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Comic Creators set to invade LonCon 3

LonCon 3 Logo
 

London’s Excel Centre will host Loncon 3 – the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention from Thursday 14th – Monday 18th August and there are a number of comic creators on the guest list over the long, busy weekend to look out for if you’re one of the 6000 plus attending.

The annual World Science Fiction Convention brings together authors, artists, publishers, and fans of science fiction and fantasy and will also see the winners of the annual Hugo Awards for excellence in science fiction and fantasy voted by Worldcon membership, presented during the convention.

Comic creators attending include Bryan Talbot (one of the Guests of Honour, a list that also includes illustrator Chris Foss), Hannah BerryCory Doctorow, Mike CareyPaul Cornell, Simon Guerrier, Karrie Fransman, Inko, Maura McHugh, Sarah McIntyre, Ian Sharman, Mary TalbotSmuzz, manga and anime experts Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, some chap called George RR Martin and Forbidden Planet’s Danie Ware.

Maura McHugh
Maura McHugh. Photo: Jeremy Briggs

There are a number of comic-related events on the programme, as well as an exhibition of art by Bryan, with a variety of speakers offering key note talks, children’s workshops and panel discussions that explore the rich tradition of sequential art worldwide and how it is likely to evolve in the future, co-ordinated by Maura McHugh.

“I’m passionate about comic books,” says Maura. “I’m an omnivorous reader: I like superheroes, memoirs, humour, comix, Manga, anthologies, horror, web comics, science fiction, fantasy, and mimetic comic books. Sequential art in all its expressions is wonderful partly because its malleable quality lends it to a diversity of subjects and forms.

“My aim for the comic book programme is to celebrate the sheer range of the medium, to show its development, and how it has influenced, and been influenced by, other art forms.”

Here’s are just some of the many events we’ve spotted using the “comics” tag… and Maura has listed all the comic events on her blog here

Thursday 14th August

Underground Comics Go Mainstream: Has Digital Distribution Widened or Saturated the Audience?
Capital Suite 5 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm
With: Kaja FoglioAlex Ingram, , Matt G. LegerMegan WaplesPhil Foglio

With the advent of web comics and the online distribution of comics via the likes of ComiXology, have underground comics gone mainstream? Creators of indie comic books can theoretically reach international audiences, but do they have the time and resources to compete with the thousands of other small press offerings seeking the same market? Are creators free to create as they wish now or are other pressures coming to bear on their time and choice of work? Does a subversive, independent comic book scene exist?

Underground Comics Go Mainstream: Has Digital Distribution Widened or Saturated the Audience?
Capital Suite 5 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm
Kaja Foglio, Alex Ingram, Nicolle Lamerichs, Matt G. Leger, Megan Waples, Phil Foglio

With the advent of web comics and the online distribution of comics via the likes of ComiXology, have underground comics gone mainstream? Creators of indie comic books can theoretically reach international audiences, but do they have the time and resources to compete with the thousands of other small press offerings seeking the same market? Are creators free to create as they wish now or are other pressures coming to bear on their time and choice of work? Does a subversive, independent comic book scene exist?

Tove Jansson’s Moomins: Their Legacy and Influence
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm
K. A. Laity, Lynda Rucker, Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson, Mary Talbot, Karrie Fransman

It’s 100 years since the birth of Finnish author/artist Tove Jansson, the award-winning creator of the beloved Moomins. Moomins appeared in novels, illustrated books, comic book strips and today are celebrated with their own theme park called Muumimaailma (Moomin World). Why did Jansson’s Moomins capture the attention and affection of the panellists, and how do Moomins continue to fire the imagination of new generations despite being nearly seventy years old? What is the legacy of the Moomins, and how do they continue to influence European comic books today?

Moominland Tales : The Life Of Tove Jansson
Capital Suite 17 (Level 3), 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Type: TV Screenings

Moomintroll and the Moomin family are characters loved by children and parents worldwide who have grown up listening to Finnish writer Tove Jansson’s delightful stories about a group of philosophical trolls who face a range of adventures in Moominland.
This 2012 BBC documentary reveals the strong autobiographical slant in the Moomins series as it traces the author’s own extraordinary story from living the bohemian life of an artist in war-torn Helsinki to becoming a recluse on a remote island in the Gulf of Finland.
Enjoying unprecedented access to Jansson’s personal archive, the film reveals an unconventional, brave and compelling woman whose creative genius extended beyond Moominland to satire, fine art and masterful adult fiction – not least her highly-regarded The Summer Book.

