graphic brighton

University brings stars of the comics world to Brighton for two-day festival

The Graphic Brighton festival returns with two days of talks and workshops on 27-28 May – including the debut of Michael Rosen’s new graphic novel.

A presence on the city’s cultural calendar since 2014, the festival is organised by University of Brighton’s comic book researcher Alex Fitch alongside Barbara Chamberlin (Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science). Events will take place at the University’s City Campus building on Edward Street, mixing talks, panel discussions, book signings and workshops – and all events can be booked for free!

This year’s festival focuses on comics for younger audiences in the 21st century. Recent years have seen a resurgence in children’s comics with new titles such as The Phoenix, 2000AD Regened and Monster Fun. Alongside manga and graphic novels aimed at younger readers, this new wave of comics are pulling in a fast-growing young audience.

Among those sharing insights over the two days are Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen and cartoonist Cole Henley (You’re Thinking About Tomatoes), recent Comics Laureate Hannah Berry, Sally Kindberg (The Comic Strip History of the World), Woodrow Phoenix (Donny Digits), Bob Molesworth (Star Wars Lego comic), Matt Baxter (The Phoenix), and Coco Kirkland (Project: Immortality).

Attendees can hear Michael Rosen talk about the new graphic novel version of his book You’re Thinking About Tomatoes on Saturday 28 May (3pm), as well as having a chance to get their hands on the first copies available to the pubic.

On 27 May, University of Brighton lecturer and award-winning audio producer Lance Dann will team up with Hannah Berry to talk about the award-winning series The Rez, which uses science fiction stories to promote kindness and resilience for kids. On 28 May, meanwhile, there will be a comics-making workshop run by young graphic novelist Coco Kirkland, who had his first graphic novel published when he was just 16 years old!

Academic speakers include Dona Pursall from University of Ghent, who will talk about her work on censorship in Children’s comics, which recently won the 2021 Sabin Award for Comics Research.

Alex Fitch, PhD researcher in the University of Brighton’s School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering, said: Graphic Brighton is unique in mixing together people who make comics with academics and the public in a friendly environment that allows people to chat to – and about – their favourite writers and artists.

“We’re proud that this year’s event features two University of Brighton graduates who have enjoyed huge success.  Hannah Berry [BA Illustration] was the Comics Laureate between 2019 and 2021, while Woodrow Phoenix [MA Sequential Design & Illustration] has worked on animation for Disney and the Cartoon Network alongside his own comics work.”“G

Full programme details and booking links for Graphic Brighton 2022:

Graphic Brighton is funded by the University of Brighton’s Centre for Arts and Wellbeing, along with the Widening Participation and Outreach Department. 

Twitter: @GraphicBrighton


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