Laura Howell on the comic guest line up for MCM Midlands Comic Con

Laura Howell at last year's Lakes International Comic Art Festival.
Laura Howell at last year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

MCM Midlands Comic Con is back in Telford tomorrow, Saturday 13th February, with, as you’d expect, some comic creators on board for the day, including Beano contributor Laura Howell.

Laura is a Birmingham-based comic artist, writer and occasional educator who turned pro in 2006 after eight years working as an editor in children’s publishing but, like almost all cartoonists, she’d  been drawing on and off for as long as she can remember. “I don’t know if it’s in my blood or in my brain, but I’ve never been able to quit,” she says.

Last year saw the release of her brilliant book, The Bizarre Adventures Of Gilbert & Sullivan, a comical companion of choice for ladies, gentlemen and urchins alike, published by Soaring Penguin Press.

While she says her major claim to fame is being the first female artist to produce a regular strip in The Beano in its over-70-year history, her work also appeared in The Dandy, Egmont UK’s TOXICThe DFC for David Fickling Books (one of which was published in The Guardian‘s Comic supplement). More recently, she’s drawn Angry Birds.

She also draws and publishes her own comics, including The Bizarre Adventures of Gilbert & Sullivan, and is actively involved with the Midlands Comics Collective.

Other guests from across the worlds of film, television, comics and other media due to attend include Sylvester McCoy, famous for playing the seventh incarnation of everyone’s favourite time lord in Doctor Who and, more recently, nature-loving wizard Radagast the Brown in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy; his explosives-loving companion Ace, or in reality Sophie Aldred; plus Kai Owen (Torchwood, Being Human), Simon Fisher-Becker (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Doctor Who) and currently appearing in new supernatural series Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and web show Wireless; and Andrew Lee Potts, who played Connor Temple in hit ITV show Primeval.

Meanwhile, the show’s Comic Village will be playing host to artists and writers such as Laura, Naniiebim, Sammy Borras, Lyndon White plus Beyond The Bunker.

Retailers exhibiting at Midlands Comic Con include Universal Pictures, Tokyo Toys, Manga UK, MVM Entertainment, the Japan Centre and MyM Magazine, who will have videogame voice actor Adam Howden (Dragon Age II, Xenoblade Chronicles) signing on their stand.

Other attractions include an Ultra Street Fighter 4 tournament and League of Legends free play area in the eSports zone, and a Cosplay Masquerade – a friendly competition full of colourful costumes drawn from the worlds of anime, comics, films and games.

For more information visit the MCM Expo website

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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