Comics Fandom

This track is about comics, why we love them, why we sometimes don't-so-much-love them, what they mean and who we, as the people who love comics, are. We have a mix of creators, aspiring creators, critics, publishers and fans. Our view isn't that we don't care if you're not the white, straight male stereotype of comics - it's that we definitely do. We care if you've never read a comic and want to get started, we care if you got into them through the films (we did), we care if you've been reading them and going to conventions and tattooing them on yourself for seventy years, we care if you're queer, we care if you're a person of colour, we care if you don't feel represented, we care even if you do. This is Nine Worlds; we want to talk about all the glorious things other conventions don't think to. And we also want to cry about superheroes, throw crayons around and wear Galactus flower crowns. We hope you do, too.

The Comics Fandom track is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend Martin Skidmore, whose commitment to serious (and fun) critical analysis and appreciation of all comics is something we can only aspire to.

Everything is based in Royal A.


Do you have a suit? Cosplayers assemble! (literally)
8pm - 10pm
Haven't quite finished your cosplay? Need a bit of help? Need to start? We've all been there. Hazel (from the Comics Fandom track), and craft and fashion wizard, Clara Belle, will use their mutant powers for good by helping you make last-minute adjustments to anything you need help with; create full-blown flower crowns and stealth cosplay accessories; and encourage, assist, literally hold the hand and paint the nails of anyone hoping to make that first foray into cosplay and fannish fashion. We'll have a big stash of supplies and feel free to bring your own: other crafters welcome, if you want to knit or cross-stich or macrame your way into the convention mindset. We only ask that you leave any welding and metalwork at the forge.
Hazel Robinson, Clara Belle


1.30pm - 2.45pm
Stark Tower Sleepover (Infinite Washing-Up Crisis)
Opening the track by settling into our room and talking superhero domesticity: games, snacks and drinking straight from the coffee pot.
Briony Frost, Nat Wilkinson, Clara Belle, Dan Hart

3.15pm - 4.30pm
Falling and Tumbling; Power and Struggle
Dr Briony Frost presents a paper on Loki, Thor, fallen gods, and military-magical power, as Howard Hardiman and Cara Ellison talk about stumbling badgers, self-care and non-adventure.
Briony Frost, Howard Hardiman, Cara Ellison

5.00pm - 6.15pm
Mental Health and Comics: Workshop
This is an interactive session about depictions of mental health issues in comics. Bring along your favourite comics and join the conversation. We'll be touching on the history of representations of mental health in comics, the ways in which 'bad guys' in superhero comics became associated with madness, the characters of Despair and Delirium in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, the recent spate of mental health memoirs, the use of internet comics to raise awareness on social media, and many other topics.
Meg John Barker, Caroline Walters, and Joseph de Lappe

6.45pm - 8.00pm
Sex and Violence
How comics do it right, how comics do it wrong: for a medium so inclined to (and so indicted for) using sex and violence for thrill power, can it ever be totally non-salacious? Should it be?
Howard Hardiman, Dan Hart, Emma Vieceli, Malin Ryden, Will Brooker, Hazel Robinson


1.30pm - 2.45pm
Dis/Continuity: long-running characters, change, evolution and disruption
The challenges, joys, disappointments and outright confusion of writing, following and redesigning characters with 60+ years of sometimes-not-entirely-straightforward back story.
Paul Cornell, Kieron Gillen, Nat Wilkinson, Misha Sumra

3.15pm - 4.30pm
Making Comics; workshop for kids (and their adults)
Turning concepts into scripts into pages into pantheons- bring your characters, your ideas, your total lack of experience and/or buckets of enthusiasm, we'll supply pens, paper and helping hands.
Louie Stowell, Sarah Gordon, Hazel Robinson, Kelly Kanayama, Martin Hand

5.00pm - 6.45pm
Creators on Comics
Kieron Gillen (Phonogram, Uncanny X-Men, The Wicked & The Divine) dismantles WATCHMEN to demonstrate everything everyone should have ripped off instead of just tediously having superdudes break other dude's fingers. Si Spurrier (Six-Gun Gorilla, X-Force, Disenchanted) talks about the eternal sexual war between WORDS and PICTURES! Then they answer questions! And chat! And hold one another!
Si Spurrier, Kieron Gillen, Hazel Robinson

6.45pm - 8.00pm
Blurred Lines: boycotting & buying in
What's a fan to do when the people responsible for a comic you love do things you hate? We try to plumb the ethical minefield of purchase-as-support.
Dan Hart, Melissa T, Alasdair Stuart, David Tallerman, Hazel Robinson


Diversifying YA: youth voices on youth literature
Bijou Bar, 11:45am - 1pm
Join LGBTQAI+ and Comics Fandom for a discussion group - if you're a young adult, we want your opinions, voices and reaction selfies on young adult-oriented literature. We might also want a bit of lunch and a small amount of excitable squealing.
Tori Truslow, Hazel Robinson

1.30pm - 2.45pm
Never Just "Comic Book Guy": celebrating diverse comics fandom
Celebrating diverse comics fandom, defying stereotypes, encouraging participation and wondering when people will realise comics are for everybody.
Helena McCallum, Tony Keen, Nat Wilkinson, Misha Sumra, Kate McAlpine, Charlotte Geater, Hazel Robinson

3.15pm - 4.30pm
More-Than-Mild Peril: beyond sidekicks
Young adults and children in comics: from fridges to firefights, legacy, parents and representation.
Louie Stowell, Kate McAlpine, Emma Vieceli, Malin Ryden, Melissa T, Heather Wickson, David Tallerman, Nat Wilkinson, Charlotte Geater

5.00pm - 6.15pm
A/Romantic: asexuality in comics
A panel discussion on presentations of asexuality in comics - presumption and celebration; followed by comics artist Emma Vieceli (BREAKS, Young Avengers, Vampire Academy) discussing the ins and outs of drawing desire
Michelle Howe, Emma Vieceli, Charlotte Geater

6.45pm - 8.00pm
Gutter Spills: comics across other media
How to (not?) make concepts that work in comics work in films, TV, prose and fanfic.
Si Spurrier, Alasdair Stuart, Roz Kaveney, Jenni Cole, Kate McAlpine and the Captain America: The Winter Soldier junior novelisation

We'll be based in room Royal A at the Radisson: see you there!