Dream line-up ready for comic extravaganza at book festival

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

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LEGENDS of the comic and graphic novel world are ready to rub shoulders with some of Scotland’s most exciting artists and writers.

Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Melinda Gebbie, Joe Sacco and Chris Ware are just some of the big names who will be talking about their work and taking part in a host of events.

It is part of ‘Stripped’ – a celebration of comics, graphic novels and the people who create them – at the Edinburgh International Book Festival next month.

Featuring literary graphic novels and memoirs, sci-fi and fantasy as well as hands-on workshops and debates, the Stripped programme will explore the rich heritage of comics alongside the contemporary renaissance of graphic novels.

Some of the most eagerly-anticipated events of the entire festival involve Neil Gaiman (right) - creator of The Sandman comics and writer of bestselling novels including ‘Coraline’, ‘American Gods’ and now book ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’.

Neil will be lifting the lid on some of the secrets of The Sandman on August 25 as part of Stripped.

He will also be talking his other words and the art of storytelling during other events at the book festival.

Stripped also features a talk with Scots comic powerhouse Grant Morrison (whose Batman graphic novel ‘Arkham Asylum’ helped redefine the superhero industry).

Morrison is an authority on the worlds of both DC and Marvel, having been under the employ of both.

Meanwhile, Joe Sacco will be discussing his new collection – ‘Journalism’ – a compelling set of hard-hitting cartoon essays following previous books such as ‘Footnotes In Gaza’.

As well as featuring a plethora of top writers and artists, Stripped will also focus on great British comic institutions like ‘2000AD’, ‘The Beano’ and ‘The Dandy’.

A spokesperson said: “Aimed at readers aged three to 103, at curious novices as well as diehard fans, Stripped offers an array of unmissable events.”

As part of the celebration, the Stripped Mini Comic Fair will shine a spotlight on the breadth and diversity of Scotland’s vibrant comics scene with an impressive list of independent comics creators lining-up to exhibit and sell their creations.

It takes place on Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25 – entry is free.

Stripped is supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund.

Further information can be found on the Stripped blog – www.strippedbookfest.co.uk/minicomicsfair

For more details about buying tickets for Stripped events – or the wider book festival – visit www.edbookfest.co.uk

Highlights include:

* Monday, August 12 – Chris Ware, ‘The Graphic Nove* in a Box’

* Tuesday, 13 – Joe Sacco, ‘The Graphic Truth’

* Wednesday, 14 – Joe Sacco and Chris Ware, ‘Reinventing Comics’

* Monday, 19 – James Kakalios, ‘The Science of Superheroes’

* Thursday, 22 – ‘Tintin, Dan Dare and Heath Robinson’ with John Fardell

* Barroux and Cathy Brett, ‘Letters from lost soldiers’

* Friday, 23 – ‘The Art of Reading Graphic Novels with Paul Gravett’

* Will Morris and Edward Ross, ‘Hot New Scottish Talent’

* Melinda Gebbie, ‘Sex and Politics’

* Paul Gravett, ‘The Ultimate History of Comics’

* ‘Drawing the Living Dead’ with Warren Pleece – a gruesome brain-eating workshop

* Barroux and Daniel Hahn, ‘A Tale in Translation’

* Grant Morrison, ‘Heroes Unmasked’

* Roger Gibson and Warren Pleece, ‘Graphic Tales of London’

* ‘Literary Death Match’

* Saturday, 24 – ‘The Phoenix Comic Workshop’

* Creating graphic novels with Jon McNaught

* Stephen Collins and Tom Gauld, ‘Charmingly Surrea* Comic Creations’

* The Etherington Brothers: Lost and Found

* Posy Simmonds – ‘Life, Love and the Pursuit of Cartoons’

* Robbie Morrison, ‘There’s a Storm Brewing’

* Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, ‘The Future is History’

* Hannah Berry and Gareth Brookes, ‘Modern Gothic Graphic Novels’

* ‘Illicit Ink and Graphic Scotland: Tales from the Strip’

* Sunday 25 – Drawing workshop with Sonia Martinez, create your own masked crusader

* Garen Ewing: Seeking the Rainbow Orchid, ‘The Adventures of Julius Chancer’

* Creating Cartoons with Gary Northfield

* Jamie Courtier and Vicky Kimm, ‘The Secret of the Stones, The Adventures of Tooki’

* Bryan Talbot and Mary Talbot, ‘From Judge Dredd to Steampunk via James Joyce’

* Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve, ‘Monkeys, Mermaids and Big Hair’

* Comic Consequences – live comic creation

* 2000 AD: Back to the Future – a generation of comic genius

* Sonia Martinez and Craig Silvey, ‘How to be a Caped Crusader’

* Lauren Beukes and Inaki Miranda, ‘Fairytales Among Us’

* Getting Graphic with Emma Vieceli

* 9th Art Award Ceremony –celebrating the best of contemporary graphic novels

* Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series

* Pau* Cornell and John Higgins, ‘Superheroes: Origins and Endings’

* The Sandman with Neil Gaiman, the untold story

* Monday, 26 – Stuart Kelly on Batman, reading workshop

* Rutu Modan and Leanne Shapton, ‘A Graphic Identity’

* Rob Davis and Martin Rowson, classics re-told

* The Beano at 75

* Glyn Dillon and Jon McNaught, ‘Graphic Contemplation’

* Denise Mina and Andrea Mutti, ‘Stieg Larsson in Graphic Detail’

The Stripped Mini Comic Fair will take place over the weekend of August 24 and 25 at 5 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh.