Jock heads for Croatia

A promotional poster by Igor Kordej for Croatia's MaFest

A promotional poster for the 2012 Mafest by Igor Kordej for Croatia’s MaFest

No, we’re not talking about the summer holidays already. Comic creator Miljenko Horvatić has just dropped me a line to remind me about the comic convention MaFest in Makarska, Croatia (, whose announced line up so far includes Eric Bourgier (Live War Heroes) and Olivier Coipel (House of M, Legion of Super-Heroes, Thor).

Joining these European talents (with more to be announced) in the event’s eighth year are multi-award winning British comic artist Jock and US creator Sean Gordon Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, Star Wars, Teen Titans).

Mark Simpson ,  stage name” Jock, will be best known to downthetubes readers for his work on 2000AD, on “Judge Dredd” and “Lenny Zero” – and for The Losers, which was written by fellow Brit Andy Diggle.

Jock’s credits also include Hellblazer, Green Arrow, Batman and Wolverine as well as plenty of work for film productions and promotional campaigns (Hancock, Battleship, Children of Men, Dredd, Batman Begins and X-Men: Days of Future Past, to name but a few). He was also the main concept artist on Dredd.

Mafest LogoMafest (19th – 25th May) includes comic panels, workshops and much more, featuring a huge range of local comic creators, including Esad Ribic, Miljenko Horvatić, Dalibor Talajic, Igor Kordey, Goran Sudzuka, Ive Svorcina, Matt Hollingsworth (who lives in Croatia) and Maxim Simic.

Many of these local artists are, by the way, featured by Modesty Comics. As Broken Frontier reported recently, Modesty Comics is a father-daughter operation with a declared intent to promote comics work from the former Yugoslavia to an expanded audience but also with a wider remit to discuss quality comics work from across the globe on their website. Their site provides the opportunity to both browse work for free and buy from a developing catalogue of translated graphic novels.

• MaFest web site (in Croatian):

• Read more about Modesty Comics on Broken Frontier: “Championing Sequential Art from the Former Yugoslavia

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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

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