|Venue||Eden Court Theatre|
|Organized by||Richmond Clements, Vicky Stonebridge|
Hi-Ex (short for the Highlands International Comics Expo) was the name given to a Scottish comics convention held from 2008–2012. It was held early in the year in Eden Court Theatre, Inverness. The organisers were Richmond Clements (editor at FutureQuake Publishing) and Vicky Stonebridge.
The convention was 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 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. Hi-Ex 2013 was scheduled for 6–7 April 2013, at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, but was cancelled.
Dates and locations
|2–3 February 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.|
|14–15 February 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.|
|27–28 March 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|
|31 March – 1 April 2012||Eden Court Theatre, Inverness||...||Michael Carroll, Al Ewing, John Higgins, Sally Hurst, and Chris Murray||Raffle raises £1907 for Children First charity|
- First superheroes expo for north, BBC, 18 January 2008
- Scots' impact on comics examined, BBC, 22 January 2008
- Comic book heroes set for city expo, Highland News, 29 January 2008
- Inverness a big draw for comic fans, Inverness Courier, 1 February 2008
- Comic event secures council help, BBC, 16 November 2009
- Northings review
- Catwalks and comic book heroes, BBC, 1 June 2008
- Interview with organisers, Northings, January 2008
- Hi-Ex success! by Gary Erskine, 5 February 2008
- "No Hi-Ex! 2011 Convention," Comics Bits website. Accessed 7 June 2012.
- UK Garrison
- Convention books Superman artist, BBC, 3 July 2008
- McKenzie, Steven (9 January 2009). "Hot debate likely on cult comic". BBC. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- "Comic love tackled by convention". BBC. 13 February 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2010.
- Coburn, Georgina. "Hi-Ex! Highland International Comic Expo," Northings (3 April 2012).
- Richmond Clement's blog
- Vicky Stonebridge
- Hi-Ex in the Highlands, Forbidden Planet, 3 February 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, 31 July 2009