Comics have always been the number one reading material of choice amongst the fantasy fanatic. A combination of admirable pop-artistry, adventure and intrigue – occasional soft porn – and sci-fi has made for an exhilarating adventure into the world of the imagination. And this, coupled with ingenious illustration, makes fans glad the word/picture ratio is generously weighted towards the latter.
So The Comics Passion festival comes none too soon as a celebration of the genre. Organised by the Institut Francais in association with Comica Festival, the event brings together artists from France, America, Britain and Belgium to share and discuss their unique practice. In a weekend whirl-wind of colour, paper and pens, festival punters will be given the chance to witness talks by artists including Dave Gibbons (Watchmen), Jean-Claude Mézières (Valérian and Laureline), China Miéville (Kraken), Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife), and try out their illustration skills in a drawing session with Bastien Vivès (The Taste of Chlorine) and Benoît Sokal (Canardo).
Headlining events also include a screening of Barbarella, the inspirational 60’s cult-classic starring Jane Fonda, and of course there’s a fancy-dress disco, where festival goers will get the chance to strut their cosmic stuff dressed as their favourite comic book hero.
So I imagine the serious graphic novel nuts will be suited to the nines – but if you simply fancy something else to tickle your fantasy taste buds (and no costume required), the overall programme should be nothing less than fun. (Words: Sian Goldby)
[stextbox id="custom"]The Festival runs 7-9th October and for more info visit the Institut Francais website[/stextbox]