If you were at the first ever Wimbledon Comic Art Festival you will know that it was a brilliant success. We are all so pleased at how well it was received and that visitors and exhibitors alike had a great day.
After a slow start, the event was solidly busy, with plenty of new and seasoned comics fans in attendance. Being hosted in Wimbledon Library, the footfall included loads of people who had come down to the library on the day. These were people who would never usually have ventured into a comics event, and were pleasantly surprised to discover that there is more to comics than Batman and Spiderman.
It was amazing to see so much networking going on too. Exhibitors made new friends among themselves, and Tony Esmond from the Awesome Comics Podcast and Down The Tubes was walking the floors, chatting to creators and even doing the occasional interview. People who made the trek down to Wimbledon for the event included Soaring Penguin Press, Gluepot Books, Markosia, Boys Adventure Comics, London Graphic Novel Network and Manga Forum Podcast.
We were fortunate enough to have the Deputy Mayor of Merton opening the event with us. It was really encouraging to have her support. Unable to make it on the day was Cllr Nick Draper, who has been vocal in his support of our event during our promotions campaign.
We also ran workshops throughout the day. Most popular was the Create Your Own station, where you could try your hand at creating a short comic. Loads of kids joined us for this workshop and were happily displaying their work on the display board near the entrance to the event. The visual storytelling workshop challenged people to creat a story without words. This station became really vibrant and the exercises to help inspire and loosen people up were fantastic. The workshops were run by some of our exhibitors, who kindly volunteered an hour each to bring their own style to the station.
Since the event was successful we are already considering what to do as a follow up. It would be great to hear from you if you were there. Let us know what you loved about the day, what you’d like to see at the next event, and if there are other locations you think we could look at for new events of this kind.
We’d like to give a huge thank you to all our exhibitors for their support and efforts on the day. Also, thanks to the Awesome Comics Podcast, who have been promoting and supporting us since we booked the event in the spring. Thanks to Luke Surl, who helped put us in touch with loads of great creators. Thanks to Dickie Wilkinson for helping us secure the venue for the day and for convincing local businesses and the council to lend us their support. Thanks to Heather Chapman, who kept our organiser Rik motivated and inspired over the months it took to put the event on. Thanks to Dan Sanderson for coming up to volunteer for the day just to help us out. And finally, thanks to Rik’s mum and dad, who came all the way up from Brighton and ended up handing out flyers all over Wimbledon all morning.