Edinburgh Comic Art Festival

Edinburgh Comic Art Festival 2017

December 4th, 2017 by Chenchen Li | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Edinburgh Comic Art Festival 2017
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The Edinburgh Comic Art Festival (ECAF), organised by BHP comics, was held at The Out of the Blue Drill Hall in 02 December. ECAF was full of exhibiting authors and artists, plenty of workshops, talks and events for comic book fans of all ages. In the festival,  40 illustrators, independent comic publishers, exhibiting artists and writers were involved.

It is easy to walk the whole field. I was attracted by some amazing paintings and attractive graphic novels. Most of comics were self-published, the illustrators displayed their work on the comic market. Some comic online advertised the web though printed comic. The special comic artist who impressed me was MJ Wallace. The comics she created showed different styles. And she designed her cards in 5 different illustrations. The card itself is creative thing. The comic artist Steven Ingram introduced me his series Left. He has been putting comics on the web for years, but comic was not the only way for him to get income. He also worked as a graphic designer.

There were 1 exhibition, 5 workshops and 5 presentations in the whole day. On the presentation “BOAT: Indy Film to Indy Comic”, the short film was played. After the short film, the creators of the Boat graphic novel series talked about the progress from the film to the comic books. They talked about how they put the film into comic type, then they chose the self-publishing way to publish the comic books. The series won SICBA awards continuously. ECAF also invited the Rachael Stott – the Best Newcomer at the British Comics Awards in 2015.Rachel Stott discussed her work on books such as Doctor Who (published by Titan Comics) with BHP publisher Sha Nazir. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a ticket for Rachael Stott’s talk so I didn’t have the chance to join it.

This is my first time joining a comic event in UK. When I talked to the man who introduced me the Capital Sci-Fi Con, he suggested me to explore more comic events in UK. He said that the comic events here were more focus on different type fans. Compared with the Asia comic events, there were more chances for different fans community to set their own events but the scales were not large.

Chenchen Li

The terrifying experience of drawing in public

December 8th, 2016 by michail_tsipoulakos | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on The terrifying experience of drawing in public
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https-%2f%2fcdn-evbuc-com%2fimages%2f25635246%2f79986262757%2f1%2foriginalThe Edinburgh Comic Art Festival took place in Summerhall Venue on 26th and 27th of November, and of course I couldn’t miss it. The whole exhibition offered a variety of visiting speakers, free workshops to test your artistic capabilities, and panels with Scottish and British comic book artists displaying their work. And if you are a geek like me, all these things hold an extra value!

For this story, I will share with you the experience I had while participating in the quick-draw activity. As the name itself states, quick-draw was one of the many activities where you actually had to draw different images on a drawing surface, as fast as possible. Our instructors were Mr.…. and Mrs.…... Ok I admit it; I was late and missed the part where they introduced themselves. For our convenience, let’s call them Mr. Tall (for obvious reasons) and Mrs. Red (due to her bright red hair). 20161204-963567316_editedThe whole activity was designed for people who are new to drawing, for others with some existing experience, and for those who are TERRIFIED by it, like me!

The participants had to experiment with a range of different materials like white or coloured paper, different sketching pencils, markers with several colour options, while using different techniques, to explore the way real life illustrators create their work. The motto of our two wonderful instructors (Yes I’m talking about Mr. Tall and Mrs. Red) was: “You don’t need any fancy equipment to draw your hearts out. Some white paper and a black pencil and your empty canvas will transform into a work of art”. The first thing we had to do was draw a funny face. “Draw a line here and here, and there and remember, don’t push your pencil too much” Mr. Tall said. He made it look so effortless which by the way, wasn’t! I had to try really hard. The end result after 15 minutes of drawing and connecting lines looked like an uglier version of Mr. Potato from Toy Story. And yes, Mr. potato is already ugly enough! The first session was officially over with not much success.

Next stop, Nature! How to draw trees and flowers with a few easy techniques. Instructions followed again, this time by Mrs. Red. Initially, it seemed easier than drawing a face. Well it wasn’t, especially for someone who can’t draw a straight line, not even with a ruler. My picture was a complete disaster. Probably something that a 3 year old would draw. When Mrs. Red saw my picture, she was literally speechless. I managed to give the world talentless a whole new meaning. I’m quite sure that if we lived in a fantasy world, where Mrs. Red was the queen, she would have ordered my immediate incarceration, to prevent me from creating new abominations! All jokes aside, she was super cool and funny, and despite her initial shock, she was all smiles and compliments.

fotor_148081045839063Finally, for the third and final task, we had to draw anything we wanted. I decided to go with Doctor Strange. Since I had a cover of him in my bag, I didn’t have to search for my inspiration. The end result was quite tolerable. Finally, after all this time, I managed to draw something! Even Mrs. Red complimented me for my effort! And that was it, almost 45 minutes later, the quick-draw activity was over. The purpose of this workshop was to gain confidence in developing your own drawing skills. Did I become the new Dali? Hell no! But I had a great time, met interesting people who are equally bad at drawing, and finally had the chance to use a range of materials and techniques utilized by professional comic book artists. Now that I’m equipped with all this knowledge, I feel super ready for the Edinburgh Comic Con festival in February.

CAPITAL SCI-FI CON, here I come!!!

Edinburgh Comic Art Festival

December 8th, 2016 by Lenka Murova | 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

Secret Identity: Community Comics and Cultural Identity

November 29th, 2016 by katharina_dittmann | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Secret Identity: Community Comics and Cultural Identity
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facebook_hashtag-ecaf_logoAs part of Book Week Scotland 2016, the Edinburgh Comic Art Festival took place on 26 and 27 November. Infected by several comic book enthusiasts in our class, I jumped at the opportunity and immersed myself in the glorious world that is comic art. The festival, which was situated in Summerhall, offered free talks and workshops as well as a comic book fair where local artists presented their works. In short, it had everything a comic book lover’s heart desires.

For this blog, I chose Paul Bristow’s talk on Secret Identity, which explored the link between community comics and cultural identity. Paul is part of Magic Torch Comics, an arts and heritage group from Inverclyde, who have made it their mission to work with communities and schools to reconnect people with their local heritage. According to Paul, restoring community heritage can reshape the view of a community and strengthen its identity by winning back its self-esteem. Involving the members of a community in the research means recognizing their authority and insider knowledge that “can be just as valid as academic research” (quote Bristow). As a result, Magic Torch approach their project with a “dig-where-you-stand” mentality, which means that they let students and/or other members of the community look for traces of history and folklore in their immediate surroundings.

img_20161128_145426-minAs an example Paul chose his collaboration with the community of Greenock, a historic industrial town once well-known for its shipyards. Although the area can look back on a rich cultural history, the community’s heritage was overlooked in favour of progress and future development. Magic Torch brought their project to local schools and asked students to research historical events that had happened near them. The team then helped them to create the characters and develop their stories. The result was 4,000 copies of a 64 pages full-colour graphic novel that, thanks to funding, could be distributed for free to schools and other places in Greenock.

Apart from the focus on heritage, Magic Torch’s collaboration serves another purpose: improving students’ literacy and language skills. This has resulted in comic books about a Space Princess written in French (Le Mystère de la Princesse Sorcière) and the comic adaptation of a Gaelic song about a shinty match back in 1877 (Camanachd Ghrianaig). All of these works are available for download on Magic Torch’s website.

by Katharina Dittmann