Comics Features Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: ICE 2016 Teams Up With Beanstalk For Charity

International Comic Expo announces official charity as Beanstalk.

ICE – Britain’s coolest comic convention, which happens every year in Birmingham City Centre, has pledged its support to literacy alongside local arm of the respected charity and will be hosting a special charity auction with rare and collectible items under the hammer from some of the world’s biggest comic artists and writers.

Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading. Their vision is that all children and young people will have the essential skills they need to grow up and lead successful lives. Beanstalk-trained reading helpers work with children on a one-to-one basis, giving them consistent support to improve reading levels, increase overall confidence and help them gain the vital literacy skills they need to succeed in life.

Each Beanstalk-trained reading helper works with three children and sees each child for two 30 minute sessions a week, during term-time, for a whole year. Together, they read, play and talk. With Beanstalk’s support the child’s approach to learning and enjoying reading is often transformed. The charity currently works in areas of deprivation in the North of England, Midlands, Greater London and Kent. They have over 100 staff and more than 2,800 volunteers, who support over 8,000 children a year, but there is still much more they can do. Their aim is to reach almost 18,000 children in 2018.

“ICE 2016 is very proud to be helping Beanstalk in their essential work as literacy for all is very close to our own hearts, and through the magic and wonder of comics we want to encourage struggling and reluctant young readers in the West Midlands and beyond”, said event organiser Shane Chebsey.

He continued: “I was an advanced reader in school thanks to being a comic reader and encouraging children to pick up comics from an early age helps them to develop those essential skills as well as a sense of wonder and imagination that they will need in later life.”

To raise money for the charity, ICE 2016 in partnership with their American sponsors CBCS, will be hosting a very special auction from 4pm on Saturday 10th September, offering exclusive signed books, original artwork and other valuable and unique prizes donated from guest comic creators at the show and other famous creators from across the globe.

“The support for the charity auction has been incredible” said Mr. Chebsey. “We’ve had some amazing artwork and signed comics donated. Vikings artist Staz Johnson even created a bespoke piece of artwork especially for the auction, and Zed Events will be donating a percentage of their profits from special Zombie photo shoots for charity.”

Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard will also be doing a special sketching and signing session at the show to support the charity and dozens of other artists have pledged their time and support.

“We’re delighted to be the chosen charity for ICE 2016 and so excited to be attending the Expo” said Gail Washington, Area Manager for Beanstalk Midlands.

“Not only will the funds enable us to continue providing inspiring resources for the children we support, ICE 2016 gives us a valuable opportunity to highlight the amazing work by our trained reading helpers. We’d also like to hear from visitors about their favourite comic character so look forward to welcoming them to the Beanstalk stand on the 10th September!”

To book tickets, apply for press passes or to find out more about the International Comic Expo visit their website at:

To find out more about Beanstalk and their valuable work go to: and to find out more about the top Comics grading company CBCS go to:

A full day early bird pass from 10am to 5:30pm costs £12 with discounts for students and free entry for children. VIP Tickets including an after show party and entry to the Sunday events are also available.

About the author

Robert Porter