‘Off The Mark’ Launches Comic & Art Exhibition With John McCrea, Laura Howell And Hunt Emerson

by Olly MacNamee

Birmingham is the home of Europe’s largest regional library and, as of Tuesday evening, the home of the art exhibition to accompany the launch of locally produced anthology one-shot, Off The Mark.
Coming off the backend of the very successful comic book course, Comic Creative Catalyst, run by, amongst others, John McCrea (Hitman, Dead Rabbits), Laura Howell (The Beano, Regular Show) and Mark Farmer (The Avengers, Uncanny X-Men), the Class of 2018 were all there to toast the course and launch both the comic and the exhibition, which is running for the next two weeks at The Library of Birmingham.

Speaking with McCrea, he informed me that a second class will no doubt be launched next year, sometime in September with a launch at Birmingham’s comic-focused con, International Comics Expo (ICE). It was a very popular course with artists from all walks of life, working in animation, education and indie comics in their day jobs, while working on their course homework diligently through the evening, with tutorials running every other Sunday throughout the summer this year.

The plan now is for each of the graduating students to take their share of the spare books and promote them through such cons as MCM Comic Con and Thought Bubble, with several artists telling me they were already looking into booking tables at these events, and others, throughout next year. If you do catch any of the 14 string class, do check out their book. I dare say, for many, it’ll act as a good calling card too, when trying to butter up comic book editors. And why not?
Speaking with artists Simon Myers, Okse and Rory Ambrose at the launc,h they really felt they’d gained a great deal and a new found confidence, too. Look out for them, and the other class mates in the future, comic book fans.
If you’re in Birmingham, maybe visiting Britain’s oldest German Christmas Market, then do pop in. And, look out for copies of Off The Mark throughout next year at UK cons up and down the country.

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