Dundee Comics Day Creator guests – details released

Dundee Comics Day

A quick reminder that Dundee Comics Day is fast approaching, an event that this year celebrates Starblazers – the creators of Science Fiction Comics.

Comics Day 2013 will celebrate Science Fiction comics and will feature creators who have worked in this genre, from well-established names, such as Dundee’s own Sydney Jordan and Ian Kennedy) to new talent. This comes at an important time from British science fiction, with the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who and last year’s 35th Anniversary for 2000AD, Britain’s premier science fiction comic. Many of this year’s guests have worked on Doctor Who comics, and for 2000AD, and others have worked for beloved franchises like Transformers and Star Wars.

The annual event, part of the Dundee Literary Festival, takes place on Sunday 27th October. There will also be events on Saturday 26th October at the DCA. These will include a Comics Workshop – Draw Doctor Who / Design a Villain, a display and book signing event with Doctor Who comic writers and artists, including Steve Parkhouse, and a talk on storyboarding the Doctor Who TV series with Andrew Wildman.

In addition, the winners of the 2013 Dundee Comics Prize will be announced at on Comics Day. The competition was to create a Science Fiction story.

The starblazers of British science fiction comics attending are:

Sydney Jordan, who was born and worked for a while in Dundee. A graduate of the Aeronautical Technical School in Reading he became a regular pilot in the RAF. Sydney is probably best known for his stunning science fiction newspaper strip Jeff Hawke, which ran in the Daily Express from 1955 to 1974 and was syndicated across Europe. The series was especially popular in Italy. Sydney then went onto create another science fiction strip, Lance McLane for The Daily Record, which ran from 1976 to 1988. In June 1996 The Planet on Sunday (a very short-lived newspaper) published a new episode of Dan Dare, illustrated by Sydney. William Rudling, who runs the Jeff Hawke Fan Club, will accompany Sydney, and talk about this much loved strip.

John Ridgway started his varied comics career freelancing for DC Thomson in the 1970s, drawing Commando comics, on which he continues to work to this day. He became a full-time comics creator in 1984, working for 2000AD (Fleetway), Warrior (Quality Communications), and for Marvel UK and DC Comics. He lent his distinctive style to his work on Transformers, Doctor Who and Zoids for Marvel UK, and Hellblazer for DC Comics. He drew The Dead Man series for 2000AD, which is notable for being the only story where Judge Dredd appears without his helmet, and recently re-worked his work on James Hudnall's Age of Heroes, originally published in the US, for the first limited edition volume of Strip Magazine. He also produced the colour and 3D models for Hal Starr and Jeff Hawke with Sydney Jordan.

Ian Kennedy was born in Dundee in 1932 and started his career in 1949, working for DC Thomson. During the 1950's he worked on a variety of comics such as Thriller Picture Library, Air Ace, Hotspur and Wizard. After this Ian began his long association with Commando. In the 1970's Ian worked on science fiction comics such as Starlord, 2000AD and Starblazer. He had a long run on the new Dan Dare for IPC in the 1980's as well as producing art for Marvel UK's Blake’s 7 comic magazine. Ian is semi-retired, but still produces covers for Commando.

Robbie Morrison is the creator of Nikolai Dante, one of the most beloved characters in 2000AD’s recent history. He also wrote Shimura, with art by Frank Quitely, and has written for US companies DC Comics, Marvel and Wildstorm, with runs on top-selling characters such as Batman and Spider-Man. He is the writer of the stunning new graphic novel Drowntown, recently published by Jonathan Cape, with art by Jim Murray.

Simon Fraser is best known for his artwork on Nikolai Dante, which he created with Robbie Morrison for 2000AD. In 2005 he drew the adaptation of Richard Matheson's Hell House, written by Ian Edginton and published by IDW Publishing. He is also a writer, and creator of Lilly MacKenzie and the Mines of Charybdis which is being published online, as part of the online comics collective Act-i-vate.

