet and greet with the fans. He was also joined by Roland Boschi (artist of Winter Soldier: The Bitter March). Artists and fans had a great evening which I believe stretched on until midnight!

Roland Boschi sketches for the fans at Nostalgia and Comics.
The convention itself on Saturday was a brilliant event. Naturally it was smaller than the huge film/TV/merchandise/comic events, as this focused solely on comics, but it was a success and another is being planned for next year. 

A room at the Expo.

Below: Steve Rude doing a drawing presentation at the Expo. Amazingly talented!
Steve (The Dude) Rude in action!

Below: Lucy F. Orchard with Dylan Teague, an incredible artist whose work astonishes me more every time I see something new from him. Check out his blog here:

Dylan and Lucy.
Below: It was great to meet up again with my old pal Mike Collins (a regular artist on Doctor Who Magazine). That's my bald head in the background as I'm talking to Manga artist Yishan Li

Hotel bar late on Saturday night.

Below: Sam Morgan with Mike's completed sketch.
Sam Morgan.

ICE was as cool an event as its name implies. The venue (The Studio, in Cannon Street) was ideal and the atmosphere was very friendly and welcoming. It was really good to catch up with comics colleagues as well as meeting new people. And of course, meeting many readers old and new and doing sketches. The British comics community is alive and well and populated by good people. Many thanks to Shane and the team for a very enjoyable weekend. Roll on ICE 2015!

All photos in this post are Copyright © Lucy F. Orchard.


Mr.A said...

I've never understood why anyone would go to these things just to massage the egos of the guests. If they did an exhibition about comics I might reconsider but I am NOT getting in line to suck up to an artist. No for me it is all about the end product. COMICS!

Lew Stringer said...

That's one opinion, but I'm afraid it sounds a bit cynical. I don't think it's about massaging egos at all. Most people who are deeply interested in comics are also interested in the work of the creators, so meeting them on an equal footing to talk about the strips is broadening their knowledge of their favourite comics. Buying a sketch that is specially drawn for them while they watch it being created is a way to obtain their own personal momento of one of their favourite characters if you see what I mean.

I've been attending comic cons since 1979, and been involved in the industry since 1983, and I've met very, very few people with big egos. Most people working in comics are decent, modest, folk who'd feel uncomfortable if people were "sucking up" to them. It's about equal respect between readers and creators.

Mr.A said...

I refuse to attend such conferences because I believe it should be about the COMICS and not the artists. I hear how these people get too big for their boots and the next thing they've quit the comic over EGO and jet off to America. That's my opinion and I am entitled to say it!

Lew Stringer said...

It's a shame you won't go to any conventions because you might actually enjoy them. Just out of interest, what sort of comic event would bring you in?

Mr.A said...

I've already told you. Exhibitions! Pages on a wall to bring back memories of when comics were GOOD! Not artists sitting there basking in adulation from autograph hunters.

Lew Stringer said...

Some events have exactly that. There were pages from British comics of the 1960s and 1970s on display at both expos I've attended recently.

You say you refuse to attend events but I'm afraid your perception of them is way off base. I hope you'll come along to one sometime to see what you're missing. Thanks for your comments.

Dave w said...

Your latest blog has had the opposite effect on me, Lew.

I have only rarely attended these events, but I think I'd rather like to meet great artists such as Steve Rude, not to mention the extraordinary talented Dylan Teague - who I have to admit I haven't heard of.

If it wasn't for artists such as these and others we wouldn't have any great comics to look at.

Lew Stringer said...

Well said, Dave.

Dylan's work is fantastic. He's been in the business a long time but he deserves to be a megastar. And he's far from being the egocentric that 'Mr.A' thinks all artists are.

Mr.A said...

I remain unconvinced! All I'm seeing from these pictures is artists looking pleased with themselves. Where are the exhibitions? Where are the comics? Why did they hold the conference in Birmingham? Why not in London or Liverpool?

Lew Stringer said...

They're pleased because they're enjoying the event.

The comics are out of shot.

Why not Birmingham? Lots of comics folk live in the Midlands and it's a central location to get to.

There are comic events all over the country. Practically one every weekend these days.

Thanks for your comments.

Mr.A said...

Comic enthusiasm used to be about comics then somewhere somehow it became about the celebrities and non entities who think they're celebrities. You never hear of the Ian Kennedys and the Mike Nobles holding court at these conferences, no THEY are of a different generation who knew the stories were the be all and end all. Today the conferences are sold on the names of artists not the comics. I would simply wish to see an exhibition about comics, no "superstars" present just something for the true enthusiast not autograph hunters. Thank you for YOUR comments.

Lew Stringer said...

I think you really need to make sure of your facts before you comment, "Mr.A". Ian Kennedy and Mike Noble have been guests at comic events. I spoke to Mike Noble at a Bristol convention several years ago, and attended his panel.

I appreciate that you don't like the idea of comic creators being at conventions (we don't call them anything as formal as a 'conference' by the way) but the majority of comic fans do like the idea of meeting the people behind their favourite comics. The atmosphere is always informal and friendly, and not the way you might think it is. If you're adamant you're never going to attend one, then you'll never find that out for yourself, which is a shame. Still, the end product is the main thing as you say so I hope you continue enjoying the comics. Thanks for dropping by.

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