Enniskillen ComicFest returns on 1st and 2nd May 2020 for its fifth year – and the award-winning event will spotlight some classic British comics as well as three creators who helped shape them, making their first-ever convention appearances, alongside writer such as 2000AD‘s Michael Carroll and artists such as Alan Davis and writer Maura McHugh.
As in previous years, the festival, which recently won the Best Comic Con or Event award for the UK and Ireland in the inaugural ComicScene Magazine Awards, will run some workshops for schools on the Friday, with an evening event still in the planning stages, and then Saturday will the main event open to the public. The Saturday main event will once again be completely free for all to attend.
2020 sees the 75th Anniversary of VE Day which will be remembered on the weekend after ComicFest so, prompting organiser Paul Trimble and team to acknowledge the 45th Anniversary of Britain’s Battle Picture Weekly, launched in early March 1975. Developed by Pat Mills and John Wagner, Battle Picture Weekly had a huge impact with hard-hitting war stories completely different to anything done before.
Also celebrated will the “The Sevenpenny Nightmare”, Action, which was launched the following year, offering a similar blend of, mainly, contemporary stories. However, as documented by Moose Harris (and others), controversy grew about the level of violence within the pages of Action and, after a toned down revamp, it was eventually merged with Battle Picture Weekly as Battle-Action in November 1977.
This year’s ComicFest features a number of guests who worked on Battle and Action, including David Hunt, Editor of Battle between 1975 and 1980; Colin Wyatt, Assistant Art Editor on Action and then Art Editor on 2000AD; and Chris Lowder, writing as Jack Adrian, who worked on 2000AD, Action, Battle, Eagle, Scream and Tornado – all making their first convention appearances.
A special interview panel with all the Battle–Action guests is being arranged for Friday night and a limited edition t-shirt and booklet will be on sale on Saturday.
As well as celebrating Battle and Action, Enniskillen ComicFest also will have plenty of other guests from all across the comics industry. Alan Davis, who has drawn all the Marvel and DC characters at some point, will be there, along with Irish writer Maura McHugh, author of the recently-released novel, Judges: Psyche, available on Kindle, featuring 2000AD‘s Judge Anderson novel published; and rising stars such as Anna Morozova, Laura Bailey and Paul Williams.
Acclaimed colourist for Dynamite Comics, Ellie Wright, will also be making her first appearance at ComicFest.
Beano creators are always very popular at ComicFest and announced so far this year are artists and writers Lew Stringer (replacing Nigel Parkinson, featured on current publicity, now no longer attending) and Alan Ryan.
A wide range of Irish creators will also be in attendance, including Davy Francis, Katie O’Kane and Anthea West.
Plenty of self published comics will be on sale at the event, along with plenty of back issues and merchandise, with cosplay all part of the weekend-long fun.
With more guests yet to be announced, be sure to bookmark the Enniskillen ComicFest Facebook Page for a full programme of events, as well as following the event on Twitter and Instagram.
• Information about table applications will be posted on the Enniskillen ComicFest Facebook page soon for anyone who wants to book a table
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.