Dan Slott And John Tyler Christopher Come To ICE, Birmingham This September

by Oliver MacNamee

No sooner has the dust settled on the last large comic convention in the capital, London Super Comic-con (LSCC), than eyes turn to Britain’s second city, Birmingham, and International Comic Expo (ICE). It’s a smaller event that LSCC but one that packs a pretty big punch, and organiser Shane Chebsey was in town over the weekend promoting the show with the help of some keen cosplayers and some rather unseen Bullring Shopping Centre security guards.

The prominent statue of the Bull–not too dissimilar to that in Wall Street, but here commemorating what this Mecca to shopping use to be in the Middle Ages (that’s right, a cattle market)–is a big draw, but in recent years it’s been cordoned off to prevent people from taking their picture sitting, or straddling, on top of it’s mighty frame. But, the gung-ho gang of cosplayers decided it was too good a chance to pass up and after a quick rush to the locally famous statue, a few snaps were had.

It helped that representatives from Nando’s (think, a posh KFC, and you’ve got it) who were there sponsoring the bull that day were clearly comic book fans and were quick to allow the group to pose. Well, for a while anyway, until the security guards politely asked them to move. And they were polite too, it has to be said.

As for the show? As well as Dan Slott–who I have the pleasure of interviewing as one of the spotlight panels of the day (shameless plug) there is Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Ian Richardson (2000AD), Simon Myers (who provided the art for this year’s poster) and, in his only UK appearance, John Tyler Christopher (Star Wars), who will be signing the exclusive Venomverse #1 comic ICE has managed to sort out via Diamond Distribution UK as well as anything else you might have. The full guest list can be seen here.

It’s a small show, but with big ideas and even bigger names. If you’re in Brum on September 9th, why not pop on by to The Holiday Inn on Queensway and bag an exclusive or two and support a local show? I’ll be by the bar calming my nerves ahead of talking to Slott.