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Edinburgh Comic Art Festival

December 8th, 2016 | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Edinburgh Comic Art Festival
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The Edinburgh Comic Art Festival took place on 26th and 27th of November and I am going to tell you about how cool it was.

During the two-day festival, you could pick what events you wanted to attend. There were talks, workshops and presentations about different aspects of the Comic and Graphic Novel scene in the UK given by professionals and enthusiastic fans alike.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to attend any of the workshops, but I walked through the Comics Market floor and talked to various artists and writers showing off their work there. Everyone was friendly and had a strong passion and love for telling stories through the medium of comic books.

From my various interactions, I could tell that the attitude of the creators was ‘Love this so much, but there is literally no money in this’.

I chatted with illustrator Chris Baldie, who works on the Space Captain series with writer and friend, Michael Park.  Chris got into working in comics when he got together with another friend Holley McKend to work on a web comic Never Ever After just for fun. During our chat, he admitted that there really is no money in this work and he just does it as a hobby on the side because he enjoys it. I asked him whether he feels like comics are just not taken seriously as a medium here. He replied by saying that it is getting much better now — a polite way of saying that it was horrible before but kind of bearable now. Chris said that he wouldn’t want to work full-time in comics anyway because he would probably come to resent the very thing that he now really enjoys. He was assured of this when he saw his friends who work as illustrators for the two giants (Marvel and DC) and even though they are paid a lot of money, he says that they spend their entire days stressed out of their minds. So Chris is just fine with working as a graphic designer and doing comics for the fun of it.

You can find more about Chris and his work here

I received similar responses from Paul Jon Milne, author and illustrator of the ‘Guts Power’ series (his Etsy store and Facebook page) and Kelly Kanayama (twitter) from whom I got a short custom comic for £2. There were many other creators on the floor, each stall selling interesting, unique art prints and comics (really dangerous for my wallet).

I feel that events like this give you the opportunity to experience something special. As they focus on individual authors, they give visitors personal one-on-one face time with indie creators, something that you just don’t get when a big publisher is organising an author signing.

I definitely would recommend going to next year’s festival, even if you have never read a graphic novel or a comic book, this might be your way to find the story that sucks you in. Even my two long-suffering friends that I dragged along took a liking to the world of comics. (Also, did I say the entrance to many events was free?)

 

15281974_10202410308814791_1626244598_nby Lenka Murova