This is what happened

The Canny Comic Con occurred on 10th December 2011. It seemed to go pretty well. A massive thank you to all involved.

Here's a collection of info that we'll try to keep updated, pointing to things of interest relating to the CCC. If you spot something (a report or photos or anything), drop us a line so we can link to it, cheers.

***UPDATE*** Listen to the full 'The Information Superhighway to your audience! Digital distribution for self-published comics' panel discussion from the Canny Comic Con! Listen HERE!

On 12th December there was a little CCC report and interview with the fabulous Paul Davidson on page 12 of Newcastle's Evening Chronicle, plus a shorter piece in the Journal (also, coincidentally enough on page 12). These are not online so I suggest you try and seek out copies.

Okay, here are the links...
  • Here's the day in pictures - a big collaborative set of photos from the day: BIFF!   (And if you've got some of your own, add them!)
  • Ingi talks about his monster workshop at Teestoons.com: POW!
  • Andy Waugh reports: ZAP!
  • Cuttlefish reports: BOSH!
  • Photos from James Bacon for Forbidden Planet International: ZOINK!
  • Ian Mayor reports for Bleeding Cool: SNIKT!
  • Ian's CCC Twitter photos: CLONK!
  • Paul Thompson reports: BAMF!
  • Nigel Aucterlounie (AKA Spleenal) reports: FWAKK!
  • Lydia Wysocki reports: KABLOOEY!
  • Brittany Coxon reports: BLAM!
  • James Bacon reports for Forbidden Planet International: BOOM!
  • Newcastle City Library reports, with excellent podcast interviews with Dr Mel, Jack Fallows, the Talbots and Alex & Stacey): THUNK!
  • Gary Bainbridge reports: KERPLUNK!
  • Stacey Whittle reports for SFX magazine blog: WHOOSH!


Alexi Conman

Who are you?
Alexi Conman, occasional writer of comics and now accidental festival organiser.

What have you done / what are you doing?
What I've been doing recently is mainly sending a lot of emails and worrying extensively. You know who has been doing things? Literally everyone involved with the Canny Comic Con. If it was a positive experience (and it seems like it was - good vibes, people, good vibes) it was thanks to every single guest of every ilk who made the journey in (in some cases at great distance - from Preston! And Glasgow!), everyone who prepared and delivered the fantastic talks, panels and workshops (I was so pround of the events schedule), everyone who helped each other out, covering tables, all mucking in to make the day work. Plus of course everyone who came and enjoyed the event!

Also our hosts - first, the Tyneside Cinema put on an excellent launch shindig, somehow making a Howard the Duck screening a classy event. Then the Newcastle City Library - the CCC was lucky to have such a brilliant venue with brilliant staff. Massive credit is due to Judy and Jennifer who put so much work into preparing for the CCC; nothing was too much trouble, every wild demand I made for the event, they covered enthusiastically. As if anyone needed reminding: public libraries are mint.

And finally the people behind the scenes who inexplicably put the CCC ahead of their own lives to a really notable extent to Make It Happen. Paul 'Design Machine' Thompson! The Indefatigable Cuttlefish! Ian 'Floating SAS' Mayor! And gorgeous and wonderful Stacey 'The Whittle' Whittle! What an amazing bunch. All genuinely "without whom..." etc etc. The finest of people.

Thank you everyone.

What am I doing now? Looking forward to being able to think about something else for the first time in a couple of months.

Why comics?
I've thought a lot about this recently and still don't think I have a satisfactory answer. The musings given by the guests on their profiles are all more insightful and wise than I can manage, so I urge you to have a look at those. I'll have a go anyway though.

What is it that inspires such amazing enthusiasm? There was literally no money involved in the organisation of the CCC, everyone got involved for the love of comics - running workshops, giving talks and everything else just because it seemed like a good idea. Comics are an extraordinary medium: personal and immediate and with almost limitless potential in style and form, yet I think a special part of their appeal is how misunderstood and underrated they are. So for those of us that get it, we want to share it! We want to talk to each other about comics, and draw daft jam comics in pubs, and lend out our favourite graphic novels, and throw all our free time into writing and drawing, and self-publish comics that are lucky to break even, and aspire to work (or actually work) in an industry that's still often under-recognised and under-paid for the talent involved, and try to enthuse all our non-comicky friends and relations, having the same old "well actually comics are really diverse" conversations over and over, and... turn up to funny little comics festivals. Somehow it's almost impossible to give this up, but it makes for a community full of dedication and creativity and inclusivity, and I feel really lucky to be part of it.

Further info:
I'm going to have a cup of tea now.


The CCC is GO!

Well, this is it...

The launch party kicks off at 7pm tonight then tomorrow morning the Canny Comic Con itself will roll into action, with a full-to-bursting event schedule right from 10am through till 5pm.

We hope you can make it along!


Ben Clark

Who are you?
Ben Clark, writer and artist.

What have you done / what are you doing?
Magic Beans Comics. They're sort of daft adventure mini comics, mostly set in the North East and often starring TV legend Mike Neville.

