Monday, June 27, 2016

Magnificent MACC-POW!

One of the many nice things about being invited to conventions is that you get to visit places you might otherwise never think of going to. Such was the case with my first visit to Macclesfield last Saturday for the Macc-Pow! comics event.

I arrived at Macclesfield station early on Saturday morning to be greeted by Spider-Man himself (or maybe one of his alternate Earth versions)! When fellow Aces Weekly artist Emma Chinnery arrived on the following train, we were given a short and enjoyable guided tour through the scenic route of the town by Spidey with photographer Fiona Bailey and her daughter. 

Macc-Pow! was part of the Barnaby Festival, a local annual event that had its origins in the 11th Century and was revived several years ago celebrating the local arts and culture. This was the first year to include a comics convention, which was thanks to the hard work of comics creator Marc Jackson and his team. 

The convention was quite a small event but it had a good footfall of visitors all day keeping myself and the other guests busy. Speaking of those other guests, it included Leah Moore (writer of Albion, and Black Shuck with her husband John Reppion), Paul Grist (creator of Kane and Jack Staff), and Sean Phillips (artist of Criminal), all well known names in the world of comics. 
Sean Phillips and Leah Moore.
Paul Grist.

All the comics creators were in the main hall alongside exhibitors and dealers such as Wow! Comics, a new independent comics shop in Manchester.

Outside of the hall, there was a corridor decorated with numerous character designs by local schoolchildren, the promising artists of the future. 

In other rooms there were cartoons being shown, and a live link up to artist James Kochalka in the USA so that Marc Jackson could interview him. Power of the internet! (James had also supplied many small pieces of original art that were for sale.) 
James Kochalka via the wonder of the web!

Marc with art by James Kochalka.

It was a family-friendly event and indeed it did attract a far greater number of families than other conventions I've attended. Mostly members of the general public, rather than seasoned comics fans, but of course they were all familiar with The Beano! This was a good thing, as it meant that Macc-Pow! was making people aware that comics are still around in a diverse number of styles.

Here's a few words from Marc Jackson about the event...

"When setting out back in October to put on Macclesfield’s first-ever comic convention (within the Barnaby Festival) I was basically entering the unknown. I’ve been to a few conventions and been lucky enough to be a guest at one as well, so I knew what to do and more importantly, what not to do. The most important thing, was to value everyone involved and look after them all. I wanted a mini-con that embraced my love of comics, showcased exceptional artwork and was family friendly and had something for everyone. I wanted the youngsters to engage with it and generally welcome my hometown and visitors from far and wide, to the wild world of comics. So, with handwork, determination, lots of help from family, friends, Barnaby volunteers and an extremely well-polished brass neck, I think I managed to do it. It was a great day and if we only did this once, Saturday 25th of June in Macclesfield in Cheshire, will go down in the annuls of comic history as a great day for funny books! Thanks to everyone who came, our amazing guests, up and coming artists and each and everyone one of our visitors! MACC-POW!"
With organizer Marc Jackson.
I think Macc-Pow! can definitely be considered a success and I hope it returns next year. My thanks to Marc and his team, as well as my comics pals, for a fun and uplifting day! 

Here are a few more photos of the day. The outdoor shots with Spider-Man are by Fiona Bailey ( while the others are by Richard Buck ( 

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