By midlandsmovies, Oct 11 2015 06:57PM
Comic Con Leicester
On Sunday 11the October Midlands Movies Mike headed down to Comic Con Leicester at the city’s cultural quarter where a full day of comic creators, video gaming, movie memorabilia and cosplay costumes descended on the city. Held at the art-deco Athena venue, Midlands Movies joined the (large) crowds to see what fantastical fun could be had...
Entering through Leicester’s Orton Square early in the morning, I was aware that Comic Con Leicester had already sold out such is the explosion in all things that were once considered firmly in the realm of “geek”. Now popular with the mainstream, my local Comic Con already had a snaking queue around the large building and at the entrance was a gull-winged DeLorean from Back to the Future for photo opportunities. So far so good. And the day just got better.
Once inside, the Athena venue covers multiple floors and was once a cinema so has many tiers and balconies. After attending a number of other comic cons that are so often in large and flat arena-style settings, it was hugely refreshing to see the stalls set up across all the levels which meant that even if you were at the back of the auditorium, you were so high up you could still see the stage and lots of people dressed up.
With very welcoming staff and assistants, I wandered through the stalls, gaming zones and zombie make-up artists and was impressed by the range and quality of everyone showcasing their work and skills.
Obviously, Leicester was well represented with illustrator Rachael Smith whose comic The Rabbit has recently be nominated for best book at The British Comic Awards www.rachaelsmith.org At the next stall, Ryan Button who donated a Pan’s Labyrinth print for one of our early competitions showcased his brilliant drawing skills with amazing prints featuring Transformers, Skeletor and Stormtroopers as well as his dabbles as a storyboard artist of local films www.rbillustration.com
Also previously on our site and promoting his latest comedy webisodes was Thomas Crook and his two cartoons www.cheesemen.co.uk & www.afrogoblinandchums.co.uk Another Leicester favourite was “Zombie Ed” from Terror 4 Fun who runs the longest running film festival in the area and was suitably done up in undead make-up scaring the patrons where he could www.terror4fun.com
I was hugely impressed with the film-related poster art of John Pearson who also creates comics and his movie-inspired work can be seen at his website here www.johnjpearson.co.uk I found a musical connection with artist David Millgate whose Iron Maiden t-shirt complimented my own and his 2000AD and Predator artwork showcased the Leicester artist’s talents with paint and brush https://twitter.com/davidmillgate
Also already featured on Midlands Movies, it was great to see Lincolnshire film “The Drift” by Backyard Productions showcasing their successful sci-fi feature. Filmmaker Darren Scales brought along a scale model of one of the spacecraft which showed the passion he and his crew put into creating large ideas on a small budget. Follow the film on Twitter - @bypuk @thedriftmovie
Comic artists were extensively showcased (obvs) and some of the talent included German artist Anja Uhren (http://anja-uhren.blogspot.co.uk) whose art is influenced by her own travels whilst Vanessa J Hill http://vanessajhill.tumblr.com is informed by military, sci-fi, fantasy and more. Keith Chan graduated from the University of Wolverhampton in the Midlands and specialises in cartooning in various mediums and genres (www.keith-chan.co.uk) and artist Verity Hall had a fairy tale aesthetic in her teenage coming of age comics http://www.comicsy.co.uk/midnightmilk
Hoshi-Kou https://www.facebook.com/HKillustrations is inspired by Manga and Japanese woodcut art as well as tattoo design and another artist with Asian influences was Lauren Rowley in her comic Bubblegum girl http://www.laurenrowley.co.uk
More locally, Leicester illustrator Rebecca Mansfield also creates animation which can be seen via Vimeo at http://rebeccamansfieldart.tumblr.com whilst fellow Leicester-based Drew Askew works on storyboards, comic books, children's books and commissioned work. www.inkandbooze.com. Based in Birmingham, Steve Tanner of Time Bomb Comics has been publishing one-shots and graphic novels from historical horror to mind-bending science-fiction since 2007. http://www.timebombcomics.com
Russell Hillman of Freaktown Comics headed down early from Yorkshire with their Deadly Burlesque comic https://www.facebook.com/FreaktownComics and also travelling from further afield were Dead All Over who produce Limited Edition Pop Culture prints from sugar skull designs to zombie-movie crossovers of Darth Maul, Iron Man and Kick Ass. http://www.deadallover.co.uk Artist Richard Rudge from Birmingham showcased his own comics including "Eat Your Heart Out" and "Galactic Scrap Collector" http://richardrudge.daportfolio.com and the unique “The Ever Winter Series” by Tara Behan & Matthew Hill was a children’s adventure story set in a magical kingdom https://theeverwinterseries.wordpress.com
The talent continued with Kayla Gill of Lunaci whose expertise is in bespoke digital illustration and hand-drawn art work www.lunaci.co.uk and Patrick Scattergood of Dark Pond Creations was promoting his Neil Gaiman inspired Flesh Tones and The Meek graphic novels https://www.facebook.com/DarkPondCreations
These (and many more who I didn’t get around to talk to) was just the tip of a huge array of regional and national talents which demonstrated the high level of talent from independent artists, filmmakers and comic creators. And please check out the above links to find out about many of the people and their most recent projects and creations. With hours of entertainment, the full day was tiring but hugely successful and a big thank you should go to the organisers Gavin & Richard who should be very proud of the hard work put in to an entertaining event for all ages.
Midlands Movies Mike
More photos coming soon courtesy of Midlands Movies and Jim Jones