ELCAF 2015 – Nobrow’s indie Comic Fest

Having already spent a weekend basking in the creative radiation of Alexis Deacon in his two day masterclass last weekend, this week I’ve taken another peek into the world of illustrative inspiration and general artistic goodness.

Following a series of talks and masterclasses throughout the month, the key player of the East London Comics and Arts Festival (ELCAF) is always the indie comics fair, held on the final weekend. Hosted by the beautiful and, almost sickeningly lovable publishers Nobrow, the fair is a celebration of contemporary illustration from all over the place, this year showcasing tables from Canada and France as well as our wealth of homegrown talent.

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I hate generic terms like “something for everyone” but unfortunately there are times when you really do just have to bite the bullet and succumb to the fact that there is no better way of saying it. Showcasing the numerous talents of indie publishers, comic stores and artists, the work on show was as diverse as it was eye bleedingly beautiful with artists and storytellers of all ages forming a real smorgasbord of stories.

And my how I gorged.

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I couldn't resist the chance to get my copy of Wild signed at the Nobrow table by the lady herself; Emily Hughes
I couldn’t resist the chance to get my copy of Wild signed at the Nobrow table by the lady herself; Emily Hughes
Beautiful little drawing left for me by Emily Hughes
Beautiful little drawing left for me by Emily Hughes

As well as a general display of sickeningly talented people, the day also consisted of a number of talks masterclasses and events. I was very happy to get the chance to add to my collection of books signed by people I like, with the very talented Emily Hughes signing at the Nobrow table, as well as attending a talk but the eloquent and wonderful Jillian Tamaki, in conversation with Paul Gravett.

Unfortunately (due to the fact I was sat behind someone with the biggest head I have ever seen) there are no photos to document this one, but it was a fantastic and honest talk about her life and the role of comics and illustration in it. As with the Alexis Deacon masterclass, it’s a really pleasing thing when successful and well regarded artists talk about their process and it sparks familiarity and chimes similarity with your own and once more I found myself desperate to get back to work.

I won’t go into to too much more depth, I’ll leave that to the numerous reviews and analyses that have no doubt been written and published about the whole festival online, but I’ll sign out simply with the fact that my inspiration batteries have has a good and thorough recharge. In an attempt give you something more of a taster, I’ve waded through the thousands of photos I snapped while I was there, and will leave you simply with a holiday slideshow of sorts all some of my personal highlights.

Peace out x

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Vivian Schwartz drawing a kitty!
Vivian Schwartz drawing a kitty!

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Beautiful Nobrow collection. I own too much of this selection.
Beautiful Nobrow collection. I own too much of this selection.

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My closing Haul!
My closing Haul!
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A Slap on the Wrist and a Bunch of Stuff for Sale

Yeah alright, so it’s been an age since my last post. And I have actually been busy too, which is doubly annoying because I’ve actually had bloggables to share with you, and simply haven’t done it due to extreme laziness/business/general heat-envoked fatigue.

So let’s go back an age or two when I was a good blogger and pick up from there shall we?

So, I was lucky enough to get myself a spot at the International Alternative Press Festival on Sunday 5th and have to say, it was a bit of a blast.

As usual for these little graphic gatherings, I met some truly awesome people, had some bat-shit mad conversations and generally flogged a whole load of my stuff.

It wasn’t as manic as Comiket, but given that it was a Sunday and during that mad thing that was the ‘Lympiks (sorry but did you SEE the boxing?? It was frickin’ AWESOME) that was only to be expected.

Once more, the free zine Tele was back on display and finding it’s way into the pockets of just about everyone!

Prints galore!

I was selling the usual: Tick, Rumble and all the zines as well as a selection of limited edition linocut and screen prints. The Sock Creatures once more made an appearance and did so well, I’m sorry to say I don’t even have photos of most of them! They were flying off the stall like mad. Only three remain with me so I’ll have to get sewing in anticipation of the next one!

And they weren’t the only addition to  my ever-growing repertoire of textiles. Due to the success of the sock animals at previous events, I’ve recently been knocking up a new line of fuzzy cute things:  The Felties. They made their debut on the stall at the IAPF and did pretty well too!

The Felties were met with just as much popularity so will definitely be making appearances at future conventions. Each one is entirely unique, but there’s enough madness in my noggin to sustain a good few designs I reckon!

So, surrounded by incredible examples of storytelling, I had a pretty ace time, met some totally weird and wonderful people and made a little money while I was at it. It’s at these things that I tend to be reminded how great my life can be!

If you have never been to an independent/small press comiket I suggest you get on the internet and find out when your nearest one is. They really are a brilliant laugh and I can guarantee you’ll find some kind of gem hidden in one of the stalls.

Plus then you can buy a sock animal. Don’t pretend you’re not tempted.

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