In his first article for Geeky Brummie – intrepid word droid Neil Patel ventures down the zoomway to Bristol, to report from Lawless Comiccon, and maybe even get a game of Shuggy in.
Held at the Doubletree hotel, a venue which has been home to Bristol Comics Expo since inception. (which is also returning this year). Previously called Lawgiver. It’s seen as a convention for 2000 AD fans and became a cult favorite amongst comics fans. And, it’s a completely different Klegg to say MCM (on the same weekend in London), there weren’t any actors at all in sight. Instead it was full of well-known art droids.
This year the guest lineup included 2000 AD legends, such as John Wagner, Dave Gibbons, Mike McMahon, Glenn Fabry and Birmingham-based writer Ian Edginton. To any folks collecting comic book art , the creators there were very approachable. The queue for Mike McMahon was well managed and he was drawing affordable Judge Dredd headshots.
Cosplay was evident too. The hotel was full of Mega City Judges, a steampunk Johnny Alpha, Doomlord from the planet Vox came to witness the proceedings, shortly followed by the Mighty One himself! The convention also had a veritable mix of dealers, indie and small press publishers selling their wares to the audience with plentiful back issues of 2000 AD.
Asking artist Patrick Goddard about the event. “I think it’s probably the only complete comic convention, you know, when it’s just comics, I am going to now. I’ve never been to Thought Bubble. I think this one is just great, there are no other stars other than comics and it’s quite refreshing these days.”
Steve Dillon Exhibition
One of the many highlights, was the Steve Dillon Exhibition, currently touring around the country. The gallery encapsulated many decades of work by the late artist. From his earlier work on the Hulk comic to his work on 2000 AD, and Preacher. “We’ve had so many fantastic comments and feedback that people will tell us where, how old they were, and they can remember”. Said Mark and Tania, who created the exhibition. “You know, where they’re sitting in a bedroom, where they’re reading a particular issue, which you know, and a page in the show might bring them back to that point. It’s fantastic to see how it affects people’s memories.” They add.
Amongst the exhibitors there was The77 comic, an anthology series that’s become a hit with a unique retro feel towards storytelling and art. The creative team were in full force to not only publicise The77, but to launch “This Comic Is Haunted” after a successful funding campaign. One of the editors, Andrew Richmond, spoke about the show. “This is the second year I’ve been, and it’s a convention about comics. The comic fans, there’s obviously the cosplay, but they’re the fans. These guys love dressing as 2000 AD characters. The artists are top knock, there’s so many friends here and the guests. I’d been chatting to a guy and he had books of mine that I did five or six years ago. I signed them. It’s just been lovely and networking. So we are all enjoying ourselves and there’s been good contact made earlier on. That means I’m gonna be quite busy over the next couple days, which is really cool.”
Since the convention returned from lockdown, the organisers wanted to celebrate British comics. An entertaining panel called History of British Comics solidified that. Panelists included Lew Stringer and David Roach. David wrote Masters of British Comic Art, using used his knowledge to delight the audience about how Spanish artists worked on romance comics during the mid 60s. They also spoke about how 2000 AD led to the infamous British invasion of creators the US forty years ago.
Lawless doesn’t need the razzle dazzle of larger shows such as MCM. For this writer, who has at best a passing interest in the world of 2000 AD, I left full of thrillpower!