John McCrea, Al Davison head for Manchester Comic Con

Comic artist John McCrea

Mars Attacks! artist John McCrea

The MCM Manchester Comic Con returns to Manchester Central on Saturday 20th July and a number of comic creators will be in attendance on the day.

The expanded hall will play host to top games publishers such as Nintendo and Koch Media – the latter previewing new title Saints Row IV – while the sold-out Comic Village area will be home to talented artists and writers including Mars Attacks! artist John McCrea, Antony Johnston, Lee Bradley, Laura Howell, Jack Lawrence, Al Davison and metal band The Dead Lay Waiting with their new comic, written By Marie Ponting and Luke Lucas  and drawn by Rob Von Grey and Lee Fowler.

Issue 1, released earlier in the year and titled ‘ The Girl’, centres on TDLW navigating their way through an enchanted dream world. This gateway to the realm of the dead, is where The Band meet an Aztec Queen with mystical powers and an angry girl called Celeste, who suspects The Band of being responsible for the disappearance of her boyfriend Billy’s soul. She’ll stop at nothing to find him, forcing Luke and The Band to become entangled in this war torn love story that crosses between both the world of the living and the dead.

There’s more info about the comic here on the band’s web site.

Special guests with other genre media connections include Warwick Davis, whose Hollywood credits include Willow, Star Wars and the Harry Potter movies; Kai Owen, best known for playing Torchwood‘s Rhys Williams; Rupert Young and Eoin Macken, stars of the BBC’s Merlin; and Gerran Howell (Vlad), Clare Thomas (Ingrid) and Simon Ludders (Renfield) from award-winning BBC show Young Dracula.

MCM Manchester Comic Con also features costume competitions; onstage panels; a Dance Dance Revolution and retro gaming zone; the battling bots from Robot Live and, of course, stands selling everything from sweets to sci-fi collectables. Retailers attending include anime distributors Manga Entertainment and MVM Entertainment, Tokyo Toys, MyM Magazine and NEO.

And last but not least, KIDS GO FREE! To make MCM Manchester Comic Con an even better day out for the whole family, we’re offering free entry for children aged 10 and under if accompanied by a full paying adult, up to a maximum of two children per paying adult.

• Tickets for MCM Manchester Comic Con are available at:

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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