Nerd Fest Preview

Words: Penny Reeve
Photos: Dom Henry
Thursday 03 October 2013
reading time: min, words

We’ve got a world-class comic book shop in the form of Page 45, but artist Kev Brett decided to up Nottingham’s graphic novel game and put us on the map as a comic convention hotspot with Nerd Fest, a very spectacular convention...

Great name, who thought it up?
All me, I'm afraid. It was a toss up between Geek Fest and Nerd Fest... I've recently read that people are getting bored of being called geeks, so it’s a good job we didn't go down that route.

Are you an artist yourself?
I do fun cartoons and recently finished my first story-driven comic book based on my two kids, The Monkey and the Mouse. I tried to get a table for Thought Bubble Comic Con in Leeds but it booked up in hours so I decided to put something on a little closer to home so I'd be guaranteed a table.

Why did you choose Nottingham for Nerdfest?
We love Nottingham and the surrounding areas are filled with so much talent, it seemed like a good opportunity to bring it together.

Who is your all-time favourite comic book character?
Pretty boring answer I'm afraid, Batman. I love a lot of webcomics and there are some amazing ones out there but Batman is still my favourite - the ordinary man with no super powers, just his brains, brawn, gadgets and billions of dollars.

Explain what a comic con is? What can we expect to see?
A comic con is a convention based on comics - somewhere for fans with similar interests to meet artists, each other and generally have fun. Our comic con will have a ton of independent comic book creators selling their artwork and comic books as well as giving away a load of free goodies. We have guest artists who work in the comic book industry doing Q&A sessions and live drawings at their tables, as well as selling their wares. We also have four bands who will be playing live, Forbidden Planet, the 501st (the UK's largest and most accurate Star Wars costuming club) meeting and greeting visitors, and the roller derby team Hellfire Harlots.

We hear you’ll be donating some profit to charity?
We're donating £1 from every standard ticket plus 100% of sales from our auction and raffle to three charities that we believe do invaluable work, these being Help for Heroes, Saying Goodbye and The Ear Foundation.

What would you say to people wanting to come, who have never gotten into comics?
Check out our website and come along. There will be some awesome bands, great photo ops, free stuff and awesome artwork on display. You never know, this could be what it takes to pick up one of those funny little picture books…

Nerd Fest Comic Convention, Saturday 5 October, 10am - 4pm,£7, Britannia Hotel, St James Street, NG1 6BN

Nerd Fest website

Guests at the Fest:

Gary Erskine - This dude is cool. He’s worked on things like Dr Who, Judge Dredd, 2000AD, Captain America and Punisher. Aliens, roller derby and naked chicks seem to be Erskine’s main influences currently. Check out his work with Robin Hood in Crisis Magazine.

Sam Johnson
- A particular favourite of the geek girls in the LeftLion office, the creator of Geek-Girl and Avengers parody The
has some pretty sweet comics in his collection. Oh, and she might be working on Deadpool comics soon…*queue fan girl scream*

Mark Laming - Laming in name only (sorry), Mark will be attending Nerd Fest to do some live sketching, and having worked for DC/Vertigo, this man knows his stuff. Laming’s bow has many strings including his current work, bringing The Phantom, Flash Gordon and The Planet of the Apes to modern graphic novels.

Garen Ewing - The creator of Julius Chancer: The Rainbow Orchard - which has a handsome Nerd Fest third off, ladies and gents - is a bit of an academic in his spare time, writing on the second Anglo-Afghan war and publishing a comic version of The Tempest. He’s also a big fan of Tintin and you can see Herge’s stylings reflected in his work.

Lee Sullivan - Sullivan’s rap sheet reads like a child of the eighties’ wet dream. Transformers, Robocop, Thundercats...the list goes on. He’s also done over 21 years of work on the Dr Who comics. While not the most brazen of artwork, Sullivan’s comics breathe awesome and make for a really interesting read. Definitely one to hunt out.

Corey Brotherson - Amazing lines and colours are a standard for Brotherson’s artwork, which we love. He’s a jack of all trades with comic books, script adaptations and and short stories all under his belt. He recently caused a bit of a stir at San Diego Comic Con, just check out his website to see a tonne of people lining up to pose with his comics.

Dave Gaskin - The Nerd Fest website sports an amazing line drawing of The Crow. That’s Dave Gaskin’s. He’s done poster artwork for films, incredible digital artwork of famous people and takes a cracking photo. Although not the most famous of the bunch, he has a slightly different style that will complement the fest well, in our humble opinion.

Kate Hayward - While researching Kate’s work, we fell in love with a poster of a cat basking in autumnal leaves with its owner. Cute and somewhat ethereal, Kate’s comics are like rubbing kittens into your eyes. Kate, or Tea Bug, is a former resident of  Nottingham, which further proves that this city chucks out some amazing artists.

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