Wednesday, July 06, 2005

COMICS NATION PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Press Contact: Barry Renshaw, editor@enginecomics.co.uk

COMICS NATION:
NATIONWIDE UK COMICS EVENT AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Never before have comic books been so present in the public eye, with the ever increasing success of big budget movie adaptations of superhero icons, the proliferation of manga in popular culture and the growing interest in more non-genre specific independent titles such as Blankets and Persepolis in the broadsheet press. Although British mainstream audiences are starting to catch up with the rest of the world in exploring the potential available in the form, anyone passionate about comics knows there is so much out there to explore.
As such, an unprecedented nationwide event will take place on the Bank holiday weekend of Friday 26th to Monday 29th August 2005 to raise awareness of the medium, as part of a year long promotion of the vast amount of talent on our own shores. Lead by Accent UK Press and Smallzone Distribution, the 365 Day Comics Nation reflects the activities of over sixty independent publishers and even more individual creators who have already been involved in cartoon workshops, signings, reading and discussion groups, panels and exhibitions over the last few years. For the first time these will be coordinated on the same weekend, taking place in galleries, libraries, comic shops and book stores across the country, engaging the public in fun activities.
“We had a long tradition of newsstand comic books in this country until the early Nineties,” says Accent UK and Redeye Magazine editor Barry Renshaw, one of the organisers. “Due to the economics of the time, dozens of titles for all ages, genders and tastes disappeared until only a handful remained. Whereas the rest of Europe, Japan and America have enjoyed a progression of the form in the public eye, and more importantly, widespread distribution, the UK comics industry instead has not developed the way it could have.”
Creators looking for an outlet have instead looked abroad for job opportunities or have turned to independently producing, printing and distributing their own works in small numbers, and have not had the opportunity to find their full audience. “It’s certainly not due to a lack of quality or talent, just simply availability,” believes Barry. “With this event we hope to re-educate the public of what great material is out there, get them involved in making their own, while supporting local retailers and arts centres.”
A number of events, individually organised by creators in their own local areas, have already been scheduled with many more to follow. The organisers encourage pros, amateurs, readers, retailers, anyone with a passion in comics to become involved, and invite them to visit comicsnation.blogspot.com for further information on how to do so.
For any further information or media please contact Barry Renshaw at editor@enginecomics.co.uk.

About Accent UK:
Formed in November 2002 by the lead creators of Deva Comics, Engine Comics and M56 Comics, the Accent UK collective combined to produce an annual US format anthology which has since garnered much critical acclaim, award nominations and the attention of the entire UK indie community. Realising strength in diversity and cooperation, the group set in motion a more formalised support system, through collective convention appearances, workshops for local children, panels and sketching/signing sessions, while promoting through websites, cross advertising, and continuing to develop a healthy network of creators across the country and beyond. With publications such as the popular Rough Guide To Self Publishing and Redeye Magazine, AUK are an example of how to provide both an educational and promotional service to artists and writers looking to create their own independent comics. Visit the official website at www.accentukpress.co.uk.

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