Simon Furman has been inextricably linked to Transformers, the 1980s toy phenomenon, since he wrote an outstanding series of stories about these ‘robots in disguise’, for Marvel UK. He has gone on to write Doctor Who, Dragon’s Claws, Death’s Head, Alpha Flight, Turok, She-Hulk, Robocop, and Terminator. In the TV animation field he has written for shows such as Beast Wars, Roswell Conspiracies, Dan Dare, X-Men: Evolution, Alien Racers and A.T.O.M. Editorially, Furman oversees Titan Books’ range of Transformers titles and their ‘Comics Creators’ series. He also wrote a Doctor Who audio adventure (‘The Axis of Insanity’). He is currently writing more Transformers comics, and is lead writer and script supervisor for the animated TV show The Matt Hatter Chronicles.

Andy Wildman is best known as an artist on comics such as Transformers, The X-Men, Spider-Man, Venom, and the fantasy graphic novel Frontier: Dances with Demons, but he also creates character and environment design for the TV and Video Games industries. He was head character designer for the animated TV show Legend of The Dragon, production designer for the children’s animated TV show The Matt Hatter Chronicles and storyboard artist for the BBC on The Fades and Doctor Who. In 2005 he founded the charity project, Draw the World Together which continues to raise funds to enable education possibilities for street children around the world.

Tanya Roberts is a comic book artist based in Edinburgh and working for various companies including Lucasarts, Disney and American Greetings. She has recently drawn several licensed properties, including Toy Story and Strawberry Shortcake and works on Star Wars: Clone Wars. She is the creator of Forgotten Muse.

Kev Hopgood is a children's illustrator and comic book artist. He works for a wide variety of publishers in the UK, US and Europe, including Marvel comics, for whom he co-created the popular character War Machine, who appeared in the recent Iron Man movies. He drew Zoids, written by Grant Morrison, for Marvel UK, and has worked for 2000AD, drawing Night Zero, Harlem Heroes and Judge Dredd. He has also drawn several Doctor Who stories, He's also worked in the educational and ELT field for publishers such as Oxford University Press, Barrington Stoke & Franklin Watts.

Montynero is the writer of Death Sentence, just launched in US comic format by Titan Comics, a story about a disease that enhances its victim’s natural abilities, and sometimes bestows superpowers. It has received excellent and well deserved reviews. He's both a comics writer and artist, and has worked for 2000AD and in the computer games industry.

Dundee is one of the great powerhouses of comics production, not just in the UK, but internationally. The publisher DC Thomson is at the heart of the city, with its long running comics, The Beano and The Dandy, and a host of beloved characters, such as Dennis the Menace, Desperate Dan, and the Bash Street Kids.

Building on this local tradition and expertise, the University of Dundee is leading the way in this emerging academic field, with modules on comics at undergraduate level and the UK’s first Masters course in Comics Studies.

The Scottish Centre for Comics Studies is based at the University, bringing together researchers, teachers, archivists, artists and writers, industry professionals, and others involved in the promotion of Comics Studies.

Comics Day has been held annually since 2007 and has attracted some of the biggest names in the industry, including artists, historians, scholars and writers, in that time. It is designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in comics, and will be accompanied by an exhibition of comic art work. Book signings, talks and the announcement of the Dundee Comics Prize winners will also take place.

• The events will be held in the D’Arcy Thompson Lecture Theatre and Baxter Suite, Tower Building, University of Dundee. More information about any of the events is available by contacting Dr Murray at c.murray@dundee.ac.uk.

• To buy tickets, please visit www.literarydundee.co.uk. Tickets are also available from Literary Dundee, 6th floor, Tower Building, University of Dundee, Tel: 01382 384413. Email: literarydundee@gmail.com


Categories: British Comics, Classic British Comics, Comic Art, Comic Creator Spotlight, Creating Comics, Doctor Who, Events, Featured News

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