The Bookseller highlights comics in latest issue as the Comics Cultural Impact Collective puts comics in the funding spotlight

Comics Cultural Impact Collective

Thanks to the newly-formed The Comics Cultural Impact Collective, this week’s issue of the publishing trade magazine The Bookseller features a comic-related front cover and includes a double page leading article on “The Power of Comics“, out today.

The article is based on research into comics gathered by the team, and features art drawn by collective member Karrie Fransman.

“We hope this will be a resource we can all share to raise awareness of our medium,” say the team. “The Bookseller is read by agents, publishers, editors and booksellers. We have had conversations with this sector and they are enthusiastic about better engaging comic’s large and diverse audience.” 

The Bookseller, 15th September 2023, cover by Karrie Fransman

The Bookseller is available on subscription and the details for this issue are here on the magazine’s official web site.

But this is just a small part of what the The Comics Cultural Impact Collective (CCIC) has been up to in recent months, whose aims include improving the percentage of arts funding comics receive in comparison to other art forms, and raising awareness of the impact of comics in the UK. 

CICC is an independent group that isn’t affiliated with any single organisation but whose supporters from the comics community include comic festivals, publishers, academics, museums, organisations, shops and also organisations in the literacy, data and cultural funding sectors. They hope to bring our community together for the common good – “A rising tide lifts all boats”.

As we previously reported, the founder members are writer, producer and director Sara Kenney; occasionally award-winning graphic novelist, comics creator, scriptwriter and campaigner and former Comics Laureate Hannah Berry; comic creator Karrie Fransman, who’s creative director at, an organisation that uses comics to amplify research; comics creator, tutor, painter and a newly minted animator Zara Slattery; and Myfanwy Tristram, who’s drawn comics all her life, and is interested in the power of comics to educate, enrage and create change in the world. 

They’ve been joined by writer and musician Nyla Ahmad, who works as Reading Communities Manager at Scottish Book Trust, leading on programming Book Week Scotland, and is part of the team behind Scottish literary magazine Extra Teeth; and Rhiannon Griffiths MBE, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Comics Youth CC, a youth led social enterprise that supports marginalised young people aged 8-25 to improve their wellbeing by making and publishing comics.

Karrie Fransman gave this talk on the importance of comics at TED x Youth @ Manchester in 2014

The team recently met with the Arts Council England (ACE) to show them their research into Comics Funding in Comparison to Other Art Forms and the FOI data they pulled on comics funding. The team found a large disparity in the amount of comics funding received in comparison to opera, ballet, orchestra and poetry.

Following the meeting, ACE formed an internal group and begun reaching out to comics creators and organisations to improve knowledge of the sector and use their funding to support it.

Just one comics organisation – the Lakes International Comic Art Festival – currently receives National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funding in the UK, although Thought Bubble has just been funded by the ACE, and the CICC team hope that many more comics organisations will be soon.

“We are delighted with this progress and hope to use our model with ACE to approach all cultural funders with our case for raising awareness of the cultural impact of comics.”

You can access all their research so far here on the CICC web site, including “Comics Funding in Comparison to Other Art Forms: Research by The Comics Cultural Impact Collective” (PDF Link) and a List of 115-plus UK-based annual Comic Conventions as a GoogleDoc, compiled with input from the team at

The CICC team will talking at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, at a special presentation for independent creators and publishers on Friday 29th September, as part of a number of events put on especially for creators who will have stands in the weekend-long event’s Lakeside Comics Marketplace. The sessions are all being held in the Lake District Boat Club, just a three-minute walk from the Marketplace marquee).

CICC will also be presenting their work at Thought Bubble on Saturday 6th November at the Queens Suite, workshop room.

They will also be hosting a round table online meeting with the UK comics community on 16th January 2024 between 7.00 and 9.00pm to share ideas on how to come together to raise the value of comics in the UK. “We’d love to have you there and hear your thoughts!”

• Check out the The Comics Cultural Impact Collective website: | You can read their Aims and Objectives here, and meet the team here and join them for updates here

Categories: British Comics, Comics, Comics Education News, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events

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