It is almost that time of the year again when the chaos of Festival hits Edinburgh. International, Film, Fringe, Television and the Tattoo as well as many other smaller festivals invade the city, but the one of most interest to comics readers is the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Last year the BookFest put on more comics related events than ever before which downthetubes reviewed here. These proved to be so successful that the Festival in 2009 has a similarly diverse selection of comic and graphic novel related events.
They begin on Saturday 15th August when former Dandy editor, DC Thomson archivist and author of The History Of The Beano, Morris Heggie, former Beano editor and current BeanoMAX editor Euan Kerr and Minnie The Minx artist Jim Petrie will take over the Studio Theatre to create a new Beano inspired character with the help of the children in the audience. Later that day My Diary writer and artist Mio Matsumoto will talk about her autobiographical graphic novel which charts her fight against cancer. Following her talk she will take a comics workshop aimed at at teenage audience.
Wednesday 19th August brings political cartoonist Gerald Scarfe to the RBS Main Theatre to talk about his his life and work. This is followed by Neil Gaiman who will talk about his books and his graphic novels.
The following day, academic Dr Mel Gibson will discuss the theme of Visual Literacy, Learning and Graphic Novels before Neil Gaiman returns in the evening this time with Scottish crime author Ian Rankine to discuss their work on graphic novels.
On Monday 24th August Dan Dare artist Gary Erskine returns to the Festival for a second year to give a workshop aimed at teenagers on creating comics, while the next day brings a Writing Workshop on Graphic Novels. The writer due to take this event remains to be announced but it is worth pointing out that Tony Lee will be talking about his new Robin Hood graphic novel later the same afternoon.
Wednesday 26th August brings Metaphrog duo, Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, to the workshop tent for a workshop on creating a comic strip aimed at teenagers. Metaphrog have done many of these workshops in Scotland this year and last, but this is the first time that they have lead a workshop at the Book Festival.
Saturday 29th August bring Scottish writer Mark Millar to the RBS Corner Theatre to discuss his graphic novels which include Wanted and Kick-Ass, while the comics events conclude rather more sedately on Sunday 30 August with Manga Shakespeare artist Chie Kutsuwada (also known as Chi-Tan) taking a manga inspired workshop once again aimed at teenagers.
As with last year the Book Festival is once again providing a comics programme for a wide variety of tastes.
• Details of the Edinburgh Internal Book Festival as well as details of how to order tickets are available on their website. The Festival runs in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square Gardens from 15th to 31st August 2009.