Birmingham Comicon 2011 – More guest reports – Ryan Taylor

Published On September 3, 2011 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Conventions and events

Here’s the second of our guest reports from the recent Birmingham Comicon 2011 (first one yesterday from Matthew Craig). This time it’s from Ryan Taylor, author of The Grinning Mask comic and member of the Midlands Comix Collective.

Thanks very much to Ryan……

Hello trees, hello sky, welcome to Birmingham’s Comicon. Following the previous year’s Bics at Millennium Point, this year the organisers took a punt on splitting the comics fun into two shows. One aimed at creators and one for fans – Comics Launchpad and Comicon respectively.

Having attended them both, I can happily say that both events were top days out. I’m not sure if much was written about Launchpad on the FP Blog in terms of reviews, but it really deserves a mention here. For an aspiring comic creator, it was an unmissable day out. Full of interesting talks and presentations by a wealth of professionals – indeed my only complaint was that for an artist, there was almost too much to see and much like a music festival, there were a few inevitable clashes of events. Hardly a fair criticism on my behalf though…

And so to the past weekend’s Comicon. Skipping the Launch Party and stepping off the train at New Street on Saturday morning with a rucksack and portfolio laden with stuff, I was suddenly very glad of the change of venue. Swapping last year’s miles-from-New-Street-Station Millennium Point to handily-down-the-road Holiday Inn, this was at first glance a smaller affair more akin to a Bristol comics show than what BICS fans may be used to.

(On the way in to the show – Timebomb Comics‘ Steve Tanner with trademark jacket, Accent UK‘s Colin Mathieson, and right at the end is Futurequake)

The comic room – Jason Cobley of Bulldog fame front and centre)

(The other room at BC2011)

(Laura Howell and Tim at the Midlands Comix Collective stall)

Chatting to one Shane Chebsey first thing though, I was told that this was certainly in terms of hire costs a great choice. In fact, given the inner city location, there was a steady stream of folk through the doors all day and more passing custom than one would get at Millennium Point. All this added up to a super busy show. A small point perhaps, but having the hotel booked for the evening meant that there was also a great sociable atmosphere in the hotel bars afterward.

I did a fair amount of stall-sitting and didn’t get chance to attend any talks / events so will quickly just mention some of the bits and pieces that caught my eye and filled my rucksack on my strolls around the show.

Starting at the bottom and going around clockwise; –

The hard working Matthew Craig had his new Bostin’ Heroes comic – always a great read and this was happily no exception. How he manages to produce so much good comics work is beyond me I’m afraid. Some fabbo original artwork from Playhour Annual from Mike Higgs’ stall. Who could resist this?
Tuk Tuk – a fabbo looking comic by Will Kirkby. I’ve not actually sat down to read this one yet, but when a comic looks as great as this, that’s half the battle won for me.
A lovely Frankenstein fridge magnet by Hunt Emerson. Rather handily, I do own a fridge. Check out Dean Beattie’s site, I saw plenty of people walking around with his prints. Gloriously odd stuff. The NQHIRT comic was a real surprise. Thrust into my hand as I walked around the show, it’s a spoof set of old comics covers that has certainly made me chuckle. Whoever put this one together (I can’t find a contact on the comic) deserves a quick round of applause. The London Deep card is a flyer from Mogzilla for their wonderful looking line of books. They were bravely manning a heaving table of great looking reads.

Finally my big purchase of the day – Gary Spencer Millidge’s ‘Alan Moore Storyteller’. This is now proudly sat atop my coffee table waiting for the day I can find a spare hour or so to plough through it.

To sum up, a great new venue and a top top show. The change of venue only added to the atmosphere of the day. Shane, James and Andy should be applauded for the work they put into getting these events together and here’s hoping that they look to put on similar shows next year.

Thank you very much to Ryan Taylor for sharing that with us. His Grinning Mask comic is up to issue 2 now, and you can order it from his website. And if you need a nudge, here’s my review of it.

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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.

One Response to Birmingham Comicon 2011 – More guest reports – Ryan Taylor

  1. Matt Badham says:

    You’ll need more than a spare hour to plough through Alan Moore: Storyteller! It is lavish and detailed! An amazing piece of work. Should be on many ‘Best of…’ lists this year.


    …looks this was a good con. Must make the effort to get over to it next year.