|Venue||Eden Court Theatre|
|Organized by||Richmond Clements, Vicky Stonebridge|
Hi-Ex (short for the Highlands International Comics Expo) is the name given to a Scottish comics convention. It is held early in the year in Eden Court Theatre, Inverness. The organisers are Richmond Clements (editor at FutureQuake Publishing) and Vicky Stonebridge.
The convention is the centre of a range of other events organised to promote comics in the region, including "outreach visits" to schools (involving Kev F. Sutherland), with the help of the The Highland Council and Scottish Arts Council, and an exhibition of comic art in Eden Court's gallery.
The idea for the convention emerged from the lack of a major comics convention in the area and a discussion Richmond Clements and Vicky Stonebridge had with Eden Court's Judith Aitken, about possibly bringing in a few guest speakers. Through contacts made because of their involvement with the British small press comics they were able speak to a wide number of professional comic creators and the event rapidly grew into full weekend. They also received advice from people with experience in running conventions, including Michael Carroll, who runs Octocon, and the Comic Expo's Mike Allwood. Hi-Ex has been used by the BBC as an example of how the Internet has helped facilitate developments in the Highlands and Islands. Clements is quoted as saying "Practically the entire event was organised through e-mail."
Northings, the Highlands and Islands Art Journal, described the first convention as "inspirational," and said that "by the end of the weekend I felt like a door had been opened on a whole genre of art that I hadn’t really engaged with before." Of those that attended, Gary Erskine declared it a "complete success."
There was no Hi-Ex convention in 2011 due to lack of sponsorship; the show returned in 2012.
Dates and locations
|February 2–3, 2008||Eden Court Theatre, Inverness||...||Frank Quitely, Mike McMahon, Alan Grant, Kev F. Sutherland, Cam Kennedy, Colin MacNeil, John Higgins, Gary Erskine, and Rufus Dayglo||Poor weather meant Alan Grant was unable to attend and run a script writing workshop but Al Ewing, Declan Shalvey and Ben Clark filled in for him. Also there were the 501st Legion UK Garrison and a Predator.|
|February 14–15, 2009||Eden Court Theatre, Inverness||...||John Higgins, Leah Moore, Mike McMahon, and Frank Quitely.||Coinciding with the launch of the Watchmen film, the 2009 event had a general Watchmen feel, with the presence of colorist Higgins and Alan Moore's daughter Leah. As it As it also coincided with Valentine's Day it included a debate on romance comics, and romance in comics in general.|
|March 27–28, 2010||Eden Court Theatre, Inverness||...||Charlie Adlard, Asia Alfasi, Gary Erskine, Simon Fraser, John Higgins, Cam Kennedy, Gary Northfield, and Kev F. Sutherland||Sponsorship by Highland Council grant for outreach and additional activities|
|March 31–April 1, 2012||Eden Court Theatre, Inverness||...||Michael Carroll, Al Ewing, John Higgins, Sally Hurst, and Chris Murray||Raffle raises £1907 for Children First charity|
|April 6-7, 2013||Eden Court Theatre, Inverness||...||...|
- First superheroes expo for north, BBC, January 18, 2008
- Scots' impact on comics examined, BBC, January 22, 2008
- Comic book heroes set for city expo, Highland News, January 29, 2008
- Inverness a big draw for comic fans, Inverness Courier, February 1, 2008
- Comic event secures council help, BBC, November 16, 2009
- Northings review
- Catwalks and comic book heroes, BBC, June 1, 2008
- Interview with organisers, Northings, January 2008
- Hi-Ex success! by Gary Erskine, February 5, 2008
- "No Hi-Ex! 2011 Convention," Comics Bits website. Accessed June 7, 2012.
- UK Garrison
- Convention books Superman artist, BBC, July 3, 2008
- McKenzie, Steven (January 9, 2009). "Hot debate likely on cult comic". BBC. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- "Comic love tackled by convention". BBC. February 13, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- Coburn, Georgina. "Hi-Ex! Highland International Comic Expo," Northings (April 3, 2012).
- Official website
- Richmond Clement's blog
- Vicky Stonebridge
- Hi-Ex in the Highlands, Forbidden Planet, February 3, 2008
- Hi-Ex photographs on Flickr
- The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's guide to Hi-Ex, by Kev F. Sutherland
- The Predator's footage of event
- We are Family: A conversation with Vicky Stonebridge, Forbidden Planet, July 31, 2009