British Comics in the spotlight at 26th Helsinki Comics Festival

(With thanks to Paul Gravett): Britain is the guest country at this year’s Helsinki Comics Festival , which takes place this coming weekend.

As part of this, Comica Festival is originating an exhibition ‘Great British Comics Nows’ spotlighting the festival’s guests – Bryan & Mary Talbot and Warren Pleece – as well as other contemporary UK creators.

The exhibition is curated and designed by Paul Gravett and Peter Stanbury, co-authors of Great British Comics, and will be touring to other international comics festivals, starting in November at Comica Festival in London and then in December at Strip Turnhout in Turnhout, Belgium, with the support of the British Council.

With hundreds of talents to choose from, these are the sixteen contemporary comics creators who have been selected to have their work represented in the exhibition ‘Great British Comics Now’ in Helsinki in this special year celebrating the centenary of Finnish comics:
Adam Brockbank (MeZolith), Darryl Cunningham (Psychiatric Tales), Hunt Emerson (Ancient Mariner), Garen Ewing (The Rainbow Orchid), Paul Grist (Jack Staff), Dave McKean (The Savage), Jon McNaught (Pebble Island), Kevin O’Neill (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Luke Pearson (Hildafolk), Woodrow Phoenix (Horse Drawn), Warren Pleece (The Great Unwashed), Frank Quitely (We3), Paul Rainey (There’s No Time Life The Present), Posy Simmonds (Gemma Bovery), Bryan Talbot (Grandville), and Mary Talbot (Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes).

As well as a programme of individual presentations and interviews and a group panel discussion including the invited guests and Sam Arthur from Nobrow, the Grant Morrison documentary film ‘Talking with Gods’, directed by Patrick Meaney, will have its Finnish premiere.

The 26th Helsinki Comics Festival will take place on the 16th – 18th of September 2011 and is the largest comic-related event in Finland and Northern Europe, organised by the Finnish Comics Society since 1979.

Along with British comics, this year’s special themes are World Comics and 100 years of Finnish comics.

The festival programme includes lectures, discussions, workshops, interviews, performances, competitions, signings and evening events.

A large variety of Finnish and international comics exhibitions are included again at this year’s festival. Several galleries and institutions are working together with the festival to create exhibitions.

The festival – which attracted some 15,000 visitors last year – has a comic fair for publishers and commerce from Finland and abroad. This will be arranged for the second year in a large scale tent at Lasipalatsi square at the heart of the Helsinki. The event is free and public and includes a Small Press Heaven, an alternative fair of zines, smaller publications and young artists at a separate spot near the main tent.

Official web site here (page in English)

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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