Birmingham International Comic Show 2008
First lesson learnt at this years Birmingham International Comics Show: If you intend taking loads of photos of all these gorgeous comic people, maybe taking good batteries would be an idea? Hence only a few pics from me and a few borrowed from others. Thanks to them all. (Yes, I know I’m an idiot. Yes I know that cheap batteries should not be relied on for power hungry cameras. I was in a rush to get out and just grabbed the first I could find).
So…. Birmingham International Comics Show 2008.
Due to family commitments I had to head home on Saturday night so my weekend of comics enjoyment was rather curtailed. But what I did catch of the Birmingham International Comics Show 2008 was very good indeed.
The launch party on Friday night was pretty much the same as last year with lots of comic folk drinking lots of beer and being entertained by Hunt Emerson & The Hound Dogs; Michael Wright & Nigel Wright and then the one night only performance by Giant-Sized Band-Thing; Liam Sharp, Phil Winslade, Charlie Adlard and Paul H. Birch. I missed Hunt’s band, but the other two were great fun, no doubt helped by the alcohol at that time of the night.
Onto the show itself. Still located in the gleaming chrome maze of escalators and lifts that is Thinktank at Millenium Point but it seemed bigger and better this year. Instead of cramming everyone into one room like last year, the organisers (Shane Chebsey, James Hodgkins, Andy Baker) extended into a second room and arranged to use a lecture theatre downstairs for presentations and panels. On the positive side this meant that the place didn’t suffer from the overcrowding of last year but did have the downside of having each room isolated from the other by a dark, robot lined corridor that was actually part of Thinktank. As with all events of this kind there are good and bad things, but the good far outweighed the bad at Birmingham 2008.
(The show entrance, including, far right, organiser Shane Chebsey. Photo borrowed from D’Israeli’s Flickrstream)
(The exhibition suite, Smuggling Vacation’s Jas Wilson in the foreground. Photo borrowed from D’Israeli’s Flickrstream)
(The Exhibition Hall. Bigger, hotter and lacking the natural light of the smaller room. But seemed to have the better vibe. Photo borrowed from D’Israeli’s Flickrstream)
I didn’t actually get to see any panels in the lecture theatre, as I was far too busy getting round the stands for that, but from these pictures from Leah Moore & John Reppion’s website of the Dave Gibbon’s talk on Sunday, the use of a lecture room was an inspired move; actually using a room designed to give lectures and presentation to give lectures and presentations.
(Dave Gibbons at BICS. Photo borrowed from Leah Moore & John Reppion’s site)
Lots of comics folks made the show. Too many to list and too many to get round. Needless to say it was pretty much a who’s who of the British comic scene; with plentiful representation from both big names and small press. Indeed, it’s one of the really nice things about the Birmingham show that tables seem to be allocated almost at random, so there’s a great feeling of integration all around the place, with big names rubbing shoulders with relative newcomers everywhere you look. I had a great time and chatted to some very lovely people. It was especially nice to put faces to various small press names at the show that we’ve featured over the year. And on getting back home I looked at the events guide and the floorplan again and realised that there were loads of people I had meant to look up that I never got around to. Next time, next time.
Okay, on with the photos that my crappy batteries did manage to take;
(Ian Edginton & D’Israeli, team supreme. The Morecombe and Wise of comics?)
(Andi Watson; not just a great cartoonist, but a wonderfully nice man as well.)
(Paul Grist. Of Kane and Jack Staff fame. Great news was that Paul has new Kane planned for release.)
No doubt in a few weeks time we’ll have official word from the organisers on the success of the show and their plans for 2009. As with all of these things we’ve seen too many conventions and events disappear to take anything for granted but I will be looking forward to BICS 2009 this time next year.
Just looking through some of the roundups below there are mixed signals about the success or otherwise of the show. Some saying it was good for sales, others not so sure. (Update – from what I’ve seen online it looks like the naysayers got on early. Subsequent comments about the show is pretty much all positive).
Birmingham International Comics Show 2008 reports roundup:
(feel free to email us with your own if you want adding to the list):
Accent Comics UK (on the Events page – doesn’t work in Firefox, you’ll have to switch to IE7 to get the page to display properly)
Richard Bruton / Fictions (yep, me again)
Roger Langridge (with added sketches)
And what will no doubt be a long list of photos tagged from the event on Flickr.