September 3rd for UK and Ireland’s first comics barcamp


The date has been confirmed for the second Comics Barcamp in the English speaking world. The venue is Blick Studios in Belfast, who are also co-sponsoring the event. Announced in the week following 2d, Christine James of Blick and Andy Luke confirmed the date yesterday.

A barcamp is essentially an “unconference”, a creative business brainstorming seminar, run along communal lines. The communal element is essential, because if a set number of people don’t take part, barcamp doesn’t happen. It relies on advance planning, but has an improvisational element that keeps the energy fresh. It also generally has reverberating effects after the event such as a web-streamed presentations and blogging.

While employing a plethora of talented imagineers, the comics industry is known to produce mostly bland generic vanity work; rarely sensually relevant, often linked with class trappings. Much like most other media industries. Until recently. the format of comics conventions has remained much the same as it has for over thirty years. Creators are largely used to invites with guest focus promotion, more often being told what to speak on.

Can Comics Barcamp really change that?

With around six weeks to go and little discussion, it remains to be seen if this barcamp will work. Irish comic industry expansion in recent years indicates the gain from events like this could be considerable.

Confirmed attendee, Andy Luke, refused to be drawn into a lone voice mentality, and has invited his imaginary friend to speak on his behalf.

“The possibilities of what Barcamp could achieve are incredible, for humans, autobots and decepticons alike. We must work TOGETHER to raise the credits for this TALK among ourselves and construct fantastical presentations only existent in our imaginations. This is a new day for Cybertron, and for Earth. A FREE BARCAMP. The Living Matrix only knows. Or the AllSpark. Whatever.”

It is unknown if Optimus Prime will attend Comics Barcamp. His enemy Starscream, also lives in some people’s heads, and also supports the idea.

“The universe is ours, rich for the plunder! Now… WHERE IS MY FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE TABLE OF COMICS CREATORS TALKS?”

Barcamp starts now.

Register for the event
Discussion Group (as well as ICN’s forum)

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