LEAM COMIC CON
Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography
Leamington Spa held it’s 5th Leam Comic Con recently, Ann Evans went along to see what it was all about.
The joy of comics was celebrated in all its glory recently, when the 5th annual Leam Comic Con took place in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. The one-day event brought together dozens of comic writers, illustrators and artists, both independent and traditionally published all under one very spectacular roof.
It was held in the beautiful All Saints Parish Church where beneath magnificent stained-glass windows and stone archways, the comic creators and some superhero lookalikes talked to the public about their work.
It was a great family day out, with the organisers, husband and wife team Lisa-Marie and Dan Mallier making sure the show was accessible to young people by making it free entry to anyone under 13. Over the past five years 1,500 free children’s tickets have been snapped up so youngsters can enjoy the show, creative workshops and meet superheroes without breaking the bank of mum and dad.
Show creator, Dan Mallier said: “Leam Comic Con continues to champion comics, creativity and community, but none of it would have been possible without our early supporters who crowdfunded the show into existence.”
It all began when 74 comic book fans donated £1,796 to fund the first show back in 2014, which was later acknowledged as a local cultural asset winning the ‘Outstanding Achievement’ accolade at the 2015 Leamington Business Awards.
There was a great line-up of writers and artists at the event including John Wagner, an American-born, British comics writer best known for co-creating the iconic 2000 AD character Judge Dredd.
Personally, I was delighted to bump into children’s illustrator and comic book artist, Kev Hopgood, as he was the illustrator for my reluctant reader book, Straw Men. Kev has worked on many titles including 2000 AD. Games Workshop and Doctor Who. And perhaps his best-known work is on Iron Man for Marvel Comics, where he co-created War Machine.
We also bumped into Batman, alias Ian Taylor who turns into Batman for the charity group, Dream2Believe. Raising money for children’s charities on the day, Ian had also brought along a display of costumes and props, many that he had made. Another talented comic writer who had brought along some of his books was Jay Martin. Working alongside artist Pablo He is the creator of ALV #1 ‘The world’s only superhero’.
Other artists appearing included Jamie Delano the first writer of the comic book series Hellblazer and Mike Carey who wrote the spin-off comic, Lucifer and author of the popular novel The Girl with all the Gifts.
It was a delight to chat to award-winning graphic novelist, comics creator, writer, illustrator and UK Comics Laureate 2019-21, Hannah Berry FRSL. Hannah explained that her job as UK Comics Laureate is as an ambassador and educational role for the comics genre, raising awareness of the impact comics can have on literacy and creativity.
Dan Mallier added, “We’ve seen over 20 small press comics launched at our shows. There’s no room for egos. Whether you’re a well-known name or indie creator, it’s your talent and approachable manner that ultimately depicts your success at our show.”
Find out more: www.leamcomiccon.co.uk