My current project is my weekly webcomic The Spine Chillers, featuring the day to day adventures of horror writers HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe and Ambrose Bierce, as they sit around doing nothing in a grotty boarding house.

I've also done lots of other stuff for comics like Solar Wind, Zarjaz, Paper Jam Comics Collective anthologies, Mallard and Omnivistascope.

Why comics?
It's the ultimate medium of expression, a combination of words and pictures that can tell any kind of story you want. And you can draw monkeys hitting people.

Further info:


Evelyn Hewett

Who are you?
Evelyn Hewett aka Mimi - student by day and comicker by night. (Like Batman!)

What have you done / what are you doing?
I'm currently drawing and writing a webcomic called Fruit Machine the first issue of which I have recently published, available at the Canny Comic Con this year! Fruit Machine is a fun modern romance with big influences from the world of music, fashion and youth culture. Its also a quirky look into the erratic mind of an egotistical teen struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and the direction of his heart. It currently updating weekly at http://fruitmachine.smackjeeves.com

Why comics?
I've got a lot of stuff in my head to comment on, praise and immortalise. Some stuff just has to be said and this just happens to be the method I'm best at. And also because its damn good fun and the people who draw comics are marvellous!
Further info:
Follow me: @Mimi_Evelyn or my alter ego: @JasonFellows92


Events Schedule Announced

Okay people, this is it. After loads of preparation, a schedule has been drawn up cramming the absolute maximum quantity of comics tremendousness into one short day. BEHOLD!

The spectacular talks and panels schedule!

The amazing workshops that will be running!


Gary Erskine

Gary is a comic book artist currently living in Glasgow, Scotland with his wife Mhairi. He has been illustrating for twenty years and worked for Marvel, DC Comics, Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics, Image and many other publishers.
He has worked with top writers including Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Garth Ennis, James Robinson, Paul Jenkins and James Robinson and with characters as diverse as Dan Dare, Captain America, Judge Dredd, Transformers, Star Wars and the JSA. He has also contributed character designs and storyboards for film and television, commercials and games and reaches workshops at schools and libraries. Gary is a three times nominated Best Inker at the British Eagle Awards.
Current projects include...
  • The Big Lie (inks)
  • GI Joe: Real American Hero (inks)
  • Crossed: Wish You Were Here (inks)
  • Julius Caesar (inks)


Ed Murphy

Who are you?
Ed Murphy; writer, publisher.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I’m Publisher of Rough Cut Comics which celebrates its tenth birthday in 2011. We made our name with The Surgeon comic titles, which were based on an unproduced film script which got the backing of Richard E Grant in 1999. We also published the official comic-books based on the cult horror film Society and got behind The Freedom Collective, which is renowned as one of Alex Ross’ favourite comics. I’ve been editing and financing for most of the decade; and also wrote the Rose Black titles, which is just about to reach its third-completed volume of books.

Why comics?
Why not? That’s the short answer. The long one is rather more complicated and is best explained by asking you simply to read The Amazing Spiderman (#121 in 1972), 2000AD (prog two), Captain Britain (issue one), Doctor Who Weekly (issue one), The Uncanny X-Men (#114), House of Hammer (issue two) and Tales of the Zombie (issue one). That should explain everything. Nuff said.

Further info:
Or find us on Facebook


Suzy Varty

Comics have fascinated me since I was a child. My first comic was published in 1976, and I edited the first British Women’s Comic in 1977. Since then I have been published and exhibited in the USA, Europe and Scandinavia and worked with the medium in a variety of ways.

I organized a Comic Art Festival in Newcastle for Visual Arts Year 1996, have produced a comic on a billboard, worked on many artists residencies and to commission and run accredited comics courses. I have produced several issue based comics for publishers, marveling at the way serious subjects marry so well with the medium, and I continue to write, draw and champion comics.

Some highlights :
2011 : Contributor to the unique graphic novel, Nelson, Blank Slate Books
2008 Comic for BBC publications RaW series
2002 Spot cartoons for Genetic Politics New Clarion Press
1996 Comic for AWAPeace Organisation book published Holland
1997 Women out of Line anthology for Fanny comics @ Knockabout
1992 Wimmins Comix San Francisco USA
1991 Partylines for Thames tv publication
1990 Comics for two Penguin books, The Comic Book of First Love, The Facts of Life
1981 Comic for Pork Roasts Canada
1978 Comic for Mamadramas Kitchen Sink Comics USA


Mel Gibson

Who are you?
Dr Mel Gibson, a UK based comics scholar and consultant.

What have you done / what are you doing?
I lecture at Northumbria University. I also work with libraries, schools and other organisations in Britain and further afield, helping them understand how to develop collections of manga, comics and graphic novels, how to teach with them and how to promote them.

I write for professional academic and general audiences about comics. You can find out more here at Dr Mel Comics.

Why comics?
Eighteen years ago I was a librarian who wanted to encourage libraries to include comics in collections, because I loved the medium so much. One way or another, I’ve been working with comics ever since.

Further info: