In a major coup for the organisers – perhaps signifying comics are indeed becoming more mainstream once more – the annual British International Comic Show has been awarded a £6,000 Arts Council grant to help further their work in bringing the medium of comics to a wider audience.
“We are very honoured to receive this funding from the Arts Council” commented co-organiser, Shane Chebsey, who is busy preparing for the weekend which runs over the weekend of 3rd-4th October 2009 this year and says it will contribute some 15 per cent of the costs of running the Festival.
“This extra money will help us to enhance the BICS experience for all those attending the show, from fans to guests, and from retailers to publishers,” he added. “It’s a huge step forward for the show and for the medium of comics in the UK.
“It’s yet another sign of further recognition for comics as an art form and entertainment medium,” he feels.
It’s estimated that over 4000 fans and professionals will be attending this year’s show, with guest creators in attendance from all over the world, including Japan, America and Europe.
Major publishers, including Jonathan Cape, will also be launching new books and inviting readers to meet their favourite creators, such as the legendary British Graphic Novelist Bryan Talbot, who was recently awarded the first honorary doctorate for a Comic Artist by the University of Sunderland.
Dr. Talbot will be launching his new Graphic Novel Grandville at the show and also conducting a special presentation for fans.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.