Wonderlands: the UK Graphic Novel Expo is taking place in Sunderland again, on Saturday, May 28 2016. Located in the University of Sunderland’s CitySpace, it will be attended by an wide range of successful graphic novel creators and have an exciting programme of events curated by Bryan.
As well as Bryan and myself, The Guardian’s principal editorial cartoonist Steve Bell will be in attendance at the event, along with Doug Braithwaite who has drawn just about every major character in both the Marvel and DC Universe and other guests, some yet to be announced, including Darryl Cunningham (Science Tales, Supercrash), Woodrow Phoenix (Rumblestrip), Jeff Anderson (The Graphic Bible, Transfomers), Hannah Berry (Brittain & Brulightly, Adamtine), Kate Charlesworth (Sally Heathote, Suffragette), Metaphrog (Louis: Red Letter Day, The Red Shoes), Una (Becoming Unbecoming) and comics historians Paul Gravett and Mel Gibson. I will be presenting The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, my new book with Bryan, which is published on 5th May.
Admission is free. In addition to the talks, presentations and panel discussions, there will also be an alternative workshop schedule that will host some exciting presentations and interactive workshops that are suitable for all ages. The public will have the opportunity to develop their own stories and characters with the help of some of the novelists in attendance.
There will be a Publishers’ Hall acting as a base point, where people can meet their favourite graphic novelists and comic writers. And, of course, browse the books!
“Whether you are a fan of graphic novels, or just curious about the form, this event is not to be missed. We’re really pleased to be bringing such a prestigious and exciting event to Sunderland. Graphic novels offer something for everyone and we hope people come to find out more.”
The University of Sunderland’s illustration and animation students are also being given the chance to exhibit their work alongside Wonderlands’ established names, as well as having the chance to take part in further professional development sessions in the run up to the event.
Antony Eddison, design team leader and programme leader for arts and design management at the University of Sunderland, said: ”Last year’s inaugural Wonderlands event was a brilliant success. It was great to welcome so many enthusiasts, novices and people simply wanting to find out more about graphic novels to the University and the city. Graphic novels have the power to break down cultural, language and age barriers, they are a celebration of creativity – combining a good story with the work of talented artists and designers. I hope even more people will come along this year, to take part, meet the artists and even have a go at designing their own novel.”
The event takes place between 10am and 6pm on Saturday, May 28. There are still tables available for comic publishers and writers. Publishers so far include Analogue Press, BHP comics, Fanfare, Disconnected Press, Forbidden Planet, Myriad Editions, Paper Jam Comics Collective, Titan Books and Wizard’s Keep.