Graphic Brighton is a yearly event taking place at the University of Brighton, celebrating some of the best comic books and graphic novels that are available right now.
Each year they have a variety of creators coming along to talk about their work, share their knowledge and discuss their love of one of the most exciting creative mediums in the world.
TheStreets.Today spoke to Alex Fitch, the co-curator of Graphic Brighton, who answered our queries regarding the jam-packed 2-day event.
How many years has Graphic Brighton been organised and what are some of the highlights from the previous years?
This is only the second year of the event, but 2014 was a terrific start, with a huge number of local creators presenting the Brighton comics scene to an appreciative audience. These included Children’s illustrator Chris Riddell, ‘V for Vendetta’ artist David Lloyd and many other self-published and professional comic book creators, showing the vibrancy of the local scene.
What can we expect to see this year if we attend Graphic Brighton?
Entertaining and lively presentations of cutting edge comics and engaging overviews of the medium. We have panel discussions of maternity in graphic novels, ethnic groups, gay manga, using to engage the elderly and much more, with creators from across the country presenting their art to the audience. There are also talks book ending the day with experts exploring the comic scene now and in historical newspaper strips; the latter presented by a former writer of ‘The Prisoner’ TV show, who now lectures on comics at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
This year’s theme is on ‘marginalised groups and voices’ in comics, looking at the experiences of people and minority groups as both creators of stories and their subject matter. The Friday night is free and includes the discussion of LGBT themed Japanese style art, plus a ‘quick strips’ event where a baker’s dozen of creators give a short presentation of their work, in 5 minute quick-fire slots.
On Saturday 2nd May, they have two panel discussions going on at the same time throughout the day, so hopefully attendees will have something they want to hear comic book creators talk about throughout!
What is today’s comics scene in Brighton like compared to the rest of the UK?
Brighton has an amazing comics scene, from illustrators who have worked on British and American adventure comics, such as the aforementioned David Lloyd, as well as Glenn Fabry who is a veteran 2000AD artist and acclaimed graphic novelists such as Hannah Berry, Nye Wright and Nicola Streeten.
There are at least a dozen creators living in Brighton alone whose work has been published in children’s comics, graphic novels, web strips and magazines, and local publishers such as Myriad Editions and QueenSpark Books have helped bring their work to a wider audience.
Brighton also has a great comic shop, Dave’s Comics, and a well-stocked selection of graphic novels in the local Waterstones as well.
What is your role in Graphic Brighton?
I’m one of the three curators of the event, alongside University of Brighton lecturers Barbara Chamberlin and Paul Slater. I host at least half of the Q&As and panel discussions at the event and help out with the publicity.
What other projects are you personally involved in regarding comics?
I also interview a comic creator or two every month in Brighton at The Cricketers pub on Black Lion Street at an event called Cartoon County, which is free and welcome to all.
For people feeling left out, outside the BN postcode area, I present the UK’s only weekly FM radio show about comics – Panel Borders – on the Arts Council radio station, Resonance 104.4 FM in London.
Beyond the M25 you can stream the station at ResonanceFM.com and I podcast every episode uncut on my website.
I recent recorded my 400th episode and each week I have a creator or two as my guest(s) including Pulitzer Prize winners such as Michael Chabon and Art Spiegelman, Batman artists Neal Adams and Michael Golden, novelists such as Sarah Laing and Denise Mina, film directors such as Nic Roeg, Edgar Wright and Alex Cox and many, many more!
University of Brighton
(Fringe Festival venue 176)
58 Grand Parade, BN2 0JY