Birmingham International Comic Show 2008

Published On October 8, 2008 | By Richard Bruton | Conventions and events, News

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.

BICS dave gibbons 1.jpg

BICS Dave Gibbons 2.jpg

(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.)


(Oliver Lambden of Modern Monstrosity and Tales from The Flat and Andrew Luke. Shirt; model’s own.)

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)

Andi Watson

Birmingham Mail report

Birmingham Mail Speech Balloon blog report

C2D4 Comics / Tony Wicks

D’Israeli’s sketching hall of fame

Geek Syndicate BICS Podcast

Jason Cobley

Leah Moore & John Reppion

Lew Stringer

Marc Ellerby

Mark Roberts / It Came From Dartmoor

Paul Cornell

Richard Bruton / Fictions (yep, me again)

Roger Langridge (with added sketches)

Rufus Dayglo

Staz Johnson

Tony Lee


When Pigeons Weep / Badger

And what will no doubt be a long list of photos tagged from the event on Flickr.

And finally; You Tube. Liam Sharp has posted a set of the Giant Sized Band Thing songs online here. (Thanks to Mark for the links)

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

3 Responses to Birmingham International Comic Show 2008

  1. Chebbo says:

    wow – 10 out of 12 glowing reports. Can’t complain there.



  2. Paul Grist says:

    Just to clarify – I have been working on some Kane pages over the last few weeks, but it’s a bit premature to say that there’s anything planned for release!

    Paul Grist

  3. Richard says:

    Apologies to Paul for the misunderstanding – he showed me a folder with Kane artwork and told me he was working on it so had plans for more Kane. I obviously got too excited at this! Now stop reading blogs and get back to work on Kane Paul!