Comics @ Edinburgh International Book Festival

It is the biggest literary festival in the United Kingdom and over the last few years the Edinburgh International Book Festival has taken a very active interest in comics and graphic novels. This year’s BookFest begins in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square Gardens on 14 August and it runs until 30 August.

The comics related events at this year’s Festival are as follows:

Sunday 22 August, 4pm – Comics with Glenn Dakin
This is a workshop for the 12-15 age group on how to create a comic book taken by Glen Dakin whose work has appeared in Paul Gravett’s Escape magazine as well as Marvel UK’s ClanDestine and The Real Ghostbusters and who is now better known for writing children’s books.

Monday 23 August, 5pm – Adventure Comics With Garen Ewing
This is a workshop for the 10-12 age group on how to design a classic adventure comic by Rainbow Orchid’s Garen Ewing.

Monday 23 August, 8pm – Garry Trudeau In Conversation With Steve Bell: The Political Cartoon And Its Place In Journalism
American Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury and British Steve Bell of The Guardian’s If… are two of the best known and acclaimed political cartoonists in either side of the Atlantic and this promises to be an interesting conversation between the two men.

Tuesday 24 August, 12:30pm – A Comic Book View Of Life In Britain: Cedar Lewisohn
The programme describes Cedar Lewisohn as a contributor to a major new book on the subject of how comic artists have satirised and lampooned the politicians of their day and that his talk takes a look at Britain through the eyes of its cartoonists. While it doesn’t say it, this would appear to tie in with Tate Publishing’s Rude Britannia: British Comic Art book, itself a tie in to the Tate’s Rude Britannia exhibition.

Tuesday 24 August, 16:30pm – Sarah McIntyre
This is a workshop for the 5-7 age group from the DFC’s Sarah McIntyre as a preview of her Vern and Lettuce book from The DFC Library. Children are asked to bring their own pen and “a lot of gusto”.

Tickets prices for the talks are £10 and for the workshops £4.

In addition to the public programme, Garen and Sarah will be taking part in the Festival’s Schools Programme covering all primary school ages between them. Sarah will start with Monsters and Aliens Let Loose! for Primary 1 to 3 classes followed by a Comics Jam with Vern and Lettuce for Primary 3 to 5 while Garen will be doing a comics workshop for Primary 5 to 7. It should be stressed however that none of the Schools Programme events are open to the public.

The full programme of the Edinburgh International Book Festival is available to download as a PDF from their website. Tickets for the talks and workshops go on sale on Saturday 26 June 2010.

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