Comic Festival

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Comic Festival / Comics 99
Status defunct
Genre Comics
Location(s) Bristol
Country England
Inaugurated 1999
Most recent 2004
Organized by Kev F Sutherland
Mike Allwood

Comic Festival (also known as Comics Festival UK) was a British comic book convention which was held annually in Bristol between 1999 and 2004. It was devised and produced by Kev F Sutherland[1] with the help of Mike Allwood of Area 51 Comics.[2] The presentation of the National Comics Awards was a regular feature of Comic Festival from 1999–2003 (except for the year 2000, when the Eagle Awards were presented there).


Comic Festival was preceded by the United Kingdom Comic Art Convention, held annually (usually in London) from 1985-1998. The comics audience in the U.K. was in decline;[citation needed] Comic Festival's aim was to reach non-comic readers, children and families, and to enable them to enter the event at the cheapest possible prices.[citation needed] Once in, the audience would then be exposed to the widest range of comics material, thus building the readership of the future.

The festival began under the name Comics 99. In addition to the annual Bristol-based Comic Festival, secondary events were held in London in the fall of 2003[3] and 2004.[4]

Charity auctions were held every year for the benefit of ChildLine. For Comics 99, Sutherland produced The World's Biggest Comic,[5] which featured the work of 100 of the world's leading comic artists,[6] auctioned to raise money for the British charity Comic Relief.[7] Subsequent projects included the Charity Deck Of Cards which, in 2001, raised over £10,000 for ChildLine through the auctioning of the original art and sales of the limited edition decks. The Just 1 Page comic was produced every year at Comic Festival (and then continued on at Comic Expo).

Comic Festival was succeeded by the Bristol-based Comic Expo, which began in 2004 and continues to the present day.

Locations and dates[edit]

Dates Venue/Location Official guests Notes
April 2–4, 1999 Watershed Media Center and Swallow Royal, Bristol Phil Winslade, Steve Pugh, Steve Dillon, Scott Dunbier, Peter Hogan, Grant Morrison, Charlie Adlard, Kev Sutherland, Glenn Fabry, Metaphrog, Al Davison, Dave Gibbons, Bryan Talbot, Shelly Roeberg, Kyle Baker, John McCrea, Rich Johnston, Gary Spencer Millidge, and Jamie Delano Known as Comics 99; 2,500 attendees[8]
April 23–24, 2000 Jurys Bristol Hotel, Bristol Steve Pugh, Jim Valentino, Dave Gibbons, Mike Carlin, Gary Spencer Millidge, Alan Grant, Laura DePuy, Karen Berger, Chris Staros, Dave McKinnon, James Hodgkins, Dez Skinn, Gary Marshall, Al Davison, and Grant Morrison[9] Known as Comics 2000; presentation of the Eagle Awards, MC'd by Simon Pegg
May 26–27, 2001 Bristol Eddie Campbell, D'Israeli, Gary Spencer Millidge, Tony Rollinson, Tim Sayer,[10] Dave Gibbons, Staz Johnson, Sean Phillips, Charlie Adlard, Greg Staple, Metaphrog, Bob Schreck, Alan Grant, John McCrea, Dez Skinn, Steve Conley, and Lee Barnett Known as Comics 2001
June 1–2, 2002 The Empire and Commonwealth Museum, Temple Quay, Bristol Joe Quesada, Jamie Rich, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, John McCrea, William Christensen, Terry Wiley, Woodrow Phoenix, Bevis Musson, Gary Spencer Millidge, Rich Johnston, Patty Jeres, Lee Kennedy, Roger Langridge, James Hodgkins, Heidi MacDonald, Dave Gibbons, and Lee Barnett[11] Known as Comics 2002; part of Bristol 2008 (Bristol's bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008)
May 23–24, 2003 Commonwealth Centre, Temple Meads, Bristol Jim Lee, Jeff Smith, Dez Skinn, Mike Conroy, Duncan Fegredo, Steve Yeowell, Gary Spencer Millidge, Phil Winslade, Sean Phillips, Mike Carey, Chris Weston, Chris Francis, Phil Hall, Bryan Talbot, Dave Gibbons, John McCrea, John Cassaday, D'Israeli, Staz Johnson, Gary Erskine, Rich Johnston, Nick Locking, and David Hitchcock[12] Known as Comics 2003
November 1, 2003 Holiday Inn London, Bloomsbury, London Steven Appleby, Mark Buckingham, John M. Burns, Laurence Campbell, Al Davison, Alex Collier, Mike Conroy, Andy Diggle, Simon Donald, Christian Dunn, Ian Edginton, Carl Flint, Paul Gambaccini, Phil Gascoigne, Ian Gibson, Jon Haward, Morris Heggie, P. J. Holden, Jock, Davey Jones, Euan Kerr, Roger Langridge, Metaphrog, Gary Spencer Millidge, Robbie Morrison, Paul Palmer, Jonathan Ross, Siku, Dez Skinn, Kev F. Sutherland, and Lee Townsend Known as Comic Festival Winter Special
May 23–24, 2004 Ramada Plaza, Bristol Gary Spencer Millidge, Bob Finch, Norman Lovett, John McCrea, Duncan Fegredo, David Roach, Rob Williams, Jon Foster, and Gary Erskine
October 23, 2004 Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury Gary Spencer Millidge Known as London Comic Festival



  1. ^ "How to Draw Dennis The Menace". BBC Gloucestershire. 2004. Retrieved 2004-04-28. 
  2. ^ Joel Hahn (2001). "National Comics Awards". Retrieved 2007-10-28. 
  3. ^ "London Comic Festival 2003". Frothers Unite UK. Retrieved August 28, 2003. 
  4. ^ "London Comic Festival 2004". Sweatdrop Studios Forum. Retrieved October 17, 2004. 
  5. ^ "Having a beano at the comics festival". Western Daily Press. Retrieved April 3, 1999.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "The World's Biggest Comic". Blue Peter, BBC Television. Retrieved April 1, 1999.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ "A giant comic strip". Bristol Evening Post. Retrieved March 10, 1999.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^ Allass, Marcia. "Comics 99: Bristol 1999," Sequential Tart (May 1999).
  9. ^ Jellinek, Anna. "Comics 2000: Lovely Bristols," Sequential Tart (May 2000).
  10. ^ Sandells, Natalie. "Comics 2001," Sequential Tart vol. IV, issue #7 (June 2001).
  11. ^ Jellinek, Anna. "Comics 2002 - Bristol," Sequential Tart vol. V, issue #8 (August 2002).
  12. ^ Allass, Marcia. "Lovely Bristols," Sequential Tart vol. 6, issue #6 (June 2003).

Sources consulted[edit]

External links[edit]