As if this summer hadn’t already been a cracking time for UK comics fans with events like the Cardiff Independent Comics Expo (report here) and Lawgiver (report here) just only popping into our rear view mirrors, next up is the East London Comics Art Festival (aka ELCAF).
This is one of my favourite events in the calendar and for the third year in a row is being held at The Round Chapel on 1D Glenarm Road, London E5 0LY.
During the hot London summer, hundreds (if not thousands) of fans are packed into this event that always sells out of tickets and available table space. I’ll be there doing some on the spot interviews with creators and chatting about comics aaaaaaall weekend. Can’t wait!
So, for the newbie to ELCAF… What can you expect to see there? I thought on the run up to the event I would post a few articles about creators I’m keen to see.
First off is a big pile of Nobrow books. My pals Sam and Zoe will be there, chatting and selling some of the best books in comics publishing. I fully expect the mighty Hilda, the award-winning creation of Luke Pearson, to make a big showing with her new Netflix series ready to drop any day! I’ve had a little secret look at the first episode and it is spectacular!
Also selling like hot cakes will be the recently released Nobrow 10: Studio Dreams, which is a collection of comics and illustration that celebrates ten years of this cracking company. If you are lucky enough to grab one of the limited edition hardback,s I highly recommend it. This is a collection of some of the best art you’ll see this year and a great celebration of the time spent by this company nurturing new talent.
Are you looking to create comics? Get into the industry? Get published? Then the ELCAF Springboard Meetings are happening again. This year’s experts include: Anna Ridley (Commissioning Editor, Children’s books, Thames & Hudson), Andy Oliver (Editor in chief, Broken Frontier), Charlotte Dumortier (Artist and Illustrator), Harriet Birkinshaw (Senior Commissioning Editor, Nobrow/Flying Eye Books), John Walters (Editor, Eye Magazine), Leyla Reynolds (Art Director, Gal-Dem Zine), Suzanne Tromp (WeTransfer, Editor WePresent) and many more!
Head over to the ELCAF website and book yourself a spot.
Who is exhibiting I hear you ask? Here are a few of my personal highlights….
The mighty Avery Hill Publishing will be there with appearances by our pals David, Ricky and Kat. I’m really keen to get a physical copy of Tim Bird’s new book The Great North Wood (as reviewed on here a few weeks ago). This book is up there for me this year, a beautifully melancholic and magical trip through South London that features green men, stags and chicken take out boxes. Tim is a top talent and continues to produce thoughtful comics year in and out.
There is also a new issue of Metroland by Ricky Miller and Julia Scheele. I’ve just read a preview copy (look out for a review soon) and it is everything we’ve been waiting for in this excellent series. A dream like book that lives both in the present and the idealised past. It’s great to see the story again after a short absence. Get it whilst stocks last.
If you can’t make it to ELCAF then pop by averyhillpublishing.bigcartel.com and grab yourself a copy!
Jeans K Styve, the creator of the sarcastically funny strip Dunce will have a table. I’m really looking forward to finally meeting this Norwegian creator and grabbing anything I can carry from his table! Have a look at a few posts back for a review of the first three issues of Dunce.
Dilraj Mann is going to be there with his triumphant book from last year, Dalston Monsterz. Easily one of my favourite books from last year, it’s good to see that Dilraj has been reaching into some US comics companies with covers for IDW/Black Crown comics of late.
Find out more at http://dilrajmann.tumblr.com/
Andy Barron will be there with more from his world of Om as well as some gorgeous looking art and hopefully some of his world famous dioramas! Find out more here andyillustrates.com
Look out for Todd Oliver. I got a couple of sketches from this creator last year and he is definitely one to watch out for. He’ll be dropping a new issue of ‘Boxes’ at the event and it is a favourite of us all on the pod!
Find (and buy) his art here toddoliver.bigcartel.com
The above is just a very small portion of what you can expect at the event!
There is more to come … keep an eye out.
Come say hi!
• Check out the ELCAF web site at www.elcaf.co.uk
Many thanks for reading!
Antony Esmond is a comic reviewer and writer – his hips don’t lie.