If you or someone you know is interested in writing, drawing or publishing their own comics or in finding work in the comics industry as a professional freelancer you may want to sign up for Comics Uncovered in September – a unique conference in Birmingham, full of exclusive and highly educational events in the field of comics and graphic novels.
The brainchild of Shane Chebsey, guest list features Charlie Adlard, David Baillie, Jordie Bellaire, Mike Collins, Andy Diggle, Ian Edginton, Dave Gibbons, Tim Pilcher and Joe Rubenstein – an impressive line up of creative talent from both sides of the Atlantic who will all be offering their own insights into the industry and revealing just what it takes to be a comics professional (aside from string coffee and the ability to weather the misery of editors that don’t let you know your work has arrived and publishers with champagne tastes and beer barrel budgets).
The event will also include an exclusive talk from Image Comics publisher and Nowhere Men writer Eric Stephenson, which will give aspiring comics creators the knowledge they need to create and submit ideas to Image Comics for possible publication – a unique and exciting opportunity for new British comic creators everywhere.
“The wonderful thing about working with Image is that they champion creator rights and all of the titles they publish are owned by the writers and artists that have created them,” says conference organiser Shane Chebsey.
“As a result some of the greatest and most influential comic creators are putting out monthly books with the publisher and reaping the rewards of their creativity and hard work.
Entry to the conference is by advanced booking only. Tickets are not available on the door so you must book in advance. A delegate’s pass costs £65 which is an incredibly reasonable fee for access to such a great line up of talent when compared to the costs of some writing and art workshops available elsewhere. (Talented artists can also look at actually finding work at the event via one to one portfolio reviews and the networking party).
There are also dedicated passes for writers and artists for a smaller amount.
From his early work on 2000AD to the sublimely detailed Rock Bottom with Joe Kelly, to his silent First World War epic White Death, created with writer Robbie Morrison, Charlie Adlard has constantly evolved his style into the unmistakable and hard htting images that have propelled the Walking Dead into the Diamond top selling comic charts and Amazon top selling book charts over and over again.
Charlie is also one of the hardest working professionals in the business and has worked on titles like Batman for DC, The X-Files for Topps and Thunderbolts for Marvel. At Comics Uncovered, assisted by comic creator and tutor Dan Berry, he’ll be sharing, the most important things to remember when you are working on monthly comic books in an exclusive master class.
Jordie Bellaire is an American colour artist, currently based in Ireland, who has worked on a range of titles for nearly every comics publisher, most prominently with Marvel, Image and Dark Horse including a plethora of popular and critically acclaimed series, such as Pretty Deadly, Nowhere Mean, Deadpool, Magneto, The Massive, Zero, Manhattan Projects, The X-Files, Flash Gordon and Moon Knight.
Jordie will be carrying out an exclusive colouring course at the conference, offering deleagtes an opportunity to learn from one of the most succesful colourists working in comics today.
A highly experienced and versitile professional writer, Ian Edginton has worked on big name titles such as X-Force for Marvel, licenced titles like Aliens for Dark Horse and orginal concepts like Hinterkind for DC Comics and Leviathan, Brass Sun and The Red Seas for 2000AD. He’s also written dozens of scripts for other publishers including Boom! Studios and Top Cow.
Ian will be taking part in the exclusive writers panel along with other guest writers.
• Follow Ian on Twitter @ianedginton
Watchmen co creator and Comics Laureate Dave Gibbons is unlikely to require an introduction to anyone who has even a passing interest in the comics form.
He has worked on renowned runs on classic titles such as 2000AD, Doctor Who and Green Lantern, remains highly regarded for his his iconic and ground breaking work on Watchmen with Alan Moore, and has achieved incredible critical success on creator owned works such as his own The Originals, Give Me Liberty with Frank Miller and most recently with Mark Millar on Secret Service, recently adapted for film as Kingsman.
Dave has proven over and over that he is one of the most consistently innovative and talented creators in the business, not just as an artist, but also as a writer. His recent appointment as the first Comics Laureate means that he is now continuing to break new ground, not just as a creator but as an ambassador – bridging the gap between the wonderful medium of comics and young readers.
• Follow Dave Gibbons on Twitter @davegibbons90
Writer, Editor, Comics Historian… Tim Pilcher has been called all of these things and more. Throughout his career, which has included a stint as Vertigo UK editor, Illex Press Edtior and now as Humanoids UK Liason, Tim has always had a huge passion for the medium and is responsible for commissioning some of the most ground breaking comics and books of the past couple of decades. he;s also written a few books himself including the superb Comic Book Babylon, which chronicles his infamous time at VertIgo UK.
At Comics Uncovered Tim will be offering one to one portfolio reviews to artists, as he’s always on the look out for new talent, as well as hosting a special talk for aspiring comics editors.
Comics writer and artist Monty Nero, who lives in Dundee, created the hit creator owned series Death Sentence with artist Mike Dowling, currently available as a graphic novel from Titan Comics and published in France by Delcourt. The second series, Death Sentence: London, launches in June from Titan. He’s also written The Hulk and X-Men for Marvel, and contributed stories to 2000AD and Vertigo.
Monty will be hosting a very special event detailing how he went from a previous hopeful delegate at the conference to being a successful writer in the industry.
As Publisher for Image Comics, Eric Stephenson has helped foster the creator-owned projects of numerous bestselling writers and artists, including Robert Kirkman, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Brandon Graham, as well as a well-known pair of award magnets whose names rhyme with Frian and Biona.
He is also the Eisner-nominated writer and co-creator of Nowhere Men and They’re Not Like Us and the 2014 recipient of the ComicsPRO Industry Appreciation award.
Eric’s talk will be an exclusive event for creators who are looking to pitch their work to Image Comics. He’ll be revelaing the dos and don’ts of pitching a project.