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IDW Publishing heads to Portsmouth to celebrate 20th Anniversary

Copyrighted artwork for the Portsmouth Comic Con International Festival of Comics has been illustrated by Spike Zephaniah
Copyrighted artwork for the Portsmouth Comic Con International Festival of Comics has been illustrated by Spike Zephaniah

2019 marks a milestone 20th anniversary for US publisher IDW Publishing, perhaps best known for its Transformers, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles titles and, more recently, its creator-owned imprint Black Crown. Part of the company’s celebrations will be taking place at this year’s Portsmouth Comic Con in May.

Scott Dunbier
Scott Dunbier

Taking place 4th – 5th May 2019, Portsmouth Comic Con brings together the best in comic book, TV, film and pop culture entertainment, providing fun for aficionados, fans and families alike, with a terrific line up of comic creators on offer.

This year’s event, set over Star Wars weekend, promises to be even bigger and better with a special celebration of Batman’s 80th anniversary and much more.

In attendance at the event – the largest of its kind on Britain’s South Coast – will be IDW’s senior editor Scott Dunbier, who’s responsible for their acclaimed Artist’s and Artifact Editions line of books; and Dirk Wood, creative director for its Wood Works line which includes Full Bleed magazine.

Dirk Wood
Dirk Wood

“We are very pleased to have Scott and Dirk at this year’s show,” says co-organiser Tripwire’s editor-in-chief Joel Meadows. “They will be set up on the show floor but they will also be a major part of the programming, with at least one panel celebrating IDW’s past, present and future.”

In addition to the IDW presence, Portsmouth Comic Con will feature a range of top quality international comic guests including Marvel legend Roy Thomas, his first visit over to the UK in many years, legendary Batman writer Steve Englehart, who has not been over to a UK convention in a very long time; and DC and Marvel artist Tommy Lee Edwards, artist Tomm Coker, Criminal and Kill Or Be Killed artist and co-creator Sean Phillips and many more – a selection of guests detailed below. It will also be featuring the first ever Tripwire Awards, with a ceremony taking place on the evening of Saturday 4th May at the show.

For announcements, people are advised to follow @PortsmouthComicCon on Facebook or sign up online to receive e-newsletters. Tickets with an early bird discount until the end of February are available at: www.portsmouthcomiccon.com or 0844 847 2362

THE ANNOUNCED LINE-UP

Sayra Begum - Self PortraitSayra Begum is currently working on her debut graphic novel Mongrel, which will be published by Knockabout Comics. It tells the story of a girl growing up as a British Muslim caught between two cultures, challenging and tearing away the differences to reveal the common humanity.

Laurence Campbell
Laurence Campbell

A British comic artist based in Whitstable, Laurence Campbell’s first job was working on Caliber’s Negative Burn anthology but it was his work at 2000AD on strips like “Breathing Space” and” Judge Dredd” with Rob Williams, John Wagner and Si Spurrier that got him noticed. He later moved onto Marvel, working on books like Punisher, Wolverine and Moon Knight. Since 2013 he has been the regular series artist on Dark Horse’s long-running Hellboy spinoff, BPRD.

Mark Chater
Mark Chater

Mark Chater is an artist who spent many years in the video game industry. Based in the northeast of England, he has worked for Marvel, Titan and Dark Horse.

He collaborated with Brian Wood on series Briggs Land for Dark Horse and he is currently working with Wood again on fantasy series Sword Daughter. This is his first appearance at Portsmouth Comic Con.

Tomm Coker
Tomm Coker

Tomm Coker began his career as a comic book artist while still in high school. Since then, he has provided artwork for a variety of characters ranging from The Avengers to X-Men. Coker is currently working on The Black Monday Murders (Image Comics) with writer, Jonathan Hickman.

Jamie Delano
Jamie Delano

Since publication of his first professional work in the early 1980s, Jamie Delano has made a diverse contribution to the comic book medium, scripting both original works: World Without EndTaintedGhostdancingHell Eternal, Cruel and UnusualTerritory, Outlaw Nation; and publisher-owned properties such as Captain Britain, Doctor Who, Night Raven, HellblazerAnimal ManBatman/ManbatShadowman, and Crossed.

Jamie is also the author of three novels: Book Thirteen, Leepus | Dizzy and Leepus | The River.

Ian Edginton
Ian Edginton

Ian Edginton is a British writer whose CV has included regular collaborations with D’Israeli on series like Scarlet Traces, a sequel to HG Wells’ The War Of The Worlds and The Great Game.

