The Birmingham Literature Festival returns for another year to Britain's Second City and with a stronger bill of guests once again. But, a full line up of events for things to do with books and stuff like that is something for more highfaluting news sites to report on. No, my focus is one of (i) vested interest and (ii) to guide your own eyes to Sunday October 9th and the Teen Takeover, organised by teenager George Bastow and his fellow students as part of their Gold Arts Award.
Situated for the day in the impressive Library of Birmingham and in its Studio Theatre, there are two panels that may well peak the interests of any local comic book fans, both moderated by me (there you go, full disclosure done) but really all about the guests whoBarstow and his press gang have managed to get involved. And, as a first time event organised by a gang of friends, it's an impressive bill. The first panel,The True Identity of Comic Books Revealed, asks of Leah Moore (Electricomics), Mike Carey (The Girl With All Ten Gifts) and Al Davison (The Spiral Cage) what place does comics and graphic novels have in today's society and culture? With such diversity to be sought out in this much maligned medium (hey, I don't have to tell you lot, we're already seen the light) can the assorted guests convince the audience? In a world of digital consumption, the continuing strength of the printed word and, arguably, a world more reliant on visual forms of communication over the written word, it will be interesting to see what is thrown up by the panelists and, hopefully, the assembled audience.
This first panel starts at 2pm (and not what the site currently claims; 2am – 3.15pm, even I can't droll on for that long) with a follow up in-depth interview with Mike Carey later that same day, and at 6pm, where I will be in conversation with Carey about his novels The Girl With All The Gifts and Fellside as well as the adaption of the former novel, which will have been released in cinemas by then and so will, no doubt, give us plenty to talk about, given Carey was the screenwriter for said film adaptation. Hopefully, he may well be able to open up about his recently revealed plans for a The Girl With All The Gifts prequel too. After all, the last time I spoke with Carey, our conversation discussed some rather heavy topics to do with privatisation/monetisation of public sector services which, sadly, we are being told by our overlords here in the UK is a good thing. How's that working out for you all in America, eh?
Wedged in between both these events is the chance for you, or your offspring, to attend a workshop on how to create comics led by Moore and Davison at 3.30pm – 5.00pm.
The full line up for the Literature Festival and the Sunday Teen Takeover – a full day of literary inspired events – can be found here, along with prices for either individual events or a full day Teen Takeover pass.