Australia’s Perth Comic Festival bans AI-generated materials from event

Australia’s Perth Comic Arts Festival has issued a strong statement announcing it will not knowingly promote AI-generated materials, nor will it allow any such work to be a part of their event, taking place in July.

This year’s Pert Comic Arts Festival poster, featuring art by Reimena Yee, a self-described “strange and fancy graphic novelist, illustrator and designer”, originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and currently based in Melbourne, Australia

The statement identifies, in particular, “generative AI” utilising programs such as MidJourney, ChatGPT, DALL-E, and similar. “These are programs that generate new text and images from user input, based on examples that have been fed into them,” the Festival organisers explain. “We acknowledge that there are options in development that attempt to address these issues, but at this point, they are the exception.”

Their statement is in full below, available to read on the event website here, with sources.

As you can imagine, it has prompted comic creators to call on other events to issue similar statements, and we’re told London Film and Comic Con, for example, has removed exhibitors from the premises when AI has been seen to be sold on their stalls.

Perth Comic Arts Festival is a volunteer-run not-for-profit founded to celebrate and support the craft of comic arts. We’ve grown over the past eight years into a larger professional organisation with year-round programming and partnerships to better support our tremendous community of creators and readers.

“As technology evolves, so do the options available to produce comics. PCAF embraces new tools, especially if they can save creators from some of the physical toil that is required of such a laborious art form. But in the case of generative artificial intelligence, as part of our responsibility to our community, we must take a formal stance.

“PCAF will not knowingly promote AI-generated materials, nor will we allow any such work to be a part of our festival, for these reasons:

  • We, as an organisation, came together to support people –– artists, writers, readers –– and as such, human creation and rights must come first. The human process of creation is where discoveries are made and meaning emerges; to remove this stage dehumanises the arts and diminishes the worth of all artists.
  • All current widely-available generative AI programs have been trained on stolen data, including the art and writing of our colleagues. We stand by them in protecting their legal and moral rights as creators. Businesses are already using these programs in place of professional artists and writers who would have previously been paid for that work (Jiang et al, 2023; Park & Tegmark, 2023).
  • The legal standing of generative AI programs and the materials produced with them are currently being tested in courts around the world (Samuelson, 2023). At this time, PCAF does not recognise claims to fair use. To steal artists’ work in order to create something that is used to replace them is indefensible.
  • The staggering environmental impact (Berthelot et al, 2023) of the processing power required by these programs is in clear violation of our organisation’s sustainability practices.

“PCAF is open to reassessing our policy if and when ethical options that negate these concerns become the standard. But until then, our stance is firm. Perth Comic Arts Festival denounces all uses of generative artificial intelligence.

“We call upon all creative organisations, including publishers and other arts events, to stand with us in excluding AI-generated materials from their own activities, catalogues, and programming.

“This isn’t just a comics issue. Collectively, we must refrain from entertaining and thereby normalising the use of generative AI; solidarity will protect all of our industries. Instead of unquestioningly experimenting with these tools, PCAF urges allied organisations to consider who stands to benefit from widespread adoption, and who will be hurt.”

The statement in full is available to read on the event website here, with sources.

Pert Comic Arts Festival 2024 poster art by Reimena Yee

Perth Comic Art Festival, returning 27th – 28th July 2024, aims to shares its love for comic books with Perth with free, creator-focused events. The event offers a packed program of events at the State Library of Western Australia, including creative workshops the Festival, and a Market Hall where comic creators share their work with Perth. Fans can browse some 80 plus artists and their range of comics.

Perth Comic Art Festival is online at

With thanks to comic artist Gary Erskine for highlighting this initiative

Categories: Art and Illustration, Comic Art, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Other Worlds

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. AI comics should have their own site and conventions, after all, most of them are beautiful, but just as trans people should not be allowed to compete in the opposite sex of their birth, neither should AI comics should compete with fully human generated comics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading