SMALLZONE EVENTS 

 

ICE BIRMINGHAM / COMICS UNCOVERED / ICE BRIGHTON/ MARGATE COMIC ART FESTIVAL / CONSULTATION SERVICE

Smallzone are a non profit group who run dedicated events aimed at those with an interest in the medium of comics and sequential art. We have been doing this in one form or another for over 11 years now and our mission to bring the magic of comic art to the masses. Below are some of the event that we have organised in the last few years both independently and for our partners. If you are organising a comic convention and you would like help finding guests or a suitable venue, managing your budget, or creating panels drop us a line at: smallzone.events@gmail.com
PREVIOUS EVENTS...

ICE BIRMINGHAM 2017

 

With a change to a new venue, the wonderful BCEC on Hiill Street, which was right next door to the local comic shop Nostalgia & Comics as well as being a five minute walk from New Street station and joined to our guest Hotel, we enjoyed our most successful International Comic Expo since the event started in 2014, with our highest attendance ever and incredibly positive feedback from the hundreds of fans who came along and enjoyed this very special day, of comics and fun.

We were joined by some of the biggest names in comics such as Spider-man writer Dan Slott and Star Wars cover artist John Tyler Christopher from the states as well as icons of the UK industry including Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, the legendary John Bolton and Preacher and American Gods cover painter Glenn Fabry to name just a few. We saw a huge amount of families and young readers at this year's show and it was great to see the next generation of comics fans being guided to the wonders that only the comic medium holds.

We have to thank our friends at Diamond Distribution UK too who supported the event with sponsorship enabling us to make the expo a truly memorable occasion.

And not only was ICE Birmingham 2017 full of great artists and writers, dealers, and publishers it also saw some of the most colourful cosplayers descending upon the city as this year over 30 official cosplayers were welcomed along to help us promote the event in the city before and during the event. We cannot thank everyone one them enough for their tireless work to bring a sense of fun and flashes of colour to the show as they happily posed for photos for fans and helped to give the whole event an incredible family friendly atmosphere.

 

THE ICE SUMMER SPECIAL 2017

 

 

This year saw the first ever ICE Summer Special hosted in the famous south coast city of Brighton. As always the event brought some of the biggest names in comics to our shores and highlighted some of the incredible home-grown talent too. With over 50 indie creators, 20 professional guests and 10 tables of dealers selling collectables and back issues, there was something for everyone. As expected Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons and 2000ad legend Pat Mills (pictured above) were the main attractions. The show also welcomed American colour artist Matt Hollingsworth, who carried out an exclusive colouring demo for the those attending the show, which attracted both fans and fellow professionals eager to learn how the award winning artist creates his signature tones and textures in some of the industry's top titles like Daredevil and Seven To Eternity.

This event also saw a large increase in kids, families and cosplayers attending, which gave it real family friendly atmosphere, whilst also ensuring lines of happy fans getting the chance to meet legends like Liberatore and Lew Stringer and hot modern artists like ICE MAN's Alessandro Vitti and the uber talented Ben Oliver.

We were also honoured to be visited by Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston, who filmed the video above and TV star Jonathan Ross, who popped his head in, we were told, to see what all the fuss was about.

 Thanks to Leonard Sultana for the great photos.

 

 

COMICS UNCOVERED 2016

This year saw the International Comic Industry Conference play host to some of the biggest names in the industry as they gave generously of their time to impart the benefits of their combined decades of experience as writers, artists and editors.

Guests included the legendary Carl Potts, Dark Horse Comics Senior Editor Philip Simon and from Aftershock Comics we welcomed their Creative Director Joe Pruett. Artists imparting their knowledge included Marvel and DC artist Declan Shalvey and veteran artists such as John McCrea and Gary Erskine who both ran art workshops.

For the first time, joining our colouring and inking master classes, by Peter Doherty and Cam Smith respectively, was a lettering master class from Bambos Georgiou of Aces Weekly fame. Along with the Writer's and Editor's workshops from the likes of Simon Furman, Tony Lee and Tim Pilcher the conference ensured every discipline for the professional creation of comics was covered... or should we say "uncovered".

 

Photos by Leonard Sultana - used with kind permission check out the full photostream at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anenglishmaninsandiego/with/29695678775/

Also Check out this TV news report here: https://youtu.be/fL0PRl2Zm7w featuring interviews with the organiser and Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz.

THE INTERNATIONAL COMIC EXPO 2016

This was a very big year for ICE. We invited over 45 star guest artists and writers to attend the expo and another 30 or so requested to join us as attending professionals. That meant that on the day fans were able to meet over 75 professional writers and artists. The event really established itself as a leading light in the British Comic Industry and beyond, with our continued focus entirely on the wonderful medium of comics and continued diverse selection of exhibitors.

The two event schedules through the day included major book launches including Star Wars Producer Gary Kurtz's big reveal of his new comic and TV series The Chimeran and Simon Furman and Geoff Senior's new web comic and graphic novel "To The Death". Much to the delight of fans there was a huge charity auction supported by our sponsors CBCS and hosted by 2000ad artists and designer Peter Doherty, offering unique items that raised 1000 for our chosen charity Beanstalk.

The event received coverage from TV, Radio, printed press and online media with glowing reviews across the board from such renowned websites as A Place To Hang Your Cape and Bleeding Cool. This meant our exhibitors and guests were able to gain incredible national and international exposure and we were able to take huge steps forward in achieving our ongoing goals of promoting the wonderful and diverse medium of comics to an ever expanding audience. Not only that, but it was done within a fun and stylish atmosphere that was accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds across the country.

Check out these links for unbiased reporting and reviews from the event:

 

THE SHREWSBURY INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL 2016

This was our first major event that we organised on behalf of a client. Entry to this ground breaking outdoor festival was absolutely FREE and run in conjunction with the famous Shrewsbury Fields Forever Music, Art and Comedy Festival from Friday 15th - Sunday 17th July at the beautiful Quarry Town Park in Shrewsbury Shropshire.

A bold new undertaking, The Shrewsbury International Comic Art Festival was the first event in the UK to ever bring comics to a large mainstream audience via a major music and arts festival. Attended by a diverse crowd of 1200, including families, fans and curious locals, as well as a host of top international guests  and exhibitors from the world of comics, this true outdoor festival delivered a very different experience to the usual indoor arenas that comic conventions inhabit.

Over three days of blistering sunshine in our giant space age tent surrounded by a fun fair, disco dome and food vendors, we were treated to a full program of panels from industry legends such as Howard Chaykin, Joey Cavalieri and John Wagner plus super star creators like John McCrea, Robbie Morrison, Andy Diggle, Doug Braithwaite, Barry Kitson and Roland Boschi to name just a few.

There was evening entertainment too with acoustic music on the Saturday and Sunday and full on site bar. Hundreds of festival goers enjoyed their first experience of a comic event and hard core fans revelled in the chance to chat with their idols without having to queue.

The aim of this festival was always to bring new readers and new interest to the comics medium and we did just that in spades thanks to the huge support of our guests, exhibitors and of course the team at Forever Invasion, who worked just as hard as we did to bring the international magic of comic art to the county town of Shrewsbury.

The weekend was rounded off with entertainment from local musician Andy O'Brien and top comedians like Adam Rowe and Alun Cochrane presented and compared by the brilliant Danny McLoughlin, which was the perfect end to what had been a truly spectacular free festival in the sun. 

 

 

COMICS UNCOVERED 2015

 

The International Comic Industry Conference returned for it's second year and was held on Sunday September 6th

The conference included portfolio reviews from DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics and Titan Comics, master classes, workshops, seminars and an evening networking party.

Guest speakers included Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, DC Comics Group editor Jim Chadwick, Image, Dark Horse and Marvel colourist Jordie Bellaire, and Watchmen and Kingsman artist Dave Gibbons plus many more.

