Highland International Comics Expo 2008

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The first ever Highland International Comics Expo came to the Eden Court Centre in Inverness last weekend. It played host to some great names in comic books and also aimed to raise money for the charity Children 1st.

This was a very welcome event as it allowed comic book fans from all over the Highlands an opportunity to meet their favourite writers and artists on their own doorstep. Sadly Alan Grant and David Lloyd were unable to attend due to the heavy snow but there were still many great names there.

Here were some of the higlights. On display were original pages from 2000AD by the likes of Steve Dillon and Carlos Ezquerra. There was a childrens art workshop lead by Kevin F Sutherland, who draws the Bash Street Kids. Afterwards the kids had the opportunity to be drawn by Kevin. His enthusiasm was immense and the workshop was a resounding success. There were many other workshops too for “children” of all ages. I took in the scriptwriting workshop. A panel consisting of Al Ewing, Declan Shalvey and Ben Clark made themselves available to answer questions from would-be writers. The session was informal but entertaining and most of those present came away with a much better idea of how to chase a career writing comics.

Elsewhere, the guest artists, including Gary Erskine, John Higgins, Colin MacNeill, Cam Kennedy and Yishan Li all spent an enormous amount of time chatting with fans and doing sketches on request. Much of my Saturday afternoon was spent chatting to Gary Erskine as he drew a couple of sketches for my young accomplices, Dennis the Menace and Superman. On a personal note I would like to thank Gary for his gift to Dennis. It was very kind and I’m sure Dennis will treasure it for a long time.

The goodie bags provided by Forbidden Plant were superb. Every expo-goer recieved a free comic and a graphic novel by the likes of Mark Millar or Dave Abnett.

I was only there for the Saturday but the feeling around the expo was very upbeat. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves greatly; both fans and guests. This was a fantastic debut for Hi-Ex and it is an event that can only go from strength to strength. I’m looking forward to next year already.

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