Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Birmingham Comic Art Show 1986 Booklet

Across the weekend of May 31st and June 1st 1986, the third Birmingham Comic Art Show took place, organized by Phil Clarke and the staff of the city's long-established comic shop, Nostalgia and Comics.

The venue for the event was the National Motorcycle Museum near the N.E.C., so quite a journey from outside the city centre but I seem to recall a good time was had by all. A small A5 booklet was produced for the show and I'm showing a few pages from it here. Above is the splendid cover, drawn and designed by Mike Higgs.

Inside, the intro by Phil and his team, accompanied by an illustration by James Hodgkins (who would later go on to organize comic events in Birmingham himself, as well as being a top comics artist of course). 
On page four, a Brickman strip I'd forgotten about! Brickman Saves The Day is set in Nostalgia and Comics, with caricatures of the staff, and I'm afraid is very in-jokey!
There were a good range of events across the weekend, with various guests including Chris Claremont, Alan Moore, Tony Isabella, Denis Gifford, Dave Gibbons and many more. Here's the timetable...

As was traditional back then, guest artists were invited to produce an illustration for the booklet. Here are several pages that were published...

Mark Farmer...
John Bolton...



Kevin O'Neill...
Alan Davis...
Brian Bolland...
John Ridgway...
Dave Gibbons...

After all these years I've forgotten most of what happened that weekend. I remember a bunch of us piling into a taxi to get there from Birmingham to the venue. I remember Tony Isabella being hilarious in his talk, and Alan Moore, Kev O'Neill and co. being good company as always. Denis Gifford's slideshow presentation was an interesting tour through the history of Penny Dreadfuls. I can't remember anything about the panel I was on with my old pal Mike Collins! This is when Oink! had just been launched so I must have been promoting that, but the memories have faded into the mists of time unfortunately. 

However, don't you forget that there's a new convention this year in Birmingham on April 18th! The Birmingham Comics Festival has now added more guests to the list and you can find out all the details here:

3 comments:

Hibernia Comics said...

That is Brilliant Lew, I love these Old 'Zines and brochures, Mark Farmer can draw a bit cant he!

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, Mark's mainly known as an inker (of many, many US comics) but he can certainly draw. He did a Billy the Cat illo for a fanzine of mine 30+ years ago. Must show it here one day.

Jeremy Dunn said...

I was there too, came away with a couple of sketches - a Dave Gibbons Rorshach and suitably scribble Mick McMahon Slaine

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