Whilst it’s normally a gaudy and minor celebrity filled show, it’s important to remember that without the writers and artists of the original source material – the comics – we wouldn’t have Backpacks, Funko figures, T-Shirts, hoodies, action figures, props and all the rest of the tosh that will one day soon be landfill.
So we thought that we might mention a couple of people who actually create comics (you remember that this is called a ‘Comic’ Con right?). As you may already know, although I occasionally like to pick a fight with certain events who have very little to do with actual comics it’s important to note that MCM has a great big old comics market called ‘Comics Village‘ and, alongside some big names such as top Iron Man artist Bob Layton, two British indie creators detailed below will be there ready to shake your hand and talk to you about their creations and listen to your opinions.
(Just don’t ask for a free hug!)
First up is that rabble-rouser Matt Garvey. Working steadily as a writer, he has recently released print versions of his series Chunks and The Adventures of Cordelia Swift and the first two issues of each series will be on sale at MCM for £3.00 each. Here is how he describes himself….
“…. I live in the great English county of Essex… I say great, it’s pretty much full of fake t*** and real ars****** (I’m the latter just in case you were wondering), but still, it’s my home and I love it…”
Matt is fast creating a great back catalogue of fun and interesting comics. He is not afraid to play with genre and mix up some adult humour into the pages.
My current favourite of his is the series Chunks, about an anarchic rock band who are always getting themselves into trouble. It is adult in its approach and has moments of laugh out loud humour. Working with artist Cris Canfailla, this series cannot fail to cheer me up on a bad day at work! (Yes, see what I did there?) It is irreverent, sweary and full of some excellent toilet humour (one sequence even takes place with one of the characters sitting on the actual pan).
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT – Don’t buy crack cocaine from people who work in toilets.
This is the sort of comic that would have fitted easily into an issue of Deadline or Escape Magazine in the 1990s and is full of playful experimentation and comic timing. Beware though – its has very adult content, including sexual and drugs references from the beginning and throughout, and is bound to insult and upset (how is that for a pull quote – I personally love this series!)
• You can find the first two issues for sale on Comixology or through Matt’s shop here
• You can find Matt at table CG8 in Comics Village at the MCM London event
• Also well worth looking out for are the first two issues of Matt’s other in print series The Adventures of Cordelia Swift: Run and Hyde. This will be for sale at his table as well as on Comixology and at his Big Cartel Page here
Above is the cover art for Mr G’s upcoming series Transfer, written by Matt with pretty flipping great art by Eder Messiah. Matt was kind enough to send me the first part of the series and it is looking like another cracker from the Garvey stables.
Next up is Kickstarter maestro and small change enthusiast Jon Laight. This writer has been publishing his own series, Brethren Born for around the last year.
Along with some incredible art by Phil Knibbs, Issue #2 has just been successfully funded and will be available to buy at MCM’s London event throughout the weekend whilst stocks last.
(Er, what does ‘Tuppence’ mean?)
Following the adventures of a vengeance obsessed super-powered vigilante this is a book full of action and violence. It also has an intelligently told narrative full of twists and turns. A series that has some excellent character designs (Mr Fresco being a personal favourite). The book is brutal and told with a thoughtful approach. It acts like a comics crossover of books like James Hudnall’s Espers, David Cronenburg’s movie Scanners and Chris Claremont’s run on X-Men and New Mutants.
Brethren Born is fast becoming one of my favourite small press books out there. Jon has mapped out a twisting and turning story that matches intelligent narrative with brutally balletic set pieces. This is a book that is well worth your attention.
• You can find Jon at table CC5 in Comics Village at the MCM London event.
Jon and the mighty Dan Butcher have also just collaborated on a cracking short for the upcoming comics anthology project Comichaus. Titled “Suited and Booted”, I’ve been lucky enough to see some preview pages and it looks incredible. It takes some punchy/kicky turns – which is no surprise with these two involved (Smiley Face).
You can find more about this project before it launches on Kickstarter at the start of June here.
Jon, as he is the busiest man in comics, is also part of the Close 2 Immortality creative collective. They describe themselves so…
“It’s a platform for the collective’s members to promote themselves and their projects through a unified brand. The key is strength in numbers; building the name of the individual through the names of the many. C2I provides a platform for each other to be able to shout about what they do to more people; to signal boost each other and the projects they produce via social media and a larger presence at conventions.”
You can find more about all that jazz here
So, do yourself a favour. Hit up these creators and others in the Comics Village at MCM this upcoming weekend. Remember, it is not just about getting a photograph with a third-rate actor or buying a pencil-case for more money than you should. Support comics. It’ll be a better world (maybe) if you do.
Many thanks for reading.