The Edinburgh University Students Union at Potterow was a popular place on the weekend of 11/12 April 2015 as the Edinburgh Comic Con took over the building. The second year of the renamed event proved much more popular than the first with pre-event ticket sales increasing tenfold over 2014. Indeed the Saturday proved to be a sell-out while Sunday, traditionally the quieter day of any weekend convention, was also very busy.
The event took place in the building’s main atrium, a bright airy space under a massive glass dome with seating, an eatery and that one thing so beloved of convention crowds – a cash machine, while, by extreme contrast, the upstairs hall with its low ceilings and no windows gave much more space for sales tables as well as the talks stage.
Colin Noble has already reviewed the event for downthetubes so here is a round-up of some of the British creators who were there.
Glass, light and, oddly enough, trees seemed to sum up the ground floor which hosted the event’s guests. The media guests ranged from new Doctor Who to Game of Thrones via Star Wars and the Stallone Judge Dredd movie, while the comics guests covered Marvel, DC, Boom and IDW as well as 2000AD and the British indie scene.
2000AD script droid Jim Alexander was there with his own imprint Planet Jimbot. Having written the Scottish based ‘Calhab Justice’ which was illustrated by John Ridgway for the Judge Dredd Megazine he is now promoting his own work through the Planet Jimbot imprint and is showing off the latest issue of Wolf Country illustrated by Will Pickering. His next release will be issue 5 of the anthology Amazing And Fantastic Tales which is due to be launched at the May 7th meeting of the Scottish Cartoonists Society in Glasgow.
There are more details of Jim Alexander’s work on the Planet Jimbot Facebook page.
With Jim was graphic designer and illustrator Rob Boyd who had his new fun humour title Beastly Behaviour, a collection of newspaper style strips featuring denizens of the animal kingdom, on show. Rob has recently set up Ink Tank Comics with former Black Hearted Presser David Braysher to promote their cartoons and comics.
There are more details of Rob Boyd’s work on InkTankComics.com.
Local Edinburgh illustrator and musician Lynsey Hutchinson had an impressive array of prints with her. Her Khal Drogo and martial arts mash-up of Samurai Jack, Bruce Lee and Raphael Turtle prints were proving popular with the crowds.
There are more details of Lynsey Hutchinson’s work at TheHoudiniBox.com.
Artist Dan McDaid strikes a thoughtful pose with one of his Batman sketches from the weekend. Illustrator on Image’s Jersey Gods, Boom’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, and Panini’s Doctor Who Magazine, Dan was also one of the collaborator’s on the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s 30th anniversary graphic novel IDP:2043 in which he illustrated the chapter written by Irvine Welsh.
The arched ceiling, dark walls and no windows may suggest an underground vault, and Edinburgh certainly has plenty of them, but this was actually the upstairs sales area accessed from below by multiple staircases. The difference between the two main areas couldn’t have been more different with downstairs’ Dr Jekyll becoming upstairs’ Mr Hyde. Disconnected Press were there along with former Black Hearted Presser, John Richard Farman, and his new Vital Publishing imprint.
Also new to the Scottish scene are Panels Comics with a selection of different titles to their name. Set up in part by graduates of the University of Dundee and its comics courses, Nathan Langridge, Jessica Burton and Letty Wilson were promoting their titles including Sosmonaut The Cosmonaut, written by Nathan, and Cosmic illustrated by Letty.
Back downstairs and a Scottish comics convention would not have been complete without artist Gary Erskine who has IDW Doctor Who, Virgin Dan Dare, Vertigo’s The Filth, plus 2000AD and Crisis to his credit. At ECC he was promoting his Star Wars prints as well as his creator-owned Roller Grrrls title as it gets closer to the publication of its first issue.
The event pulled in many families and there were quite a number of youngsters in costume including this little Tony Stark complete with goatee who received a Batman sketch from Gary and who, to everyone’s amusement, pointed out that Batman’s cape needed to be coloured in black when Gary neglected to do so.
However even more impressive, if less publicly recognisable these days, was this remarkable, and massive, scratch-built Babylon Five station the detail on which was mind-boggling. The Hi-Ex convention in Inverness used to have a model display as part of its make-up and it was good to see that Edinburgh is keeping this tradition alive as it adds to the diversity of the event for the general public.
Talking to event organiser James Lundy on the way out I asked if the success of this year boded well for the future and he told me that next year’s event was already being planned.
Details of the Edinburgh Comic Con panels and talks are included in the Starburst review.