Dan Dare - Return of The Mekon by Ian Kennedy

A Broons Birthday Bash, Ian Kennedy Art Masterclasses and more at Dundee Literary Festival

Ian Kennedy in Dundee in 2015. Photo: Jeremy Briggs
Ian Kennedy in Dundee in 2015. Photo: Jeremy Briggs

Although the Dundee Comics Day has been completely subsumed into the Dundee Literary Festival, there’s still a number of events of plenty of interest to comics fans this year when the event returns in October. The highlight for many will be not one but two Ian Kennedy Art Masterclasses, offering live drawing and the chance to be guided through his 50-year comics career.

Here’s the full rundown of planned events, which also include an appearance by DC Thomson comics veteran Morris Heggie and a celebration of The Broons 80 years of publication.

Comics Masterclass With Ian Kennedy
Live drawing demonstration by comics legend Ian Kennedy
Thursday 20th October, 1400 (1 hour)
Dundee Comics Creative Space, Vision Building
Tickets – £5

Watch Ian Kennedy create comics illustrations in his signature pen, ink and acrylics technique, honed over his 50 year career.

Educated in Dundee, Ian started work as a trainee illustrator in the DC Thomson & Co Art Department in 1949 – he recalls that his first published work was inking the black squares in the weekly Sunday Post crossword!

Over his career he has worked on a host of characters and publications, from 1950’s war comics such as Thriller Picture Library and Air Ace to IPC’s 2000AD and Starlord. Ian is highly regarded in comics circles, by fellow professionals and fans alike, and the Festival is delighted he’ll be sharing his expertise as part of the event.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets

The Broons Cast G DC Thomson
The Broons Cast (c) DC Thomson and Co Ltd

50 Years Of Comics: Morris Heggie
Bringing The Broons, Dennis the Menace and Oor Wullie to life
Saturday 22nd October, 1000 (1 hour)
Dundee Comics Creative Space
Tickets – £3 / £2

Morris Heggie is the legendary editor of Dundee’s world-famous comics industry, who for 50 years brought The Broons, Dennis the Menace and Oor Wullie to life.
Morris started working for Scottish publishing giant DC Thomson when he was 17, joining the company straight from school, first as a copyboy but soon rising through the ranks as his talent for writing the storylines for the firm’s stable of comics became apparent.

Now retired but still much in demand, Morris will reflect on his time behind some of the most memorable stories from the lives of Dennis the Menace and Gnasher, The Bash Street Kids, Minnie the Minx and Desperate Dan, in conversation with The Beano’s Laura Brown.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets

Neil Slorance & Maria StoianNew Kids On The Block: Neil Slorance & Maria Stoian
The power of graphic storytelling
Saturday 22nd October, Noon (1 hour)
Dundee Comics Creative Space
Tickets – £3 / £2

Join two of Scotland’s most exciting young graphic novelists as they discuss the power of graphic storytelling to tackle any topic, light or dark.

Neil Slorance, illustrator and comic artist from Glasgow, is the co-creator and artist for all four issues of Dungeon Fun, a hilarious adventure comic about a young girl called Fun battling a myriad of mythical creatures. Neil is also admired for his live drawing, covering major events from the Scottish elections to Eurovision, and his book Modern Slorance: Torts and Tinder takes a gleeful look at life.

Maria Stoian is a freelance illustrator currently living in Scotland; her first book Take It as a Compliment won several awards, including the 2016 SICBA Best Graphic Novel Award, for its powerful exploration of real life experiences of sexual abuse, violence and harassment.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets

Create a Comic Workshop with Jim GlenCreate A Comic Workshop With Jim Glen
Especially for ages 6-10
Sat 22nd October, 1300 (1 hour)
Dundee Comics Creative Space
Free but pre-booked ticket required

Join DC Thomson’s comics artist and writer Jim Glen for a fun-filled workshop in creating your own comic.

Jim has written and done artwork for Dundee’s most iconic publications including The Dandy, The Beano, Beezer, Topper, Sparky and The Sunday Post so you’ll be in excellent hands.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets

The opening panel of the first-ever The Broons, who were created by writer/editor R. D. Low and artist Dudley D. Watkins. The strip made its first appearance in the Sunday Post on 8th March 1936.
The opening panel of the first-ever The Broons, who were created by writer/editor R. D. Low and artist Dudley D. Watkins. The strip made its first appearance in the Sunday Post on 8th March 1936.

Big Braw Birthday Tea Dance: The Broons and Oor Wullie at 80
Part of Luminate: Scotland’s creative ageing festival
Sat 22nd October, 1500 (2 hours)
Bonar Hall, University of Dundee
Tickets – £3 / £2 – £1 from each ticket goes to The ARCHIE Foundation

2016 is a special year: the Dundee Literary Festival turns ten, and The Broons and Oor Wullie all turn 80!

To mark this special occasion, we’re teaming up with our friends at D C Thomson to throw a great big tea dance and you’re invited. With swinging tunes from the University of Dundee’s very own Big Band, imagine Strictly Come Dancing, with added tea and cake.

All ages are welcome, and if you don’t know the moves, don’t worry – we’ll have some dancers on hand to help.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets

Dan Dare - Return of The Mekon by Ian Kennedy
Dan Dare – Return of The Mekon by Ian Kennedy. © Dan Dare Corporation

Comics Masterclass With Ian Kennedy
Live drawing demonstration by comics legend Ian Kennedy
Saturday 22nd October, 1700 (1 hour)
Dundee Comics Creative Space, Vision Building
Tickets – £5

As above – watch Ian Kennedy create comics illustrations in his signature pen, ink and acrylics technique, honed over his 50 year career.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets

Launch: The DrouthLaunch: The Drouth
A special comics edition
Saturday 22nd October, 1800 (1 hour)
Dundee Comics Creative Space
Free but please book a ticket

The Drouth (‘The Thirst’) is a quarterly magazine founded in 2001 by Mitch Miller and Johnny Rodger and published in Glasgow, which gives space to writers and artists and stimulates debate on literature, film politics, reportage, visual culture, and more.

This issue is a comics special, guest edited by Damon Herd, co-ordinator of Dundee Comics Creative Space.

Come and hear more about The Drouth, and toast the latest issue with Damon and local contributors.

• Find out more about The Drouth at http://thedrouthmagazine.squarespace.com

• Click here for more information and to buy tickets

Literary Dundee is a cultural organisation, part of the University of Dundee, which celebrates readers and writers, and brings the best writers in the world to Dundee. It supports the literary community in Dundee through the Dundee Literary Festival, publications such as New Writing Dundee, projects such as the Dundee International Book Prize, and a series of year round events, including our Literary Lock-Ins, produced in partnership with bright sparks within the University and outside it.

Web Links

Dundee Literary Festival Comics Events | Main Site | Follow the Festival on Twitter and find it on Facebook 

View the Festival Programme Online

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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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