WILD ABOUT Comics returns to the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park on Saturday 2nd April to get this year’s Birmingham Comics Festival off to a glorious start.
A roaring success since it debuted last April, WILD About Comics was initially aimed at kids but has become a popular twice-yearly event for the whole family as they join in the treasure hunt for free comics and make their way to Nature’s Classroom where they get to meet cartoonists from The Beano and elsewhere sketching away, and then get to take part in drawing competitions and a whole lot of other fun activities.
WILD About Comics is organised by Alex Birch, a role she was invited to take on after helping out at the first event and impressing everyone involved. She was only 15 at the time and went on to host August’s event and give a talk about WILD About Comics’ aspirations at a Laydeez Do Comics evening.
As part of The Birmingham Comics Festival this April’s WILD ABout Comics will include Laura Howell (cartoonist for The Beano and TOXIC) and Discworld graphic novelist and 2000AD artist Graham Higgins, caricaturist Mikey Ball, adventure strip artists Roland Bird and Joe Ward, and quite possibly a few more surprise cartoonists for what is always a great day out.
There will also be some real-life superheroes flying in, who may resemble the likes of Hawk Girl and Black Canary from the new Legends of Tomorrow TV series, but it’s because of the charitable work they do as the International Charity Cosplayers that they will be there to entertain everyone.
WILD About Comics also has an educational aspect to it, showing how comics can help kids learn to read, aid with memory retention, assist in fostering good social skills and other areas of learning. This is achieved by visual presentations and chatting with the adults present.
It’s not a hard sell, because it doesn’t need to be; it is simply an extension of the day’s experiences and food for thought whereby families can go off and develop their interest in the comics medium together at their own leisure. To help achieve that, WILD About Comics is sponsored by the charity Rainforest Concern and Nostalgia & Comics who kindly donate the comics given away.
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.