Experimenting with Comics
Capital Suite 15 (Level 3), 3pm – 4:30pm
Karrie Fransman

Join comic creator Karrie Fransman (The Guardian, The Times, The House that Groaned) to explore the history of sequential art from the Bayeux tapestry to Grayson Perry’s tapestries and from printed to digital comics, and discover why we’re entering a golden age of visual storytelling.

Friday, 15 August

British Comics: Influences and Influencers
Capital Suite 4 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm
Bryan Talbot, Ed Fortune, Megan Waples, Hannah Berry, Tony Ballantyne

130 years ago the emergence of Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday saw the first comic book (as we recognise it) published in the UK. Since then the medium has gone through many cycles of expansion and contraction. What comic books from outside the UK have been influential upon the development of comic books here – artistically, politically, and thematically? And how have British comic creators and stories in turn exerted their influence upon the comic book industries in other countries?

Is there a recognisable British comic book tradition? And how is it changing and adapting in an instant, connected world with a multitude of styles and visions?

Manga Evolutions
Capital Suite 2 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm
Zen Cho, Sarah Ash, Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson, Eric Senabre, Kyoko Ogushi

Manga developed in Japan as a syncretic reaction to American comic books from an indigenous art perspective, to become a unique style of sequential art. It has since emerged from Japan to become a vibrant style adopted by creators in other countries.

What are the more interesting and existing transformations that Manga has undergone in Japan, and outside its birthplace? What is the future of Manga as an art expression in the 21st century?

Diversity in Comic Books: The Good, The Bad, and the Missing
Capital Suite 8 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm
Megan Waples, Jenni Hill, Michael R. Underwood, Kurt Erichsen, Dev Agarwal, Goldeen Ogawa

A discussion about how the comic book industry is progressing – or not – regarding diversity of comic book characters, and comic book creators. What comic book titles and publishers are moving into new territories regarding their characters’ race, gender, sexuality, nationality and/or physical ability? What creators and publishers offer hope for a more inclusive comic book world, both behind the scene and on the pages? What publishers and creators continue to let down expectations? And who are the missing: those who are rarely drawn in comic books?

Sarah McIntyre's Christmas Present Picks - Super Animal Adventure Squad and Fish Head Steve - Felt Mistress
Sarah McIntyre, picking out one of her favourite comic-related goodies a while back.

Comics Jam Session with Sarah McIntyre!
London Suite 3 (Level 0), 12pm – 1:30pm
Sarah McIntyre

Discover new drawing skills, learn professional comics making tips, and get ideas for coming up with fresh drawings and stories. Create your own new character, then release it into the wild in this fun, interactive comics game. Be sure to bring along your questions! Please note that children will be given priority to participate in this child-friendly session.

Best 21st Century Comics: Predicting the New Classics
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm
Ada Palmer, Maura McHugh, Hannah Berry, Adam Rakunas, John Anderson

Which comics published in the 21st century will be quoted as the ‘classics’ in the decades to come? Will Y: The Last Man, Saga, Attack on Titan, Lazarus, Ms. Marvel, Grandville, Snowpiercer, or The Wake be remembered by future readers? What are your bets for the titles 22nd century comic book aficionados will consider comic book canon?

What is Art in the 21st Century?
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 3pm – 4:30pm
Jane Frank, K. J. (Kirsten) Bishop, James Stanley Daugherty, Amy Worthen, Jeremy Zerfoss, Sarah McIntyre

How do the Internet, social media, and proliferation and sharing of visual art online affect artists today?

Are the old distinctions in art – between ‘high’ and ‘low’ – still relevant in a multi-media/multi-discipline world, or are they only kept alive by moribund institutions? And where are the new artforms emerging in the 21st century? What inspires and frustrates the modern artist today?

