Flashback to 1968: Art from the very first British Comics Convention

The cover for the convention booklet for Britain's very first comics convention in Birmingham in 1968, produced two hours before the event started.

The cover for the convention booklet for Britain’s very first comics convention in Birmingham in 1968, produced two hours before the event started.

 

Following up on our coverage of the successful Birmingham Comic Festival last month at Edgbaston, which attracted some 2000 fans from across the UK, we thought we’d flashback to 1968 and give you a look at the some of the art used to promote the very first British Comics Convention, which was held in Birmingham and organised by Phil Clarke.

The first ever British “Comicon” was was held 30 August – 2 September 1968 and attracted both professional and amateur creators of the time, including writer Steve Moore, then working for Power Comics, and working artists Paul Neary, Mike Higgs and Jim Baikie, fan artists Rob Poole and Richard Burns, Ges Cleaver, Titan’s Nick LandauMike Lake, Barry Clements and Oracle newszine co-editor Haydn Paul.

(Despite what it currently says on Wikipedia, over on his excellent account of proceedings and other early British comic conventions, Dez Skinn notes that Alan Moore was only a “supporting member” and therefore not at the event).

It’s worth taking a look at the photograph Dez has published of the event’s “fancy dress” contest, in which contestants dressed up as comics characters – and Nick Landau won an artwork prize for his “Captain Cold” costume.

Published above, courtesy of Richard Sheaf, is the cover for the convention booklet that was issued at the event (and Dez has the whole booklet on his site). Giving Phil a last-minute headache, the stencils for the intended con booklet never made it through the post, so a substitute was put together and printed two hours before the event started.

Pictured below is the cover of the intended  convention brochure that should have been there – and, just for fun, the cover of the 1986 con organised by Brimingham comic shop Nostalgia & Comics.

My thanks to Richard Sheaf for the art.

• Were you at the very first British Comic Con? Why not share you memories below?

 

This was the planned cover for the convention booklet for the first ever British Comic Convention, but printed copies didn't arrive in the post.

This was the planned cover for the convention booklet for the first ever British Comic Convention, but printed copies didn’t arrive in the post.

Birmingham Comic Art Show 1986

Birmingham Comic Art Show 1986



Categories: Art and Illustration, British Comics, Comic Art, Events, Features

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