Nineteen Tables At Edinburgh's Mini Comics Fair, Stripped In Pictures

Gary Gray, our Senior Scottish Correspondent, writes;

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Just one of the fantastic things about the Stripped strand at the Edinburgh International Book Festival has been how it has celebrated comics in all of it shapes and forms. And one of those most vibrant and exciting forms is the small press self published comic, with a superb Mini Comics Fair being ran across the weekend of the 24/25th August. The organisers managed to find a beautiful National Trust venue round the corner that was a superb change from the usual enormous soulless hall these things can be held in.

I had a good chat with most of the people there, and the overriding theme was that they were getting a lot of people through the door that new nothing about comics, were keen to ask and more importantly were buying. Many of the stallholders were telling me they had sold out of lots of books on day one. I know the funding for year two of Stripped is up in the air, but I hope at least this part of the festival goes ahead again next year. Edinburgh has been crying out for a professionally run comics fair and thankfully it looks we've finally got one.

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In attendance was Craig Collins (http://craig-collins.blogspot.co.uk/) promoting many of his hilarious books usually co-created with Iain Lauire, who as is quite often the case with small pressers couldn't make it as he was working.

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Edward Ross (http://edwardmaross.blogspot.co.uk/) Fresh from his talk at the book festival with Will Morris the previous night.

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John and Sandra from Metaphrog (http://www.metaphrog.com/) who were pulling double duties, promoting their own work and blogging for the Festival as well.

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David Kerr (http://www.davidpeterkerr.com/) promoting his surreal indie comics including Spock Meets the Uckfast drinking Jocks.

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Black Hearted Press (http://blackheartedpress.com/) Who somehow managed to be in Glasgow at Collectormania as well. BHP are also responsible for the amazing Glasgow Comic Con and various comic marts.

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Poison Pixie Publishing (www.poisonpixie.com) promoting various comics including Chucking It All.

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Max Scratchmann (www.maxscratchmann.com) promoting his book called Illustration 101 that gives tons of tips to artists breaking into the market how to do just that.

Tanya Roberts (http://tanyaroberts.co.uk/) Quite surprised to see Tanya at the small press fair, seeing as how she's a working professional on Star Wars comics, must have been because she was literally a stone's throw from her own flat!

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Edinburgh College of Art. Seven students chose to show some of their comics work completed as part of their course.

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RollerGrrrls (http://www.rollergrrrls.com/) Gary Erskine's partner Mhairi promoting Rollergrrls, while Gary was over at collectormania in Glasgow.

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Gary Chudleigh (http://www.orcomics.com/) talking up a storm on various books including iHero and Villainous.

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Gillian Hatcher of Team Girl (http://teamgirlcomic.co.uk/) comic doing sterling work promoting their work. There was quite a few creators mentioning Team Girl during the festival so go team Girl!

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Neil Slorance (http://www.neilslorance.com/) Who for once wasn't in the bar chatting to John Higgins, discussing his wonderful The Amateur Astronomer's Journal.

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Mark Brady showing his wonderfully intricate comic strip in a single image prints.mini16

Carolyn Hamilton showing her and Coll Hamilton's comics Amber and Chelsea (www.amberandchelsea.com)

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Kathryn Briggs showing her comic story(cycle)

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Lynsey Hutchison (http://www.thehoudinibox.com/) showing her prints and her comic The Houdini Box.

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Rob Miller of Braw Books (http://www.brawbooks.co.uk/) who have just published the wonderful The Big Book of Pudsy that collects the works of the late great Paddy Morris legendary Oz cartoonist.

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Imperious Press (http://www.fatmanribbon.com/) promoting their Fatman and Ribbon parody comic.

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Alan Henderson (http://pennedguins.tumblr.com/) who wasn't actually at the comics fair but seeing as how he launched his self published comic The Penned Guin at the Book Festival I thought I'd better mention it.

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As you'll see I picked up a pile of comics at the fair, now I just need to clone myself to find time to read them all! Its great to see the Scottish small comics scene in such rude health. This was only a tiny proportion of the comic's scene in Scotland, and I hope to cover that in more detail at a later date.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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