Digital Comics
Capital Suite 6 (Level 3), 3pm – 4:30pm
Megan Waples, E. Scott Denison, David Sweeney, Thomas Wellmann

Academics give three presentations with opportunities for Q&A with the audience.
Thomas Wellmann, “”Fraq on to your real”: How Digital Comics lift the Body into Cyberspace”
E. Scott Denison, “Design fiction as a means of provoking individual foresight and participation in today’s decision making.”
David Sweeney, “‘I Cannot March Up and Down Their Ranks…’ Collecting, Reading and Owning Digital Comics”

Comic Book Networking: It’s Not Just The Interwebs
Capital Suite 3 (Level 3), 7pm – 8pm
Maura McHugh, Lynda Rucker, Yen Ooi, Meg Frank

Social media – Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter – are all de rigeur for networking for creators and fans, but what about all the other ways to meet your audience, your favourite creators, or just to talk to people about comic books? What are the benefits of comic book reading groups, conventions, comic book jams/drawing sessions, or networking meetings like Laydeez do Comics?

In a virtual world, there’s still a lot of meeting face-to-face going on.

Kapow! Best Comic Book Cosplays
Capital Suite 4 (Level 3), 8pm – 9pm
Stephen Nelson, Ric Bretschneider
A discussion of the best cosplays based on comic book characters.

Drawing the [redacted]: comics and censorship
Capital Suite 11 (Level 3), 9pm – 10pm
Jude Roberts

The history of comics is a history of censorship. This talk will look at some of the most interesting events in comics’ history: from Frederick Werthem’s The Seduction of the Innocent leading to the introduction of the Comics Code in the US to crackdowns on the fan products of Fujoshi (rotten girls) in Japan and China, from the blocking of erotic webcomics in India to the trials of Oz and Nasty Tales in the UK and the many many seizures of comics by international border police. Come find out what’s so obscene about comics and why they have been deemed liable to deprave and corrupt across the world. This talk will include discussion and images of comics depicting explicit sex, violence and other controversial themes.

Comic(s)on(g)
Capital Suite 1 (Level 3), 11pm – 2am
An unmoderated circle for songs inspired by Comics and Graphic Novels, seguing into Late Night Filking

Saturday, 16 August

Revealing the Real World Through Comics
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm
Tags: Comics, journalism, memoirs, Social Issues, Politics, Feminism
June Madeley, Mary Talbot, Dominick Grace, Maura McHugh, Mike Carey
It can be argued that cartoons have a long tradition of grappling with, and commenting on, political and domestic problems through editorial cartoons and illustrated satire.

Yet it’s generally considered that the rise of autobiographical comics came about in the 1960s, and has slowly become popular as an means of expression in the intervening decades – especially after Maus won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

Why have comic book journalism, graphic memoirs, and tackling social issues through the medium of comic books and cartoons become so popular? What can we reveal about the real through a medium that often uses abstract or surreal images combined with text to tell a story?

And why will they earn awards from the literary scene, when their fictional counterparts rarely get listed?

The Bible and Science Fiction and Fantasy
Capital Suite 6 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm
Emma England, Matthew A. Collins, Chris Meredith, Hugh Pyper, Frauke Uhlenbruch

Fantastic events and characters fill the Bible including talking animals, giant sea monsters, transmogrification of human (a woman turning into salt) and object (staff turning into a snake) alike, and the resurrection of the dead. These events help to inspire both faith and ridicule. They also inspire the creation of science fiction and fantasy novels, comics and television programmes whether overtly (Sleepy Hollow, Michael Moorcock’s Behold the Man) or covertly (the Terminator franchise, Doctor Who). In this session four biblical scholars discuss the intersections between SF/F and the Bible, while also considering implications on using the fantastic to explore a sacred text.
Fresh Perspectives: Comic Books for Young People
London Suite 3 (Level 0), 12pm – 1:30pm
Emily Wagner, Inko, Klaus Æ. Mogensen, Smuzz, Cory Doctorow

Children and young people were well catered to for comics during the heyday of the medium, but the last few decades has seen a narrowing of titles aimed at younger audience… until recently. Are we seeing a new wave of comic books aimed at teens and children? What are the best comic book titles to introduce a new generation to the medium? Is there a fresh perspective sweeping into comics via these titles?

What are the old childhood classics that remain popular, and what are the new stories that will help shape the medium in the 21st century?

And how are new technologies affecting the expectations of this growing audience?

Mary and Bryan Talbot. Image courtesy Bryan Talbot
Mary and Bryan Talbot. Image courtesy Bryan Talbot

Grandville and the Anthropomorphic Tradition
Second Stage (Level 1), 12pm – 1:30pm
Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot discusses his Grandville graphic novel series of steampunk detective thrillers and the venerable and ongoing tradition of anthropomorphic characters in illustration and comics from which they have grown, pointing out references to this tradition and 19th century art within the Grandville books themselves.

