A group of Manchester comic and Doctor Who fans have organised a special event on 18 October at the Lass O’Gowrie, Manchester featuring several top creator names including Paul Cornell (left) and Steve Dillon.
Vworp Vworp! Comic Book Adventures in Time and Space, arranged in conjunction with Engine Comics and the team behind Redeye – one of the UK’s most influential comics fanzines – will explore the highs, lows, challenges and pitfalls of creating comics based on BBC’s Doctor Who and other popular television and movie characters.
Intended as part of the Manchester Literature Festival, this intimate “mini-con” will be staged over a day and feature formal panels, smaller breakout rooms with powerpoint-based artist showcases and a signing/merchandising areas where the artists can make their work available to attendees.
In terms of guests, the organisers have put out a number of ‘in principal’ feelers to the following comic creators who have agreed to appear, subject to work commitments:
• Steve Dillon
Co-creator of Abslom Daak and Kroton, Steve was responsible for visualizing some of the most memorable back-up strips in Doctor Who Weekly. An internationally renowned talent, Steve’s best known for his run on DC Comics Hellblazer and as co-creator of Preacher. (Photo: Chris Lander)
• Ian Edington
Writer: 2000AD, Marvel, DC Comics, Doctor Who, Planet of the Apes, Predator, Aliens, Torchwood
• Lee Sullivan
Artist: Doctor Who, Thunderbirds, Transformers, Robocop
• Paul Cornell
Writer: Doctor Who – TV show/comics, Wisdom, Benny Summerfield
• Gary Russell
Writer/editor; Script Editor – Torchwood, former editor – Doctor Who Magazine and editor of IDW’s new Doctor Who US comic mini-series
• John Ainsworth
Writer/producer; producer of the 2000AD series of audio dramas released by Big Finish Productions and producer for Noise Monster Productions. John has written numerous articles, reviews and interviews for various SF magazines and wrote the definitive history of Doctor Who in comics for Doctor Who – Classic Comics
The organisers are also awaiting confirmation from a number of additional guests.
The Programme The event will run from 10am – 5:30pm (doors @ 9:30am). Panels planned at this stage include;
10.00-11.00am – Doctor Who in the Comics
In the beginning… a history of the development of the comic spinoffs, challenges to overcome, opportunities and constraints.
Proposed Panel; Gary Russell, Ian Edington, John Ainsworth, John Freeman
11.30 – 12.30pm – “What do you do when the show runs out?”
Exploring the unique challenges and opportunities of dealing with a dead, or ‘dormant’ franchise and how fans can fill the void) – using the Doctor Who Magazine strip “Emperor of the Daleks”, launched during the TV hiatus as the central “case study”.
Proposed Panel; Paul Cornell, John Freeman and Lee Sullivan
1.30-2.30pm – “What’s that coming over the hill?”
Considering how at times the Daleks and other villains often take centre stage – featuring the back-up strips and Doctor Who Magazine’s (DWM) “the Cybermen” as the main case study
Proposed Panel; Gary Russell, Adrian Salmon (TBC – Alan Barnes), Steve Dillon
2.30-3.30pm – “What do you do when it returns?”
Considering how the ground shifted for the comic strip when Doctor Who returned to out screens, featuring DWM’s “Universal Monsters” as central case studies
Proposed Panel; Ian Edgington, Ade Salmon, Scott Gray (TBC)
3.45-4.30pm – “The Yanks are coming…”
An interview considering how the US dominance of the comic scene has begun to change how we deal with classic British franchises, focusing on IDW’s new Doctor Who title – the latest fully originated dedicated Who comic aimed at the US market and Captain Britain
Proposed Panel; Gary Russell, Paul Cornell, Ian Edington, Steve Dillon
4.40pm – Charity Auction, in support of MIND
5.00pm – Event Close (Pub to reopen to public)
Each panel will be interviewer-led and framed by a powerpoint presentation, introducing the topic and framing the discussion.
A full programme of signings and sketching sessions in the Snug will also be made available to event goers.
The event will be staged at the Lass O’Gowrie (www.thelass.co.uk) – one of Manchester’s most celebrated pubs. Famous for real ale and our fantastic homemade pies, the bar and kitchen will be open throughout the event.
The event will use spaces throughout the whole pub, utilising the stage and saloon as “main hall” and the Snug and our proposed upstairs function room as breakout/signing spaces.
A merchandising area will also be made available, subject to agreement with a suitable retailer.
Tickets for the event are £9.00 (Adult) and £6.50 (concessions/U16), with a total of 80 tickets available. Any additional funds raised once guest and associated costs have been covered will be donated to the mental health charity MIND, together with any proceeds of the charity auction.
Contact details are as follows: