On Saturday the 10th of September, the International Comics Expo in Birmingham will return for its latest one-day event. ICE is a comics convention that’s a little different to your average con, and it promises to be one of the more unique conventions I’ll be going to.
The idea behind ICE is to showcase the world of comics in whatever form it takes. From internationally-known superhero titles to small and indie press, ICE provides an action-packed day where anything and everything comics gets plenty of room to shout about themselves.
With this super special convention hitting the streets of Birmingham in less than a week’s time, let’s countdown six reasons why we should be excited for its arrival!
6. Geek Syndicate
Those kings of the nerdy podcasts, Barry Nugent and David Monteith, are no strangers to the joys of ICE, and will be playing host to various fun-filled activities throughout the day. This will culminate in a live podcast at around 16:30 where they’ll be chatting to comic book artists Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire about their contributions to Scott Snyder‘s DC’s All-Star Batman!
Geek Syndicate are a geek culture hub, providing reviews on comics, films, and TV shows of the nerdy genre, whilst Barry and David are perhaps best known as the faces of the outfit. The success of the Geek Syndicate podcast has resulted in the duo being hired by the BBC to present two episodes from the BBC’s My Life in Science Fiction series.
5. For All Ages
Several panels will be taking place throughout the day at ICE, but one that screams not to be missed is “I Hope you Drew Enough for Everyone”, a panel where various creators will be discussing the importance of all-ages comics and how they appeal to a diverse array of readers.
Alumni from The Beano and 2000 AD will be there, including Lew Stringer and Alex Warley, along with Heart of Time creator Sarah Millman and Doctor Who writer/artist team Racheal Scott and Robbie Morrison.
Given ICE’s mission to show that comic books are a medium that everyone can enjoy, this panel will surely be an intriguing one to watch on the day, and its variety of speakers will hopefully paint a vast picture of the wide appeal of comic books.
4. The Chimeran
Legendary producer Gary Kurtz, he of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Richard Bazely and Paul Goodenough will be taking advantage of ICE’s mission to provide a voice for comics of all shapes and sizes by revealing their brand new sci-fi comic/TV series The Chimeran! They’ll also be joined by Ben Oliver and Simon Furman, who also lent their creative talents to this new series.
3. To the Death
Speaking of the legendary Transformers writer, Simon Furman will also be debuting his and Geoff Senior‘s To the Death, a new online sci-fi action comic. As well as revealing the project, the duo will be hosting a Q+A session afterwards for ravenous fans eager to discover more about the project.
Simon and Geoff have a long working partnership together, having produced many cult classic comics since the 1980s. Their most notable collaboration to date has been Marvel UK’s Transformers series, but the pair have also worked on such titles as Dragon’s Claw, Death’s Head and a little bit of Transformers: Generation 2.
Witnessing the cult duo’s latest venture blast off at ICE 2016 is not to be missed!
2. Charity Auction
Comic book creators, writers and artists all across the world have donated bags of goodies, including original artwork, sketches and more, to be auctioned off at The CBCS Charity Auction, which will take place at the end of the day.
Hosted by 2000 AD’s very own Peter Doherty, the auction is in aid of Beanstalk, an education-centred outfit who’s aim is to help children with literacy and reading skills in schools.
The biggest reason you should be pumped for ICE 2016 is perhaps the most obvious one. ICE appears locked and loaded to shoot out the notion that comic books can only be enjoyed by fans of a certain age or gender. The mixture of creators from all walks of life giving talks to fans, combined with a large handful of famous faces choosing ICE as their launchpad for their latest projects, demonstrates how ICE is intent on having a wide appeal to comic book fans.
This year’s event promises to showcase comics like few others do, and it’s a convention that you should most definitely be marking in your calendars!
Are you heading to ICE 2016? Let us know in the comments section below or send us a Tweet! You can buy your tickets for ICE 2016 here, as well as finding out more info on the event, including a detailed run-down of the day’s events and guest list.