This was a very successful event and saw a 100% increase in delegates attending from the previous year. It was also the first time we managed to entice Dark Horse Comics to be involved when we invited Editor Jim Gibbons along.

He delivered and excellent talk about breaking into comics and worked tirelessly all day long reviewing artist portfolio and hearing pitching ideas from writers and creative teams.

We also saw the first ever UK appearance from new American Publishers Aftershock Comics. Editor In Chief Mike Marts made the trip over the Atlantic to search for new talent here in Britain.

 

THE INTERNATIONAL COMICS EXPO 2015

This was a huge year for ICE. We doubled our attendance from the previous year and welcomed over 30 guests to the expo form all over the world. Huge names from the world of comics attended including Bob Layton, Charlie Adlard, Dave Gibbons and the legendary inker Joe Rubinstein.

The corridors and exhibition halls teamed with excitement and anticipation as fans and creative people of all ages and all walks of life soaked up the electric, fun atmosphere. Exhibitors included face painters, publishers, top dealers and artists. There really was something for every type of fan, from the curious to the connoisseur.

We were also treated to two full programs of events delivered by Paul H Birch and Geek Syndicate. Here is a video link giving you a taster of what happened in the panels plus a photo from the exclusive Aftershock Comics panel featuring Editor In Chief Mike Marts:

 

 

THE INTERNATIONAL COMICS EXPO 2014

ICE 2014 was a hugely successful convention with an abundance of guest creators and exhibiting publishers, retailers and artists on show.

The weekend kicked off with a VIP meal for the guests at ZIz Zi's in Birmingham. In the morning we put together 150 amazing goodie bags for our early bird visitors.

Thanks to Nostalgia & Comics and Diamond Distribution for supplying us with bags and goodies, including some hardback Graphic Novels!!

The Convention then continued with a relaxed, yet atmospheric, day of fun, art and comics and ended with another VIP evening with guests and dedicated fans at the wonderful Roof Garden Bar within the venue.

We've had amazingly positive feedback from you all and we are looking to make ICE 2015 even better!!

 

COMICS UNCOVERED 2014

This year's Comics Uncovered conference was also a huge success. We were lucky to have so many experienced professionals on hand to share their knowledge with budding creators.

Comics Uncovered 2014 was supported by DC Comics, Titan Comics, Gazelle Books, Humanoids UK and Diamond Comics who all sent delegates to meet with creators and publishers. The conference was also supported with public funding from the Arts Council of England.

The day was packed with Talks, Seminars, Workshops, Master Classes and Art Demos, as well as one to one portfolio reviews and meetings. Guest speakers included DC Comics Editor Joey Cavalieri, Humanoids Editor Tim Pilcher and Legendary artist Steve Rude.

There were also colouring classes from DC and Marvel colourist and editor Marie Javins and events for writers hosted by Tony Lee and Ian Edginton.

Next year we'll have more editors taking part and even more artist and writers.

 

THE VIP MEET AND GREET WITH STEVE RUDE AND SURPRISE GUEST ROLAND BOSCHI 2014

This was a very special event held at Nostalgia & Comics on the Thursday evening before the Expo and fans had a rare opportunity to chat, one on one, with the legendary artist and get sketches and comics signed.

Steve was joined later in the evening by French Marvel artist Roland Boschi, who also happily sketched away for fans late into the night.

A huge thank you to Dave and Dave at Nostalgia & Comics for hosting the event, to both artists and to the fans who turned up to make it so special.

We hope to hold more special VIP events like this before future shows.

 
OUR PARTNERS AND SPONSORS, WITHOUT WHO'S HELP WE COULD NOT HAVE BROUGHT YOU THESE AMAZING EVENTS:

BUY COMICS  @  THE SMALLZONE SHOP, ALL PROFIT FROM SALES GO TO OUR EDUCATIONAL EVENTS & CONFERENCES