The star-studded guest list for this year’s Malta Comic Con has been accelerating so fast over the last couple of weeks we’re only now catching up with recent announcements. Although there’s some disappointing news that artist Jon Haward has had to pull out of this year’s event for personal reasons, there’s a huge range of comic creators from across Europe set to head to the island for the event, which takes place on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December 2015 at the Magazino Hall/Old Power House, Valetta Waterfront.
Here’s the low down on the guests recently added to the line up, with new names that include British artists Nigel Dobbyn, Gary Erskine, Mark Farmer and Clint Langley.
Previously announced guests include creators Sean Azzopardi, Giulia della Ciana, Boo Cook, Dani, Simon Davis, myself (John Freeman), Mike Krone, Guillermo Ortego, Simon “Pye” Parr, Tim Perkins, Sabine Rich and Heba Rena Yassin.
Asia Alfasi is an award winning British Libyan graphic novelist. Born in Libya in 1984, she spent her formative years first in Tripoli, and then in Glasgow, Scotland upon migrating there with her family. The definitive Libyan childhood, at the time, was replete with Arabic-dubbed Japanese anime based on classic novels such as Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and Les Miserables, all of which inspired and nurtured her love of the genre.
Following the events of 9/11, and upon discovery of serious acclaimed graphic novels such as Art Spiegleman’s Maus, Joe Sacco’s Palestine and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, she realised their immense potential at humanising issues and bringing forth the plight of often marginalised people to the fore and therefore furthering understanding.. As a result, she vowed to take part in that through representing the Muslim Arab voice through her work and contributing to that literary and artistic discourse.
Asia has won several national and international manga awards with short stories, earning her a position in London’s acclaimed 2014 “Comics Unmasked” exhibition under the banner of ‘names to look out for’.
Having spent a couple of years in Libya during and after the recent revolution, she is currently re- working a semi-autobiographical graphic novel based on her childhood in Libya, as well as a series based on an Islamic Folk Tale Character Juha: The Tales of Sheikh Nasruddin and Native Narratives: Libyan Folk Tales with the ultimate aim of harnessing the medium as a tool for cross- cultural dialogue.
• More info: https://www.facebook.com/AsiaAlfasiArt
Clíodhna is an animator, illustrator, and occasional Comic Book Tourist, with a first name that few people outside of Ireland can pronounce or spell. Her parents named her after a lifeboat on the Aran Islands where she was born for which she feels slightly jibbed as boats are usually named after people not the other way round. She studied animation at Ballyfermot College in Dublin and comics at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Her film credits include The Secret of Kells and The 99 Unbound and she has contributed to several comic book anthologies including War: The Human Cost, Ink+paper and The Whores of Mensa as well as editing the charity anthology I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now but I’m off saving the world.
• More Info: www.ztoical.com
Michael Dialynas is an illustrator and comic artist residing in Greece. In his native tongue he has published a book by the name of Trinkets: An Attic Full of Stories and a series called Swan Songs, but he is more known for his work on Amala’s Blade with Steve Horton at Dark Horse Comics and Spera with Josh Tierney and other artists at Archaia.
More recently, he was the artist on Superior Spider-Man Team Up Special and is currently drawing The Woods with James Tynion IV, published by Boom. He has now started work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for IDW.
“I really enjoy Malta Comic Con, the people are hardcore fans and the atmosphere is really relaxing” said Michael Dialynas who has been a regular Malta Comic Con guest since 2013.
Nigel Dobbyn is a British comic book artist and illustrator who has produced work for 2000AD, Sonic the Comic, DC Comics’ Judge Dredd – Legends of the Law, Dark Horse’s Digimon, Classical Comics’ Macbeth and The Tempest (with Jon Haward) and Panini’s Spider-Man and Friends. He has also written and drawn ‘Billy the Cat’ for The Beano and most recently produced the art for a graphic novel adaptation of Nightrise by Anthony Horowitz.
He is currently working on two projects for digital anthology Aces Weekly as well as material for the Strontium Dog fanzine Dogbreath and The Adventures of Naut for Cybernaut Records on Perth.
“We’re really looking forward to hosting Nigel Dobbyn in Malta,” says Chris Le Galle. “He did such an amazing job colouring the Malta Comic Con 2015 official poster, for which we offer our heartfelt thanks.”
Gary is a comic book artist currently living in Scotland with his wife Mhairi. He has been illustrating for twenty five years and worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics, IMAGE and many other comic book publishers. He has worked with top writers including Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis, Alex De Campi, Warren Ellis, Brian Wood and James Robinson and with characters as diverse as Captain America, Avengers Vs Thunderbolts, Judge Dredd and series including Grindhouse, The Massive, Crossed and War Stories.
