Comics @ Glasgow Film Festival

Last year the Glasgow Film Festival at the Glasgow Film Theatre brought writer Mark Millar on board to curate a comics creators and movies strand which included amongst others a talk by artist/writer Dave Gibbons and screenings of Luc Besson’s The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec. This year the GFF’s comics strand has expanded further with an impressive array of creators on hand to talk about their work plus a varied selection of comics based film screenings.

Firstly the creator events –

Setting the Scene: Scotland and the Future of Comics (Dr Chris Murray and John McShane)
Tuesday 21 February 14:00
“Two of the stars of the BBC film Scotland’s Amazing Comic Book Heroes will use their powers to step off the screen and expand the discussion on the future of comics in Scotland. Dr Chris Murray runs the Comic Studies MLitt/PGDip course at the University of Dundee. His research interests lie in comics, film and popular culture, and he has published essays on various aspects of comics. John McShane is chairman of the Scottish Cartoonists Society and his company, Fat Man Press, published The Bogie Man, one of the early examples of a comic book to film adaptation (starring Robbie Coltrane, no less). He has also published works by Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Eddie Campbell and other famous comics creators. John and Chris will expand upon ideas raised in the film and answer your questions.”
Dr Chris Murray, as well as running the Comic Studies MLitt, is also the organiser of the Dundee Comics Day and was interviewed on downthetubes here, while Fat Man Press’ The Bogie Man was actually a BBC TV production and John McShane’s Scottish Cartoonists Society Ning group is here (requires membership).

Mark Millar and Frank Quitely
Tuesday 21 February 16:00
“Writer Mark Millar and superstar DC and Marvel artist Frank Quitely talk about their first collaboration together in ten years, taking us through the step-by-step process of an idea becoming a script, a comic book and eventually a big budget movie. Both living and working in Glasgow, they explain how geography is no disadvantage in Hollywood movies or New York publishing and open the floor up to any aspiring writers and artists in what’s bound to be a very lively session. Their last book together was award-winning Authority and their new, yet-to-be-revealed project is already one of the most anticipated comic-book events in 2012.”
As curator of the GFF’s comic strand it would be odd for writer Mark Millar not to be on a panel while artist Frank Quietly is an old hand at comics talks and is always worth listening to.

Writing for Games and Comics
Wednesday 22 February 12:30
“So you have a great idea for a video game or comic but where do you start? We bring together a panel of distinguished video game and comic book writers, including Rhianna Pratchett and Gordon Rennie, to give you tips on how to get into the industry and get ahead. They discuss the ups and downs of being involved in the industry, the difference between writing for games and comics and the challenges you might face. Learn about the games studios that make comics and hear stories of how your favourite comic books were brought to life on screen as games.”
Video game writer Rhianna Pratchett is, of course, Sir Terry’s daughter while Gordon Rennie, amongst his other writing credits, is a long standing scriptdroid for 2000AD and the Megazine.

Kate Brown in Conversation
Wednesday 22 February 13:45
“What does it take to build a full-time career as a comicker? Is it something you might want to do? Kate Brown will tell you everything you want to know but have never dared to ask. In 2010, Kate was awarded the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Graphic Novels and used it to fund the completion of her self-published comic Fish + Chocolate, which has since been picked up for publication by SelfMadeHero. Her other credits include the all-ages title The Spider Moon for The DFC/The DFC Library (adapted into a performance piece by PlayBox Theatre). Currently she is working on the all-ages title The Lost Boy for the Phoenix. Kate will speak about her wide experience in the comics industry and take questions from the audience.”
Artist/writer Kate Brown’s new graphic novel Fish + Chocolate demonstrates her ability with mature storytelling in addition to her work for the two children’s comics DFC and Phoenix. We would expect Bryan Hitch and Charlie Adlard to both be popular talks on the Wednesday afternoon but our recommendation is that those attendees buying tickets for the other two should also make a point of attending Kate Brown’s talk.

Bryan Hitch in Conversation
Wednesday 22 February 15:00
“British comic book artist Bryan Hitch is widely recognised as one of the industry’s leading artists and storytellers, with his books regularly selling over 100,000 copies an issue in America alone. Also highly credited for his design work, his designs have appeared in the successful relaunch of Doctor Who in 2005 and numerous feature films, including Captain America, Thor and Star Trek (2009), as well as the upcoming The Avengers film, based on The Ultimates comic book by himself and Mark Millar. Bryan will discuss his career, including his new book co-written with Jonathan Ross, before taking questions from the audience.”
Bryan Hitch’s artistic journey took him from Marvel UK to Marvel US with a lot of interesting places in between.

Charlie Adlard in Conversation
Wednesday 22 February 16:15
“Apocalyptic graphic novel The Walking Dead, a survival story of a world overtaken by zombies, captured the imaginations of a legion of fans and is now a multi-million dollar US TV series. In this unique event, Shropshire-based artist Charlie Adlard drops in on GFF to discuss how he came on board as illustrator for the series and the effect it has had on his career. After the conversation we will screen one of Charlie’s favourite episodes from the Golden Globe-nominated series. An unmissable event for fans keen to delve deeper into one of the hottest comics and TV shows around.”
Charlie was at Hi-Ex in Inverness in 2010 before The Walking Dead was broadcast on TV but because the series is now on TV we would expect this to be the most popular of the creator events.

Women in Comics
Thursday 23 February 15:15
“Casual graphic fiction readers might see the way women are represented and decide that the medium must be male dominated and that the industry is a prejudiced place for women to work. But is all as it seems? How does sexism in comics compare to that in mainstream film? And what are the actual experiences of women working in the comics industry? Women in Comics presents original research by Graphic Scotland and brings together Denise Mina, Kate Brown, Penny Sharp and Gillian Hatcher to talk about the difficulties of getting into the industry and the future of how women are drawn.”
There was a time when we would have been hard pressed to come up with any female creators in the professional British comics scene other than writer/artist Posy Simmonds in the Guardian, however we could now add Laura Howell in the Beano, Kate Brown in The Phoenix and Tanya Roberts in Star Wars: Clone Wars. As well as the aforementioned Kate Brown, the Graphic Scotland team discuss the topic with writer Denise Mina, animator Penny Sharp and Team Girl Comic’s Gillian Hatcher.

In addition to the creator talks and since, after all, GFF and its subsidiaries are a film festival, the following comics related films, shorts and documentaries will be screened –

The Rabbi’s Cat 3D (Not certified but 12+ advised)
Saturday 11 February 15:30

Tatsumi (15)
Tuesday 21 February 18:00
Wednesday 22 February 12:00

Flash Gordon (PG)
Tuesday 21 February 20:15

Superman (PG)
Wednesday 22 February 17:45

Night is Day (Not certified but 12+ advised)
Wednesday 22 February 18:30

Death of a Superhero (Not certified but 15+ advised)
Wednesday 22 February 20:30
Thursday 23 February 13:00

Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters (Not certified but 12+ advised)
Thursday 23 February 13:15

A History of Violence (18)
Thursday 23 February 15:00

Electric Man (Not certified but 12+ advised)
Thursday 23 February 16:45

Superheroes (Not certified but 15+ advised)
Thursday 23 February 19:20

The Crow (18)
Thursday 23 February 23:00

There are more details of all the talks, panels and screenings plus how to purchase tickets at the Glasgow Film Theatre website.

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