The Borders Book Festival in the Scottish town of Melrose, perhaps best known for its Abbey and the Melrose Sevens rugby tournament, is not a literature festival that normally covers comics in any great depth but that has changed this year with appearances by writer Mark Millar and artist Frank Quitely, and art workshops by Clare Forrest and Rossie Stone.
The festival runs over the long weekend of 14-17 June 2018 and is held in the grounds of Harmony House and The Orchard opposite. The comics and comics related events this year are as follows:
Saturday 16 June at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
McInroy and Wood Marquee
Tickets: £13 (£11 concessions)
Bestselling Scottish writer Mark Millar is the man behind many of the biggest comic book titles and their movie adaptations in recent years. He is the author of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass and Wanted which have all been made into major Hollywood films. He also created Wolverine: Old Man Logan and Civil War, Marvel’s two biggest selling graphic novels ever. The first inspired Fox’s Logan movie in 2017 and the other was the basis of the Captain America: Civil War movie. In 2017, Netflix bought Millarworld in the company’s first ever acquisition, and employed Mark as president to continue creating comics, TV shows and movies. Kirsty Wark will be joining him to discuss his extraordinary career.
Screening of Kick-Ass
Saturday 16 June at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Vintage Mobile Cinema Bus
Tickets: £10 (15 years +)
This film runs after Mark Millar’s festival event, and was inspired by his original comic strip for Marvel. The story centres around a high school nobody who uses his love of comics as inspiration to reinvent himself as a superhero — despite a complete lack of special powers! He dons a costume and dubs himself “Kick-Ass”. His first attempt at fighting crime has disastrous results. Can he truly become a force to be reckoned with…?
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloë Grace Moretz, Mark Strong
Frank Quitely: Drawings and Sketches
Saturday 16 June at 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Knight Frank Marquee
Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions)
Frank Quitely is known worldwide for drawing Batman, Superman, Flex Mentallo and X-Men. If you’re a writer, you want to work with him; if you’re an artist, you admire his draughtsmanship and signature style, and if you’re a fan you’ll queue for hours to meet him in a comic convention. Drawings + Sketches is a beautiful new art book revealing never before seen material from one of the most influential and popular artists in contemporary comics and this is a rare chance to hear the stories behind them from the man himself.
Drawing Workshop: The Mighty Women of Science
Sunday 17 June at 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Davidson Chalmers Storytelling Tent
Tickets: £6 (Ages 8-12)
Meet artist and illustrator Clare Forrest, who has created an engaging A – Z art book which celebrates women who have helped shape modern science, from astronauts to zoologists. This is a fascinating journey through time and science and in this workshop you can create your own colourful characters and learn more about these inspiring women.
NOTE: This is a Family Book Festival workshop event. Tickets are available for children only. Accompanying adults are welcome attend but do not need a ticket.
Dekko Comics Workshop
Sunday 17 June at 3:45 pm – 4:45 pm
Tickets £6 (Ages 8-14)
Rossie Stone struggled with dyslexia at school and found himself constantly at the bottom of his classes. All this changed when he discovered a way to turn his school notes into comic strips and entertainment. It boosted his enjoyment and understanding of school work, and turned his grades from a ‘D’ into an ‘A’. In this workshop, he shows how to make any information (school or otherwise) into entertainment to make it more engaging, memorable and motivating. Bring along a sketchpad and pencils.
NOTE: This is a Family Book Festival event – accompanying adults go free but are ticketed.
There are more details of these and all the Borders Book Festivals events at the festival’s website.