Running a non profit making comic convention to the high professional standard of The International Comics Expo in Birmingham must be challenging enough, but when the Arts Council pulled their third and final year of funding from the event last week, it was a huge blow to organiser Shane Chebsey and his crew as they frantically looked at alternative funding.
“We know how important this event and Comics Uncovered, the main conference behind it, are to everyone who comes here each year,” says Shane. “The Fans, the creators looking for work, and the publishers who launch their new books… the prospect of having to cancel the event or postpone it was terrifying”
However after a very short plea and discussion with the owners and management behind CBCS, one of the world’s most respected comics grading companies based in the US, a deal was quickly struck to save ICE from extinction.
“It was like something straight out of a comic book… like true heroes, CBCS came out of nowhere and saved us,” Shane continues. “When things like this happen you find out who the good guys are… who really cares about the comic industry and the medium. We have so much to thank Michael Bornstein, Steve Borock, Steve Paulus, Lee Kingsley and all of the CBCS team for. Every single person who benefits from the expo will do so because of their heroic and incredibly generous intervention”.
“When we at CBCS heard that funding for ICE 2016 was pulled, we were extremely disappointed,” stated Michael Bornstein, CBCS CEO. “This is such an amazing convention for the UK that CBCS President Steve Borock and I were happy to contribute in any way we could to help make this happen.
“Comics are such a great hobby with so many wonderful fans, we knew CBCS had to help out. We hope the collectors in the UK have a wonderful experience at ICE 2016!”
“CBCS and ICE share a common philosophy,” adds Lee Kingsley, who runs the UK arm of CBCS commented. “Both companies put the comic book hobby first. We are very excited to be working with Shane and his team at ICE for 2016 and hopefully many more years to come.”
Now as ICE’s main sponsor, comic collectors can expect a big presence by the top grading company at the event with some incredible exclusive signings from popular artists and writers.
All Star Batman, Injection and Moon Knight artist Declan Shalvey is just one of the big names signing at ICE 2016, along with Marguerite Bennett, Duncan Fegredo and Sean Phillips, among others.
The event, which takes place on 10th September 2016, will also include live charity auction featuring some super rare, unique artwork and signed books donated by guests and big name creators from all over the globe. This is happening at the end of the day with all proceeds going to local charity Beanstalk.
ICE is followed on Sunday 11th September by the International Comics Industry Conference “Comics Uncovered”. This event is aimed at aspiring, semi professional and professional creatives who are looking to obtain work within the comic industry. This can be as a freelance creator or as a creator owned self publisher. (To book your place as a delegate or to find out more visit the website here: www.comicsuncovered.co.uk).
• To book tickets or to find out more about the International Comic Expo and Comics Uncovered visit: www.thecomicsshow.co.uk
A full day early bird pass from 10.00am to 5.30pm costs £12 with discounts for students and free entry for children. VIP Tickets including an after show party and entry to the Sunday events are also available
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.