Other work done for licenses such as Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek and Terminator. He has also contributed character designs and storyboards for film and television, commercials and the games industry.
Gary also teaches and provides creative workshops at schools and libraries, and is a mentor to young film directors at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His work has also been printed in national newspapers and other commercial publications.
When not working for industry or teaching he is the writer and co-creator [with Anna Malady] of the roller derby project ROLLER GRRRLS and is developing the apocalyptic road chase project Incendiary.US and horror western Zachariah Gunn for next year [both on Facebook]. He is a three times nominated Best Inker at the British Eagle Awards.
Mark Farmer began his inking career working with Mike Collins in various fanzines before they both progressed to semi-regular work for Marvel UK and 2000AD. He was invited by Dave Gibbons to help ink an issue or two of Green Lantern in 1983 and he has worked regularly for DC and Marvel ever since. He has worked in partnership with Alan Davis, surely the best storyteller working in comics today, on titles as diverse as JLA, Legion of Super-Heroes, Batman, Fantastic Four, Avengers and X-Men, for longer than he cares to remember.
He has been fortunate enough to work with some truly talented pencillers including Adam Hughes, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Gil Kane, Adam Kubert and Rags Morales. Mark firmly believes his inks always look better in black and white and unless the colourist is exceptional comics are always diminished in the colouring process.
• More Info: http://comicbookdb.com/creator.php?ID=316
Flavia Anemone de Benedetta
Born in Naples, Flavia, whose stage name is Haikucosplay, is currently one of the most acclaimed cosplayers hailing from Italy. She started cosplaying in 2012 and one of her first cosplays was as “Garnet” from Final Fantasy IX, of which she’s a big fan. Although she didn’t know how to sew and build weapons she was determined to succeed. Slowly but gradually she started learning and now she’s proficient in both.
Each costume she works on provides different challenges but her grit and determination helps her work hard to reach each ambitious goal she sets. She loves all the costumes she makes because they all mean something to her and each costume represents a different achievement. She loves her first “Elyos” costume from Tower of Eternity because of the six metre wings she’s worn, and she’s proud of the second “Elyos” costume because it was the first time she completed a full body armour. Elsa from Frozen is one of her favourite costumes because she loves Disney but more importantly because it reminds her of her beloved sister.
Although Flavia has only been cosplaying for three and a half years she has already won numerous awards in various conventions and competitions, which amongst many others include a special prize for the most original and innovative costume with “Siam” from Silent Hill Homecoming in Romics 2012, best female costume with her first Elyos during Fantaexpo Salerno 2013 and best video game’s character with “Atoli” from .Hack at Napoli Comicon 2014.
She’s also particularly proud of her “Hana” from Gate 7 costume since with it she won 2nd place for the Eurocosplay selection at Napoli Comicon 2015 and 1st place for the Eurocosplay at Romics 2015 which means she’ll be the Italian contestant at the Eurocosplay finals in London 2016.
Flavia will also be on the Judging Panel of the Malta Comic Con 2015 Cosplay Competitions.
• More Info: https://www.facebook.com/Haikucosplay
Clint Langley is a British comic book artist best known for his work on series Slaine and ABC Warriors with Pat Mills at 2000AD and as the cover artist for Marvel Comics’ Guardians of the Galaxy, Hawkeye and Ghost Rider. He has also produced art for Games workshops’ Warhammer universe, Radical Comics’ Hercules and collectible card art for Magic the Gathering and World of Warcraft.
Parlov began drawing comics professionally in the early 90s, after moving to Italy. His first published work was in the Ken Parker Magazine, where he drew an episode of the regular series and a short story, written by Giancarlo Berardi. In 1993 Parlov joined Bonelli, where he started out illustrating the Nick Raider series, and later moved on to the Magico Vento.
In the early 2000s he began working for the US market, first at Vertigo, where he finished Jamie Delano’s Outlaw Nation series for Goran Sudžuka. He subsequently did a fill-in arc at Y: The Last Man, and later did work for Marvel including the Max series: The Punisher. He also illustrated Mark Millar’s Starlight, published by Image.
• More Info: https://www.facebook.com/Goran-Parlov-21421857395
Iella is a caffeine dependant Malteser who is currently based in London. She works as a graphic designer, illustrator and storyboard artist at Cartoon Network’s European division. After work Iella invests her time working on self initiated projects and collaborations with other creative groups. Her work in comics include various contributions to the popular Pilot Comic Anthologies which were annually published in Malta by Audrienne Degiorgio and Fleur Sciortino, as well as Iella’s comic interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic The Ugly Ducking.
