Oxford’s East Oxford Community Centre is once again host to Britain’s longest-running comics festival Caption next month – with a terrific guest list including of both new and experienced talent, including top comic artist and designer Rian Hughes, who created the event’s ‘robot logo’ for this year.
Established in 1992, Caption, which takes place 24th-25th August, established itself from the outset as the comics creator’s convention. The emphasis on workshops, panels and social interaction has meant that over the years some of the biggest names in the business have been drawn to Oxford to talk about their work, whilst at the same time new creators have been given a chance to be involved in the festival and rub shoulders with successful writers and artists.
All this has been happening under the very noses of Oxonians for years in the unpretentious surroundings of East Oxford Community Centre.
“It’s good to have a comics event that feels right in a church hall with a tea urn!” enthused comics writer and author Paul Cornell, who attended Caption 2010.
Guests include Rian Hughes (Dan Dare), Al Davison (The Spiral Cage, Doctor Who comics); renowned illustrators John Aggs and Robert Deas who have both have worked in adapting the words of literary greats for the comics page; Yomi Ayeni and Jennie Gyllblad (Saturday only), the creators of Clockwork Watch, an immersive interactive story set in a steampunk universe; Robert M Ball and Ben Dickson, creators working in the science-fiction and fantasy fields; Paul Collicutt (Robot City Adventures); Charles Cutting ( artist for The Doings of Vincent John McKeown, Poet); Hannah Eaton, a runner up in Myriad Editions First Fictions competition last year for Naming Monsters, which has just been published; Andrzej Klimowski (Stanisław Lem’s Robot…); Victoria & Albert Museum comics lectuerer Ian Rakoff (also writer of The Prisoner: Welcome to Harmony); V&A comic artist in residence Karen Rubins; and Danusia Schebal (Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde graphic novel).
Also on the guest list are Chris Geary and Mike Medaglia, cartoonists who have used comics in education and to illustrate more fantastical tales. Geary is the illustrator of Commitment, a graphic novel about project management skills, and a contributor to 2000AD fanzine Zarjaz. Medaglia runs, with Mark Haylock, Comics Gosh!p, a graphic novels reading group based at the famous Soho comics shop Gosh!, which has also become a feature at Caption in recent years. Medaglia is also a contributor to The Comix Reader newspaper and editor of Wu Wei, an anthology that gives writers & artists a space to creatively explore spirituality through the medium of comics. Geary and Medaglia will be guests on the Sunday of the festival.
More guests are to be announced, but expect creators and editorial staff from Oxford based comics companies 2000AD and The Phoenix to also be in attendance this year and there will be fun workshops and activities for anyone who wants to get involved.
A wide variety of comics will also be available to buy from the Caption table. (Don’t expect a dealer’s hall with endless merchandise and back issues, do expect fascinating panel discussions and excellent workshops all in an informal friendly environment).
Tickets for the event are £6 per day or £10 for both days, so get yourself along!
• Caption, East Oxford Community Centre, 44 Princes St, Oxford OX4 1DD; 11am – 11pm Saturday 24th August / 11am – 5pm Sunday 25th August. More info at www.caption.org
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