Comics @ Aye Write! Glasgow’s Book Festival 2016

Aye Write 2016
This year’s Glasgow Book Festival, Aye Write, will be taking place in the City’s Mitchell Library from 10 to 20 March. Claiming to be the third largest literary festival in the UK, presumably after the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Hay Festival, Aye Write has in the past included a selection of comics related events including talks from then Beano editor Ewan Kerr and Asterix translator Anthea Bell, and workshops by local creators Metaphrog and Gary Erskine.

This year the festival has introduced a new thread entitled Aye-Con that the comics events have been included in. All three comics events will be taking place on Saturday 19 March and are scheduled sequentially so that people can attend all three if they wish.

Aye Con Metaphrog
Aye Con: Metaphrog – Discover the Curse of the Red Shoes!
12:00PM – 1:00PM
Multiple award-nominated Metaphrog (John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs) are one of Scotland’s best established and acclaimed graphic novelists. They will discuss their career to date and their genre-defying graphic novel, The Red Shoes and Other Tales, a dark and dazzling collection of timeless adaptions from Hans Christian Andersen.

Aye Con Orlando
Aye Con: Steve Orlando – The Midnighter And Other LGBT Superheroes
1:30PM – 2:30PM
Steve will be talking and answering questions about his work and what the world of comics looks like for LGBT creators and characters. Steve Orlando’s first book ever was poorly drawn, in a fifth-grade classroom, pencils on Xerox paper, and featured a doughboy with superpowers, and names changed for trademark purposes. He was a precocious child. Today he writes and produces comics, including VIRGIL, Undertow and stories in the Eisner Award Nominated Outlaw Territory at Image Comics. He recently published Midnighter as well as taking part in Batman and Robin Eternal and CMYK: Yellow at DC Entertainment, Steve will be talking and answering questions about his work and what the world of comics looks like for LGBT creators and characters. Afterwards, Steve will join us for a panel discussion with local writers and illustrators.

Aye Con Grant Quitely
Aye Con: Alan Grant, Frank Quietly & Metaphrog – The Many Faces of Scottish Comics
3:00PM – 4:00PM
Four leading comic creators get together for a lively discussion on their contributions to the history of Scottish comics and the rise of the graphic novel. Veteran writer and editor Alan Grant became famous with Judge Dredd and Batman. Star artist Frank Quitely (New X-Men, All-Star Superman) has teamed-up with the top industry writers. Pioneering graphic novelists John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs, aka Metaphrog (The Red Shoes and Other Tales) broke new ground with their quirky Louis series. Join them for what promises to be a fascinating exploration of the state of comic art and a look at Scotland’s lasting impact.

In addition to the three talks Aye Write will also have a free to enter LGBT Comic Mart running from noon to 5pm which they describe as “A unique opportunity to buy comics and chat with a host of comic writers and artists from throughout the UK about their work.”

Wee Write 2016
In addition to the main festival, and preceding it, is a schools’ festival, Wee Write, which while for schools only and therefore not open to the public will this year have an ‘open day’ on Saturday 5 March. As part of Wee Write’s open day Adam Murphy, writer and artist of The Phoenix’s excellent Corpse Talk, will be running a 9 years + workshop on how to create a comic.

There are more details of all Aye Write events and how to buy tickets at the festival website.

Jeremy Briggs

News, reviews, interviews and features for print and on-line: Spaceship Away (since October 2005), Bear Alley (since February 2007), downthetubes (since June 2007), and Eagle Times (since October 2008). Plus Titan’s Dan Dare and Johnny Red reprints, Ilex’s War Comics: A Graphic History and 500 Essential Graphic Novels, and Print Media’s The Iron Moon and Strip magazine.

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