Desperately Seeking Comics At London Book Fair 2014

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London Book Fair is big. Really big. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to the London Book Fair. Listen…

So comic books could get lost within its vast maw. But they still manage to stick out. Here's a few I found yesterday lunchtime, held at the rather wonderful Earls Court Exhibition Centre, wandering around with children in tow. They were very good.

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Titan Books was talking through their line up (and giving away Titan Books branded seaside rock for the kids to suck). They did apologise for having Doctor Who images up when they weren't going to be able to sell any into the UK market. More on that to come…

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Diamond UK were setting up, having lots of important looking meetings with important looking people. They had a big comics-based booth and had all sorts of things to attract the eye.

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Okay, yes, there were My Little Pony packs at Alice-height.

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Thankfully, the Joker Mask set for Death Of The Joker was a little higher.

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Self Made Hero are part of a new breed of British graphic novel publisher, emerging over the last few years alongside Blank Slate and Nobrow, but they were here solo. And very happy about their UK licence for the Bryan Lee O'Malley book Seconds out this year…

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Book distributor  Turnaround have a large comic book catalogue and they had plenty of publishers to bring with them. Marvel UK/Panini, Knockabout, Cinebook, Humanoids and further work from Fantagraphics.

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But you could find comics in all sorts of places. Such as a single book on a stand from Soaring Penguin Press…IMG_20140410_124529157

… that nevertheless had garnered considerable foreign rights attention, Pat Mills editing a new war comics anthology. I saw the publishers also meeting with Diamond later…

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Seem a perfect match.

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But the French have plenty of star power too, with plenty of graphic novels from plenty of publishers, all congregating in one space. Such as these younger reader-aimed comics.

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Was your eye caught by one particular title?

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Yes mine too. For kids. Those wacky French.

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Tintin does get everywhere…

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Though of course there was plenty of variety on hand.

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Also at the show was The British Library, promoting amongst other things, the book to accompany the upcoming Comics Unmasked exhibition.

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I managed to get a sneak peek at some of Paul Gravett's book, and it's a rather wonderful amalgamation of so many different aspects of comics, themed and patchworked together across the decades. With some major contributions by Al Davison, Dudley D Watkins and Dave McKean.

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I also found Kodansha, showing off much – but mostly Attack On Titan.

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As you might expect, considering its seven figure print runs for that title.

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But no trip to Earls Court can be complete without a visit on the way home to a certain standing monument outside the tube station…

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Well what kind of Dad would I be if I denied them that?

 

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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