2017 has seen no shortage of comics events great and small across the UK, and there are a few more to come this year, so I thought I’d run a quick listing, which, I hasten to point out, is not definitive. (Last weekend alone, there were 15 comics-related events on across the UK and it’s getting harder than ever to keep up!)
There is some ongoing debate (most recently prompted by this article about Thought Bubble in The Guardian) about what actually constitutes a comics event. There are some who argue big media “comic cons” have sidelined the medium for example, but independent publishers attending such events point out their sales success at them, raising the profile of their brand.
Speaking personally, I’d argue the larger “comic cons” may have muddied the definition of a comics event, but at the same time their success reflects how pervasive comics-inspired spin-offs have become. There’s bound to a be a little aggravation from comics purists that your favourite comics character is now better known for their big screen persona, but perhaps publishers and creators alike need to look at more inventive ways to capitalise on how comics now shape popular culture, despite lower sales of print titles.
The sheer energy and enthusiasm of many cosplayers for their hobby is undisputed – there’s even a World Cosplay Summit these days, which looks like a kind of delicious mash up of the Olympics and X-Factor.
Whatever your view, here’s a list of just some events coming soon and announced comics gatherings across the United Kingdom in 2018.
This doesn’t include many smaller, local comic events such as those run by Golden Orbit in the North West for example, or signings, or the big events run by MCM (detailed here on their official site) or Showmasters (detailed here). This list, generated by a number of event organisers in tandem, focuses on happenings where you can be assured of a big comic creator presence over anything else.
• Edinburgh Comic Art Festival – Saturday 2nd December 2017
Part of Book Week Scotland
• True Believers Comic Festival – Saturday 3rd February 2018
• Leamington Comic Con – Saturday 14th April 2018
• Melksham Comic Con – 7th-8th July 2018
• True Believers Comic Festival: Summer Variant Edition – 5th August 2018
• NICE – 1st – 2nd September 2018
• Thought Bubble 2018 – TBC
• ICE Brighton Saturday 3rd November 2018
Dates To Be Confirmed
- Moniaive – TBC 2018
- ELCAF – TBC 2018
- Macc Pow – TBC 2018
- Cardiff Independent Comic Expo – TBC 2018
- London Super Comic Convention – TBC 2018
- ICE International Comic Expo – TBC 2018
We’ll add some of these not already featured to our What’s On calendar as soon as we get a spare moment!