Jenika Ioffreda has been reading and drawing comics for as long as she can remember. After attending “Scuola Romana dei Fumetti” (Roman School of comics) in Italy she moved to United Kingdom where she works as freelancer artist and self publishes her award nominated comic book series Vampire Free Style. The series has sold over 5,000 copies in comic conventions over Europe, has been praised by reviewers, has a loyal following and has been requested as a set dressing for This Must Be The Place movie. Pages and illustrations from the series have been displayed at the Brent Museum in London.
Jenika is currently an extremely active presence in the European comic conventions circuit and is working on a new comic project Midnight Tea, due to be released shortly.
Born in Paris in 1972, after doing his BAC in design at Grenoble, Nicolas returned to Paris for 2 years at the CFT Goblins (animation section). In 1993, he started working at Walt Disney Studios at Montreuil where he worked for nine years. At the end of the 2000s, he presented to Soleil a project with the adventures of a pre-historic girl called Luuna. But after meeting with Didier Crisse, Luuna became a young native American and the first series to be published by Nicolas by Soleil.
In 2008, the first collection was published entitled Sur les Traces de Luuna, across two volumes and in January 2009 he launched Les Légendes de Troy with the first issue ‘Tykko des Sables’ with a screenplay of Arleston et Melanÿn.
He collaborated with Sfar and Trondheim for an episode of the series Donjon, for the Delcourt editions. For Glénat, he published three issues of Alice au Pays des Singes from a screenplay of Tébo.
He is currently working on a new series about Luuna with Morvan whilst waiting for the publishing in March of his new work Mickey’s Craziest’s Adventures with Trondheim at Glénat.
• More info: https://www.nicokeramidas.com
Born in 1978, Ilias Kyriazis is a comic book writer/artist based in Athens, Greece. After working on a number of diverse projects in the Greek comic scene he started working for US publishers in 2007. He did the short story “Jared” for Dark Horse Presents and was nominated for a Lulu award for Best Female Character for his work on Melody for DC/Zuda.
For IDW he collaborated with comics veteran Scott Lobdel on the mini series Galaxy Quest: Globarl Warning and Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression as well as writing and drawing the graphic novel Falling For Lionheart, which was also published in Greece as Mia Kardoa Gia Ton Leontokardo.
He also self-published the minim comic GIN 747, Manifesto, The Iliad in 16 Pages and The Dragon and the Ghost as well as the crowdfunded graphic novel Elysium Online. He co-created and illustrated Secret Identities for Image Comics and is currently illustrating Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for IDW.
• More info: http://iliaskyriazis.com
Chris Copper Mouflon and Stella Copper Mouflon
Copper Mouflon is a co-operation between writer Christopher Demetriou and illustrator Stella Violari aimed at the creation of highly-artistic and highly-entertaining graphic novels that will have you thumbing for the next page (or scrolling for the next frame) with bated breath and harrowing excitement. Their goal is to create graphic novels for adults that usually contain fantasy elements.
They are currently working on completing their first graphic novel titled The Reaper’s Choice which will be released digitally in 2016 on their website coppermouflon.com. During Malta Comic Con 2015, they will have available for purchase a short illustrated story titled Stay Centered which demonstrates the kind of stories they plan to produce in the future.
• More info: http://www.coppermouflon.com
Chris J Thompson
Chris is a world-renowned comics broadcaster, event coordinator, and academic. He is a key host at Lakes International Comic Art Festival, NICE Convention and Malta Comic Con, and conducts premier panels at San Diego Comic Con International, Thought Bubble Festival and other venues.
His weekly podcast Orbital In Conversation is featured on iTunes and Multiversity Comics, with past guests including Alan Moore, Gerard Way, Julie Maroh, Mike Mignola & Chuck Palahniuk. Chris is Events Manager at Orbital Comics in central London, where he curates high quality gallery shows, signings, talks and art classes.
“Chris Thompson is an interviewer of the first order … because [he] knows the first thing about being an interviewer is knowing how to listen”.
“The Malta Comic Con wouldn’t not be what it is today without Thompson’s invaluable input!” enthuses Chris Le Galle co-founder of Wicked Comics. “Not only does he come up with and host a series of entertaining and informative panels during each year’s show but he also acts as an ambassador to it throughout the year. For this we thank him and proudly welcome him back on our shores.”
Chris will also be hosting a series of events, talks and discussion panels during the Malta Comic Con 2015.
• As customary Wicked Comics have designed a number of packages for fans wishing to travel to the Malta Comic Con from abroad, which include heavily discounted accommodation rates and local transport from hotel to convention centre. Similarly, Wicked Comics have a number of packages tailored for foreign creators who wish to exhibit at the Malta Comic Con including heavily discounted tables. Wicked Comics can be contacted on email@example.com
• Malta Comic Con website: www.maltacomic-con.com | All announcements can be followed on the Malta Comic Con Facebook page
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.