He has also worked extensively for 2000AD on strips like “Stickleback”, “Leviathan”, “Judge Dredd” and. more recently, “Fiends of the Eastern Front”. He’s also worked for Marvel, Vertigo, Wildstorm and Boom! and wrote the hit Iron Maiden comic, Legacy Of The Beast, for Heavy Metal.

With decades of experience in the comics industry, he has built up a loyal and regular following.

Steve Englehart
Steve Englehart

Arriving at Marvel Comics in the early 1970s, Steve Englehart worked for Roy Thomas on various secondary titles before co-creating The Defenders while also taking over The Avengers in 1972, where he immediately had an impact, his cutting edge storytelling elevating both titles.

Further fan-favourite series that followed were Doctor Strange and Master of Kung Fu, co-created with Jim Starlin. Englehart’s writing chimed with Marvel’s readership as well as critics, capturing the spirit of an age that differed considerably from the previous decade. His best work for Marvel was on Captain America, which focused on a conflicted Steve Rogers, who no longer understood his place in the America he was meant to represent. His key storylines included the resolution of the 1950s iteration of the character with continuity, along with Rogers creating a new persona for himself in the form of the Nomad.

His move to DC in the late 70s proved to be another high point for the writer, his eight issue run on Detective Comics a superbly noirish, retro work that both recalled and transcended the Golden Age Batman tales of Kane, Finger and Robinson. It was easily as crucial to the Batman canon as the Adams, Miller and Bolland versions. Like Thomas, Englehart was and remains a fan of the medium who went on to push it forward and is as celebrated a figure as his colleague.

Gary Erskine
Gary Erskine

Gary Erskine has worked in the comic industry for over twenty five years for Marvel, DC Comics, Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics, Image, IDW and other companies with writers Mark Millar, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, and Grant Morrison on books including The UnwrittenWar StoriesThe Massive with Brian Wood, and Grindhouse with Alex De Campi, with characters as diverse as Judge Dredd, Starman, Dan Dare and Captain America.

He has also contributed to licenses including Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Transformers and Terminator. He mentors film students on storyboarding, teaches workshops at schools and libraries and is currently writing and publishing ROLLER GRRRLS. Future work includes http://Incendiary.US and Zachariah Gunn: Dakota.

He’s also provided storyboards and concept design work for the games and film industry and also works commercially with clients including D’Agostini, SONY, EA Games Colors, Team GB British Cycling, J League and the Joshua Agency. He has also contributed a short story to the successful Metal Made Flesh series for Subversive Comics working with writer Cy Dethan called “The Final Piece Of Me”. Recent work includes the companion graphic novel to the Frontlines series of sci-fi novels by Marko Kloos, written by Ivan Brandon for Jet City Comics.

He also hosts character Design workshops for schools and teaches storyboards for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and more recently provided workshops for the Prince’s Trust.

The Etherington Brothers
The Etherington Brothers

The Etherington Brothers are the creators of the UK’s most successful comics Kickstarter of all time, How to THINK when you DRAW, which raised a record-breaking quarter of a million pounds ($340,000) in just 27 days. They have produced comics, art and stories for Disney, Dreamworks, Aardman, the BBC, as well as many of the world’s leading book publishers.

They are the creators of numerous comic series including Long Gone Don, Von Doogan, Freaky and Fearless and Stranski.

Kieron Gillen
Kieron Gillen

Kieron Gillen is a British writer with an impressive CV that includes creator-owned books Phonogram and The Wicked And The Divine both with artist Jamie McKelvie. He has also worked extensively for Marvel on books like Young Avengers, Journey Into Mystery and Uncanny X-Men. He was also the writer on Marvel’s popular Star Wars: Darth Vader and is currently the co-creator of Image’s popular DIE series with artist Stephanie Hans. This is his first trip to Portsmouth Comic Con.

Sean Phillips
Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips got his start in comics with strips for Crisis and in the US, Hellblazer. After working on Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000AD, he  began his collaboration with Ed Brubaker, firstly on Scene Of A Crime for DC, and later on Criminal for Marvel / Image. He continued to work with Brubaker on Sleeper for Wildstorm, followed by other noir series such as Criminal, Fatale, Incognito and The Fade Out, all featuring his highly evocative artwork, reminiscent of Dave Gibbons at his finest.

His other major work includes Marvel Zombies. Considered by many to be one of the best in the industry, Phillips’s work continues to receive widespread acclaim.

Declan Shalvey
Declan Shalvey

Declan Shalvey is an Irish artist and writer who first made his name on the UK indie comic Hero Killers which won him an Eagle Award. He soon moved on to work for Classical Comics, work which led to him being noticed by Marvel and DC.

