Edinburgh BookFest Begins Today

2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Book Festival which begins today in the Scottish capital’s Charlotte Square Gardens. The festival runs for two and a half weeks and is the largest literature festival in the world. In recent years BookFest, as it is known, has included comics and graphic novels to a greater or lesser extent in its programming with some major names such as Watchmen’s Alan Moore and Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau appearing.

This year BookFest is running Stripped as a major strand within its programming, a festival within a festival if you like, covering comics, graphic novels and sequential illustrations in all its many forms from across the world and includes not just British creators but speakers from American, France, Italy, Israel, South Africa and Australia as well.

There are a variety of Stripped events on during the evenings of next week including talks by Chris Ware and Joe Sacco but the main Stripped weekend begins at teatime on Thursday 22 August with a sold-out talk by Viz writer/artist John Fardell on his artistic influences and runs right through to the late evening of Monday 26 August with writer Denise Mina and artist Andrea Mutti discussing their graphic novel work on Steig Larson’s Millennium Trilogy. Highlights of that weekend include talks by Neil Gaiman, Posy Simmonds and Grant Morrison while the comics workshops over that weekend have proved so popular that most are already sold out.

In addition to the big names that are appearing, on the weekend of 24 and 25 August, the free Stripped Mini Comics Fair featuring Scottish comic artists and small press creators will take place from 11am to 6pm at 5 Charlotte Square, opposite the gardens that the BookFest takes place in. This is the first time that such an event has been organised by the Book Festival.

While some may see literary festivals as elitist, the local comics community in Edinburgh have given their backing to Stripped with former Tharg David Bishop and FPI chief blogger Joe Gordon scheduled to be chairing several of the Stripped talks while Filmish creator Edward Ross and downthetube’s Jeremy Briggs have been writing for the Stripped BookFest blog along with Glaswegian creators Metaphrog and OchAyeComics blogger Nicola Love.

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The full list of Stripped comics events during the 2013 BookFest are listed in chronological order below. Those events marked with CP are Stripped events included in the Baillie Gifford children’s programme. There are more details of all the events in the downloadable Stripped programme.

Monday 12 August

8:30pm – artist/ writer Chris Ware discusses Building Stories

Tuesday 13 August

8:30pm – artist/journalist Joe Sacco discusses Journalism

Wednesday 14 August

7:00pm – Chris Ware and Joe Sacco discuss their work

Tuesday 19 August

7:00pm – physicist James Kaklios discusses The Physics Of Superheroes

Thursday 22 August

6:00pm – artist/writer John Fardell looks at Tintin, Dan Dare and Heath Robinson (CP) – SOLD OUT
7:00pm – artist/writers Barroux and Cathy Brett discuss their themes of soldiers

Friday 23 August

1:00pm – writer/journalist Paul Gravett leads a workshop on Reading Graphic Novels
3:30pm – artist/writers Will Morris and Edward Ross discuss their work
4:00pm – artist/writer Melinda Gebbie discusses her work
5:30pm – writer/journalist Paul Gravett discusses the history of comics
6:30pm – artist Warren Pleece shows how to draw the living dead from Darren Shan’s ZOM-B series (CP)
7:00pm – artist/writer Barroux and translator Daniel Hahn discuss the translation of books into English
8:00pm – writer Grant Morrison discusses his career
8:30pm – writer Roger Gibson and artist Warren Pleece discuss using London as a setting in their work
9:00pm – Jura Unbound: Literary Death Match – FREE/Drop-in

Saturday 24 August

10:00am – artist/writer Adam Murphy gives a Phoenix comic workshop (CP) – SOLD OUT
11:00am – Stripped Mini Comic Fair – FREE
11:00am – artist/writer Jon McNaught gives a full day masterclass on creating comics
12:30pm – Guardian cartoonists Stephen Collins and Tom Gauld discuss their inspirations
2:00pm – writer Robin Etherington and artist Lorenzo Etherington talk about their work (CP)
4:30pm – artist/writer Posy Simmonds discusses Mrs Weber’s Omnibus
4:30pm – writer Robbie Morrison and artist Jim Murray discuss Drowntown
7:00pm – writer Keiron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie discuss Young Avengers
8:30pm – artist/writers Hannah Berry and Gareth Brookes discuss their horror tinged work
9:00pm – Jura Unbound: Tales from the Strip with artists Stephen Collins and Emma Vieceli – FREE/Drop-in

Sunday 25 August

10:00am – artist Sonia Martinez shows how to create superheroes (CP) – SOLD OUT
10:30am – artist/writer Garen Ewing discusses the Rainbow Orchid (CP)
11:00am – Stripped Mini Comic Fair – FREE
11:00am – artist/writer Gary Northfield gives a full day masterclass on creating comics
11:30am – artist Jamie Courtier and writer Vicky Kimm discuss The Adventures Of Tooki (CP)
Noon – artist/writer Bryan Talbot and writer Mary Talbot discuss their work
2:00pm – artist Sarah McIntrye and writer Phillip Reeve discuss Oliver And The Seawigs (CP)
2:30pm – Comic Consequences: artists and writers are challenged to create a story live on stage (CP)
3:00pm – 2000AD: Back To The Future panel discussion including Dan Abnett and Warren Pleece
3:30pm – artist Sonia Martinez and writer Craig Silvey discuss their work (CP)
4:00pm – writer Lauren Beukus and artist Inaki Miranda discuss Fairest Vol 2: The Hidden Kingdom
4:30pm – artist Emma Vieceli gives a manga art workshop (CP) – SOLD OUT
5:00pm – 9th Art Awards Ceremony
5:30pm – Amnesty Imprisoned Writers Series – In Graphic Detail with readings by Hannah Berry, Garen Ewing & Jon McNaught – FREE
7:00pm – writer Paul Cornell and artist John Higgins discuss their work
8:00pm – writer Neil Gaiman discusses his work on Sandman – SOLD OUT

Monday 26 August

1:00pm – critic Stuart Kelly leads a reading workshop on Batman
2:00pm – artist/writers Rutu Modan and Leanne Shapton discuss their work
3:30pm – writer Rob Davis and political cartoonist Martin Rowson discuss their work on literary classics
5:00pm – The Beano At 75: a celebration of Britain’s best known comic with editors Morris Heggie and Mike Stirling
7:00pm – artist/writers Glyn Dillon and Jon McNaught discuss their work
8:30pm – writer Denise Mina and artist Andrea Mutti discuss their work on Steig Larson’s Millennium Trilogy

• There are more details of the events on the Stripped BookFest blog here and the Stripped Twitter feed is here.

• There are more details of all the Edinburgh International Book Festival Stripped events at the BookFest website where tickets are available. Some Stripped events have a special under 26s rate of £5 per ticket.

• Joe Gordon interviewed BookFest’s Janet Smyth about Stripped on the FPI Blog here.

downthetubes Top Tip: Each Stripped talk lasts one hour (unless otherwise stated in the programme) and there is a 30 minute gap before the next talk in the same tent to allow the audience to exit and the tent to be reset. Doors are normally opened 10-15 minutes before the talk takes place and close at the beginning of the talk with a strict policy of no latecomers admitted. It is therefore not possible to attend two events which begin one hour apart in different tents as the doors of the second tent will be closed before the audience exits the first tent. Be aware of this when booking tickets.

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