The excellent True Believers Comic Festival returns to Cheltenham Racecourse this very weekend, offering a heady line-up of great comics guests and a panel event that includes the Awesome Comics Podcast team – featuring our very own, patent pending Tony Esmond!
With a strong focus on comic books, their creators, fans and the community that surrounds them, This is by far one of the most popular comics driven events in the UK. This year’s line-up for their February event includes Mike Collins, The Etherington Brothers, Guillermo Ortego, Kev Hopgood, Staz Johnson, Jack Lawrence, David Leach, Anthony Johnston, Rachael Smith, Dylan Teague, Emma Vieceli, Christian Wildgoose and Phil Winslade.
Not only is there a great guest line up, but the event will also see the launch of a number of independent comics, including the first ever Awesome Comics Anthology. This features three stories of murderous ghosts, vigilante cops and street fighting femme fatales, all told over four issues. Horror, humour and hectic action somehow packed into 36 pages, Awesome Comics issue 1 is something not to be missed with stories from the people behind the Awesome Comics Podcast – Vince Hunt (The Red Mask From Mars), Dan Butcher (Vanguard) and Tony Esmond (downthetubes), with help from Nick Prolix (The Sheep and the Wolves) and Daniel Marc Chant (Sinister Horror Company).
Kev Brett will be releasing Artists Angst, a new comic about the trials and tribulations of being a comic book creator; while Todd Oliver launches Boxes, several short stories focusing on dark humoured, surreal comedy. This issue introduces a new character, Angry Eric, who pretty much hates everything who has a habit of dying.
Andrew Pawley, creator of the weird and wonderful, far out science fiction comics GalaXafreaks will be launching the first issue of his new title Captain Yeah! while Gryahm Puttock will be at the event with Circuside #2. Queequeg’s Circus is in town for the Bank Holiday weekend but not everyone in the rural English town of Gwynn Gallows is happy to welcome the struggling travelling show, as prejudice, long-buried secrets and the emergence of a very-ancient evil compete to tear the circus apart.
Dan Whitehead and Conor Boyle are also at the event with Issue 3 of weird retro-gaming horror comic Hex Loader, a series is set in the late 1980s that follows directionless games programmer David as he is initiated into a surreal world of underground artists, techno-magic, and gun-toting wombats after unpacking cursed computer code. In this issue, David ventures far beyond his comfort zone and finds himself in London, living with a commune of aspiring magic practitioners, where he discovers that the war for the future of art and magic is only just beginning.
Hellbound Media will be launching their most ambitious project yet – their first full colour mini-series, Mandy the Monster: The Legend of the Spindly Man is a terrifying tale of fear and adventure. The comic is written by Hellbound Media co-founders Matt Warner and Mark Adams, with art by rising star Lyndon White (Hexes, Dracula, Sparks) and lettering by Nikki Foxrobot (Salvage).
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.