The biggest names in comic art will descend on Shrewsbury on the first weekend in June, for Comics Salopia, a new international comics festival, which organisers say is set to cement the town’s reputation as the unofficial home of the British comics industry – and got its official launch earlier today.
Some of the world’s finest illustrators and comics writers live in or around Shrewsbury and are giving their backing to the festival – including The Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, John Wagner, the co-creator of Judge Dredd and Marvel artist Christian Ward (Thor Black Bolt).
UK Comics Laureate, Charlie Adlard, former mayor Jane Mackenzie and Event Director Shane Chebsey came up with the idea for Comics Salopia.
They aim to inspire visitors of all ages with an exciting two-day celebration of comic art and storytelling and hope it will attract thousands of visitors to Shropshire from across the UK, boosting the local economy.
“The vision is for it to be a festival that supports all forms of comics,” Charlie say. “Comics are for everyone, aged nine to 99. The perception in the UK is that they are just for kids, but really it’s just a different form of reading. We want to change perceptions and widen their appeal.”
The festival will be supporting the new local charity, Share Shrewsbury, which was recently set up by Jane Mackenzie. All festival profits will be given to Share in order to help it to raise awareness about substance misuse, and support local people in recovery.
Jane said: “I am delighted that this festival will be helping local individuals, and their families and friends, who are affected by addiction. We need to come together as a community to support everyone in recovery.”
From Marvel superheroes to the Beano, Peppa Pig or more grown up material like Hellboy and The Walking Dead, there will be something for everyone. Visitors will have the chance to watch some of the world’s most renowned comic artists at work.
For serious comics fans, there will be ticketed master classes and seminars, where some of the biggest names in the industry from around the world will share their secrets of success.
The festival will take place in key locations across town with The Dana Prison as a 2000AD zone; a whole host of writers and artists from the pages of the iconic comic book will be appearing at the prison during the festival, exhibiting their work and interacting with fans.
The Dana Prison will also be running some very special themed immersive events that fans of Judge Dredd and 2000AD will not want to miss.
Other venues will include the Castle Grounds, Shrewsbury Library, The Town Square , The museum and Art Gallery and The Guildhall.
There will be inspiring workshops hosted by world famous illustrators and artists for both children and adults, including a special kids’ zone hosted in Shrewsbury Library by Peppa Pig publishers, Redan, who are based here in Shrewsbury and are the biggest publishers of children’s comics in the UK.
Plans are already underway to commission local artists to create mural artworks on buildings in town, creating areas of beauty and interest for visitors.
Festival Chair Jane Mackenzie said: “I met Charlie during my year as Mayor, and was won over by his vision to establish a comics festival in Shrewsbury. We are all proud of our town, and I wanted to help to create a really inclusive community event, held in the heart of Shrewsbury, which had something to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. Our ambition is to involve schools, colleges, community groups and businesses in this creative celebration of comics and visual art.”
The Comics Salopia website, www.comicssalopia.com has been designed by leading local digital agency, Yarrington. They’re also creating a bespoke mobile app for the festival with MyAppuccino.com, their groundbreaking app development software tool. MyAppuccino.com is a leading sponsor of the festival and is a real game changer in the world of app production, helping digital agencies to create apps faster and more cost effectively than ever before.
Festival Director Shane Chebsey said: “It was very obvious straight off the bat that we both shared similar values and aspirations and both cared deeply about Shrewsbury being represented as the hub for innovation, originality and creativity that it really is, on the national and even international stage.”
• Do visit the brand new Comics Salopia website over the coming weeks, as the organisers release news of the many world renowned comic artists and writers heading to our county town from all over the world for 1st – 2nd June 2019