Photo Review: Stripped Mini Comic Fair

Fair exterior
As part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Stripped programme the Stripped weekend included a two-day Mini Comic Fair. This was a free to enter fair which was located across the road from the main BookFest in Charlotte Square Gardens and right beside Bute House, the Scottish Government’s equivalent of 10 Downing Street.

Fair Room 1
Taking over the first floor of the somewhat plush Georgian house, this wasn’t a typical local comic mart. The idea was to provide Scottish small press creators somewhere to sell their wares as part of Stripped for free, or at least for the cost of posting a deposit cheque to BookFest that was then returned to them on the weekend. In these days of Paypal and on-line banking, finding a chequebook was probably the most difficult part of the whole procedure.

Fair Room 2
The fare was open from 11am to 6 pm on both the Saturday and Sunday of the Stripped weekend to tie in more closely with the daytime talks taking place across the road in the BookFest gardens. Some of the creators who exhibited at the fair were –

Fair Sandra
Metaphrog, writer John Chalmers (away on Stripped blog reviewing duties when this photo was taken) and artist Sandra Marrs, are longstanding comic creators based in Glasgow. They are best known for their Louis series of books but they also lead a lot of comics workshops at schools and libraries and have given comic workshops at BookFest in the past. This year they were part of the Stripped BookFest blog team  reviewing events and writing about creating the Louis books.

There are more details of Metaphrog and their Louis books on their website.

Fair Ed
Edward Ross took part in a Stripped talk with fellow Edinburgh creator Will Morris on the Friday before moving across to the fair for the Saturday and Sunday to sell his Filmish cinema theory comics as well as Grow, his book on parenthood. Like Metaphrog he was also one of the Stripped bloggers where he reviewed events and talked about his non-fiction comics.

There are more details of Edward Ross’ work on his website.

Fair Mhairi
The Roller Grrrls team of artist Gary Erskine and writer Mhairi Stewart were probably grrr-ing when they first discovered that the Stripped weekend in Edinburgh clashed with the Collectormania weekend in Glasgow but they chose to divide and conquer with Gary in Glasgow and Mhairi in Edinburgh selling their prints and Roller Grrrls Sketchbooks as a tease for when the first Roller Grrrl comic appears.

There are more details of Roller Grrrls on their website.

Fair John
Also caught between the two different sides of Scotland on the same day were Glasgow based Black Hearted Press who were similarly split between Stripped and Collectormania. With Laptop Guy artist Sha Nazir in Glasgow it was up to School Of The Damned writer John Farman to promote the publisher’s various titles at Stripped including their new title Royal Descent with art by Jon Howard.

There are more details of all the Black Hearted Press titles on their website.

Fair Gill
I’m sure that the members of Team Girl Comic never had a pink chaise lounge to sit on at any of their other comics events (although by all accounts it wasn’t that comfortable) but it didn’t stop Gill Hatcher (above) and Claire Yvette selling their range of TGC issues and comics by individual TGC members which included Gill’s delightful Bunny Behind The Moon.

There are more details of Team Girl Comic and their range of titles on their website.

Fair Neil
Glaswegian creator Neil Slorance was showing off his newest comic, The Amateur Astronomer’s Journal, along with the rest of his titles. The book, about a girl who retreats from a relationship into star-watching, is available for Kindle as well as a 28 page A5 comic.

There are more details of Neil Slorance’s work on his website.

Fair Tanya
Star Wars and Disney comic strip artist Tanya Roberts may have had one of the shortest commutes of any of the comic fair creators which allowed her to bring along original full-page comic artwork, sketches, plus her own comic Forgotten Muse. Tanya was interviewed on downthetubes in 2012 about this title and the rest of her work.

There are more details of Tanya Roberts’ work on her website.

The full list of creators at the Stripped Mini Comic Fair is on the Stripped BookFest blog along with links to all their various websites.

Jeremy Briggs

News, reviews, interviews and features for print and on-line: Spaceship Away (since October 2005), Bear Alley (since February 2007), downthetubes (since June 2007), and Eagle Times (since October 2008). Plus Titan’s Dan Dare and Johnny Red reprints, Ilex’s War Comics: A Graphic History and 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and Print Media’s The Iron Moon and Strip magazine.

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