CCC2013: the CCCCCC!

In its two previous annual events, the Canny Comic Con has been a big success for a little comic festival, establishing itself as one of the most fun (and most free!) events in the increasing hectic UK comics calendar. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and it may happen again.

However, this year, for a change, instead of the usual stuff, there’s going to be something different: THE CANNY COMIC CON COMIC CREATION CHALLENGE!

The what?

The CCCCCC! It’s all about one thing: making comics. No matter what your age or skill or experience, you can make comics, so why not come along and do so with other folks? Saturday 7th December 2013, 10am-5pm, Newcastle City Library.

I’m not sure…

Drawing is fun, right? Drawing pictures in sequence to tell a story is comics. Comics are for everyone - they can be about any subject and can be told in any style. Give it a go! It’s all free (as always), so what have you got to lose?

Okay, you’ve convinced me, but what’s actually happening? Is it just people dropping in to do a bit of drawing?

If that’s what they fancy, then yes! However, there'll be a few informal comics-making activities going on to provide prompts if people want one, AND we’ll also be hoping to work collaboratively to make a complete comic in one day. It might just be picking a theme and making an anthology of separate stories, but hopefully we can do something with a bit more structure that forms a vaguely coherent overall story.

How’s that going to work? Do I have to be an expert artist to get involved with that?

Not at all - only enthusiasm is required! We’re not necessarily looking for the slickest art, plus we’ll be keen for people to help plan the story and provide ideas. Collaboration on a grand scale! We want input from everyone! It’ll be kind of chaotic, but in a positive creative way. Join in!

Didn’t comics writer Mark Millar do something like this a couple of years ago?

Sort of, yes! At Kapow convention in 2011, he and 61 other comic creators (including many big names) put together a special charity issue of Superior in one day, setting two Guinness World Records (for fastest comic and most contributors) in the process. We’re hoping to make a bigger comic, with more contributors, even faster!

What, to get the World Records? Seriously?

Well, not exactly, it’ll be unofficial, we just want to make comics for their own sake, but yes, using the records as something to aim for seems like fun!

So what will happen to the comic when it’s done?

Depends how it turns out! If it's good, we might scan it all and give it away online or we might print some copies and sell them with profits going to charity. If you’re contributing, we can’t give you anything - other than the pure enjoyment of being part of the project (but we hope that will be large)!

Sounds good, but just to check: there won't be stalls and stuff this time?

That's right. The Canny Comic Con itself is taking a break, so no stalls or formal talks/panels/discussions etc. Just lots of comic-making! It will be a bit more low-key, but still hopefully super awesome fun.

Okay, I'm in. What do I need to do?

Just turn up on the day! If you've got your own pens and whatnot feel free to bring them, but we should have some basic stuff available, so all you really need is yourself! If you have any amazing ideas or queries about this, drop us an email (see contact link above).

See you then!


The *VERY* late Canny Comic Con 2012 Round-up

Okay, this is VERY late. Sorry. I really wanted to  try and fix up the audio of the excellent Things We Wish We'd Known Earlier (or: How Not To Make Comics) panel (the recording quality was useable but not great), however I needed to improve my audio-editing skills and I'd run out of CCC oomph so it has took me a while to get round to it. I apologise. (However, it's done now! You should listen to it!)

And so, better late than never, here's the Canny Comic Con 2012 round-up...

The second Canny Comic Con occurred on Saturday 8th December 2012 and it went brilliantly again.

When we did the first Canny Comic Con in December 2011, it was a leap into the unknown, an attempt to draw together an apparent groudswell of local comic-making enthusiasm into something we thought would work in theory. The first time round, the question was "was it possible?", but the second time the question was "could we do it again?"

As it turns out, the answer was yes, working on the model that we'd established last time.

Although it's hard to judge an unticketed event, the Library estimated that they'd had about 600 visitors above normal - so a pretty good turnout! And I had nothing but nice comments received from people who watched panels or attended workshops or bought comics or got sketches or just chatted to any of the lovely creators.

A huge thank you to all of the creators who were involved - and to all the visitors for coming along and being part of the event.

The atmosphere all day was great - special thanks to the 99th Garrison (plus Bane and Judge Stewart!) for helping create that positive vibe - and collecting over £120.81 for charity. (Some hilarious photos appeared around the place - particularly those showing the unexpected team-up of the Empire with a Christmas choir!).

Plus, of course, thanks to the amazing Newcastle City Library for putting the whole thing on so smoothly, and to the awesome TEAM CCC for sharing the load and keeping me sane.


Here are some CCC 2012 write-ups from various excellent people:

Newcastle Libraries' Storify of the day (which brings all kinds of photos and whatnot together): http://storify.com/toonlibraries/canny-comic-con-2012-at-newcastle-city-library

John Hill's piece for the Guardian's 'Northerner' blog: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2012/dec/14/art-comics
John's interviews (with Daniel Clifford, Al Ewing, Mel Gibson, Ian Mayor, and Bryan Talbot): http://audioboo.fm/tag/cannycc

Ingi Jensson: http://teestoons.com/2012/12/the-canny-comic-con/
Owen Michael Johnson: http://creatingmonsters.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/east-coast-embrace.html
Shewhomust: http://shewhomust.livejournal.com/371849.html
Tom Boyle: http://pandafunkteam.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/canny-comic-con.html
Lydia Wysocki: http://hellolyd.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/phew/

The Things We Wish We'd Known Earlier (or: How Not To Make Comics) panel, chaired by Stacey Whittle, featuring Nigel Auchterlounie, Daniel Clifford, Nigel Dobbyn, Al Ewing, Jack Fallows, and Gordon Rennie, is available to listen to RIGHT NOW. It's dead funny and chock-full of sage advice about the pitfalls to avoid for anyone aspiring to make comics .

You should listen to it (or download it as an mp3) from this link ASAP!

Big thanks to Small Press Big Mouth for hosting it.

Okay, so now we're all caught up. However people have been asking "so what's happening with Canny Comic Con this year?" The short answer is: for various reasons, we're taking a year off, sorry! The longer, better answer is that whilst the full Canny Comic Con experience may not be happening, we *are* going to have an event, something a bit different, but hopefully super fun and awesome etc. Details to follow very soon...