Old New Classics: The Off-Beat and Indie Comics of Yore
Capital Suite 14 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm
Scott Edelman, Smuzz, Allan J. Sim, Peter Sutton, Barbara G.Tarn

When people discuss the Golden Age and Silver Age of Comics the conversation is often dominated by the emergence of the superhero in both DC and Marvel in America. However, from its inception comics books were always a fertile breeding ground for fun, weird, and alternative stories from around the world. What influential, under-appreciated comics from the past deserve a higher profile today? What kind of comics would people like to see more of now, which were plentiful in the past? Are we more progressive in comics today, or re-learning to embrace the diversity of the medium?

How to Draw Manga: A Workshop for Young People
London Suite 3 (Level 0), 1:30pm – 3pm
Inko

Get your sharpie and paper ready, as Inko – a celebrated British Mangaka – will demonstrate how to draw the Manga way! Please note that children will be given priority to participate in this child-friendly session.

Setting Up Your Comic Book Press: New and Old Models Examined
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 3pm – 4:30pm
Kaja Foglio, Debbie Lynn Smith, Mur Lafferty, CE Murphy, Ian Sharman

A discussion on how setting up a comic book press, or web comic, has never been easier – except for all the drawbacks. An examination of the various ways to fund, create, and distribute comic books in the 21st century: including Patreon, Kickstarter, ComiXology, web comics, and good old-fashioned print comics.

From Page to (Small) Screen
Capital Suite 10 (Level 3), 6pm – 7pm
Tanya Brown, Debbie Lynn Smith, Jonathan Clements, Mike Carey, Steve Saffel

We’re used to thinking about adaptation in terms of feature films, but increasingly Western SF and fantasy novels and novel series — from True Blood to Game of Thrones, The Expanse to Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell — are being adapted for TV. What are the challenges of this process? Do viewers expect a longer running time to mean a more faithful adaptation? Are there lessons to be learned from, or similarities with, series adaptations in other countries, such as the transition from manga to anime? (Or Western comics to screen, as in the case of The Walking Dead?) And what happens when a series develops a life of its own?

The New Supers: How Superheroes and Superheroines are Changing in Comics
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 7pm – 8pm
Mike Carey, Helena Nash, CE Murphy, Sunil Patel, Roz J Kaveney

The superhero and superheroine have been with us since stories were told around the campfire, and were perhaps first depicted on cave walls long before the emergence of written language. In comic books they appeared as important icons in the twentieth century, yet they have also been open to interpretation, and subversion, since they first began leaping over buildings and lassoing villains. How have these super-powered fictional characters continued to change and develop at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first?

With people dressing up and acting as superhumans on the streets, has reality bled too far into fiction? Will the super-powered person remain with us forever, or will we evolve past it?

Sunday, 17th August

Vox Populi: the new voice of comic book criticism?
Capital Suite 3 (Level 3), 10am – 11am
K. A. Laity, KT Davies, Marcus Gipps, Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson, Didi Chanoch

Anyone with a blog or social media presence can send their opinion directly to comic book creators. How is this affecting comic book criticism? Is this the death of the old stuffy regime of taste-makers, or the rise of a new type of creative pressure? How is the closer connection between creator and audience affecting the work?

And what happens when the collective force of a fanbase focuses upon ‘punishing’ critical voices?

Writing and Pitching Comics
Capital Suite 9 (Level 3), 11am – 12pm
Maura McHugh, Paul Cornell, Mike Carey, Mary Talbot, Debbie Lynn Smith

A discussion about creating comic books from the writer’s perspective. Breaking into comic book writing can present a unique challenge for new writers, because the route in is usually different than for artists (there are no portfolio reviews for writers). Then there are basic issues, such as formatting scripts, which aren’t even clear-cut.

How do writers craft the pitches that get them jobs as comic book writers? How do they proceed once they get the gig? What’s it like to liaise with artists, colourists, letterers, and editors? What are the joys and perils of collaborating with so many people?

In Space No One Can Hear You Ink: The Best SF Comics
London Suite 2 (Level 0), 12pm – 1:30pm
Jon Wallace, Adrian (Ade) Brown, Scott Edelman, Sakuya, Phil Foglio

What science fiction comic book titles have expanded the genre, given us gorgeous visuals, and memorable storylines? How have sf comics developed from Flash Gordon, Dan Dare, Astro Boy, through to Akira, and The Ballad of Halo Jones, and what’s currently revving everyone’s rocket ship: Saga, Ghost in the Shell, 2000AD, Lazarus, etc.

Graphic Novel Man: The Comics of Bryan Talbot
Capital Suite 17 (Level 3), 1pm – 3pm
Bryan Talbot

Highlights from a new documentary from Digital Story Engine focusing on the work of our Guest of Honour. Bryan Talbot will be on hand to introduce the film.

Bryan Talbot: ‘How I make a Graphic Novel’
Capital Suite 7+12 (Level 3), 3pm – 4:30pm
Bryan Talbot

Bryan Talbot takes you through the typical creative process he uses when writing and drawing one of his books from original conception to finished page, covering research, plotting, story structure, scripting, the use of grids, panel transitions, page composition, layout, use of eye level, lettering and colouring.

Monday, 18th August

Comics: The Global Arena
Capital Suite 15 (Level 3), 12pm – 1:30pm
Helen McCarthy, Klaus Æ. Mogensen, Michael Burianyk, Eric Senabre, Michelle Sagara, Juan Sanmiguel

Comic books have a tremendous audience outside of the English language world, but only a small percentage of those titles are available to the West thanks to a few dedicated publishers (and illicit translations available online). What are the best foreign titles currently available in English? And what brilliant volumes are to be recommended to non-English readers? What desperately needs to be translated?

What Do Artists Do All Day? – Frank Quitely
Capital Suite 17 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 2pm
Type: TV Screenings

Frank Quitely is the alter ego of Glaswegian comic-book artist Vincent Deighan. As one of a group of British writers and artists who have reinvented the superhero genre, Frank’s depictions of iconic characters like Superman, Batman and the X-Men have provided inspiration for some of Hollywood’s biggest movie franchises.
In this short documentary we follow Frank over the course of a day and night as he works on a single page from his latest work, the epic superhero saga Jupiter’s Legacy.

How Digital Art Techniques Have Changed Comics
Capital Suite 3 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm
Smuzz, Kurt Erichsen, Chris Foss, Raya Golden Alexander, Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson

Technology has had a huge impact upon how artists draw comics, and with tight deadlines many artists work completely digitally. Artists can email/dropbox their artwork directly with their writers, editors, colourists, and letterers without the delays of posting or hand-delivering work. With the many benefits this brings, have there been drawbacks in terms of style and detail?

Have readers and artists noticed a certain similarity in execution emerging in today’s comic book art? Are there still techniques that are better suited to pencil and brush? How will technology continue to affect and change how comic books are created?

The Scientific Culture
Capital Suite 15 (Level 3), 3pm – 4:30pm
David L Clements, Katie Mack, Leah-Nani Alconcel, Prof David Southwood, Rachael Acks

Is there a scientific culture? The success of The Big Bang Theory, xkcd and PhD Comics suggest that there is, but if so, what is scientific culture? What values and attitudes can there be in common between fields as diverse as biology and cosmology? What experiences and views are shared by scientists across such disparate fields, and why are they different from the experience and views of non-scientists? Is this important, and should SF writers and fans be taking notes?

Comics Britannia – Anarchy In The UK
Capital Suite 17 (Level 3), 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Type: TV Screenings

Documentary from 2007 looking at the rise of a new generation of British comics such as Battle, Action, 2000AD, and Warlord, and rise of writers and artists such as Alan Moore, Bryan Talbot, Grant Morrison and Brian Bolland and the trend towards a darker vision of the future in the 70’s and 80’s, ultimately moving into the ‘British Invasion’ of American comics.

Displays (open all days)

Bryan Talbot
Exhibits Hall Displays (Level 1)

Bryan Talbot is one of the founding fathers of British comics, with a salvo of influential works under his belt. Peer behind Sunderland theatre’s stage curtain and step into the steampunk Paris of Grandville; browse Talbot’s major works or simply take in the postmortem ambiance.

Web Links

• Twitter: @loncon3

• Facebook: www.facebook.com/londonin2014

• Web: www.loncon3.org

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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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