He has worked on All-Star Batman for DC and Thunderbolts, Moon Knight, Deadpool and Civil War: Choosing Sides for Marvel. He has also had his work published extensively at Image Comics on series like Injection and the original graphic novel Savage Town, which he wrote for artist Phillip Barrett. His distinctive style as an artist has won him fans around the world.

Liam Sharp
Liam Sharp

Liam Sharp is a British comic artist and writer. He began as an apprentice to legendary British comic artist Don Lawrence. He cut his teeth working for 2000AD but was quickly noticed there and moved onto Marvel UK where he drew Deaths’s Head II. From there, he drew books like Uncanny X-MenIncredible Hulk, Spider-man and Man-Thing with writer DeMatteis.

He set up his own publishing company Mam Tor in 2004 which published a number of books and graphic novels. In recent years, he has returned to DC to draw a well-regarded run of Wonder Woman with writer Greg Rucka. He also wrote and drew The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman, a six-issue series which came out this year. He is currently the artist on DC’s hot The Green Lantern series, with legendary Scottish writer Grant Morrison.

Roy Thomas
Roy Thomas

After Stan Lee, Roy Thomas was probably the most important figure at Marvel Comics from the late 60s through to the end of the Bronze Age. Arriving at Marvel in 1965, Thomas quickly became the company’s key writer, firstly on Sgt Fury and the Uncanny X-Men, before taking over the scripting reins on the Avengers, the series that confirmed his status as a major talent. Throughout his six year run on the title, Thomas raised the bar with ever more sophisticated and progressive stories, making him Lee’s right hand man at the publisher.

Keen to push Marvel forward as the 1970s approached, Thomas brought anti-hero pulp character Conan the Barbarian to comics, a brave and hugely influential move that ushered in a new era for the company. Thomas co-created numerous other characters for Marvel, including Wolverine, Carol Danvers, Morbius, The Vision and Ultron. In 1972, Thomas became Editor in Chief at Marvel, overseeing and writing titles such as Ghost Rider, Iron Fist and Marvel Team Up.

His love of Golden Age comics gave him the impetus to create the Invaders, as well as reviving the Justice Society of America and many other 1940s properties when he moved to DC in the early 80s. A true fan and champion of the medium, Thomas is without doubt one of the cornerstones of its development.

Russell Walks
Russell Walks

Russell Walks is an official Star Wars artist. Although his original goals included both becoming bionic and joining the rebellion against the Empire, Walks eventually decided his destiny lay along another path, and chose art school over adventure. Adept at both traditional and digital illustration and design, he has created art based on licensed properties for clients including Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Random House and many others.

Chris Weston got his start working with Trigan Empire creator, Don Lawrence which led to a tenure on “Judge Dredd” at 2000AD. First garnering attention in the United Sates, working with Mark Millar on Swamp Thing, Weston went on to work for various US publishers on The InvisiblesStarmanJSALucifer and The Authority. He gained a higher profile working on Grant Morrison’s The Filth, but is mainly known for his sterling retro-classic work on The Twelve, a celebrated 12 issue limited series that reimagined Timely (Golden Age Marvel) characters in a Watchmen vein before going on to work for Star Wars.

Enjoying the sun: Portsmouth Comic Con attendees on the steps of the Guildhall
Enjoying the sun: Portsmouth Comic Con attendees on the steps of the Guildhall

Last May’s event, attended by over 5000 people, welcomed many comic creators artists from around the world who’ve worked on the biggest properties in genre including Star Wars, Superman, Batman, Wolverine and many more, including the incredible Walt and Louise Simonson, in their first visit to the UK in over a decade, Frank Quitely (All-Star Superman, X-Men, WE3), Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire, Batman) and official Star Wars artist Russell Walks.

Celebrity guests from film and television including actors from Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and Red Dwarf were in attendance and fans were treated to virtual reality exhibits, panels, exhibitions, cosplay, special FX artists, retro gaming, board gaming and kids workshops. There was also a floor dedicated to Steampunk and a Comic City full of collectables which all added to the event. The weekend received many rave reviews from visitors and professionals alike:

With capacity limited, people are strongly advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

• For announcements, people are advised to follow @PortsmouthComicCon on Facebook or sign up online to receive e-newsletters. Tickets with an early bird discount until the end of February are available at: www.portsmouthcomiccon.com or 0844 847 2362

• More about IDW publishing at www.idwpublishing.com

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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