Wonderlands festival returns to Sunderland

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A major expo is returning to the city giving people the chance to leaf through the wonderful world of graphic novels.

After the success of the inaugural Wonderlands last year, the UK Graphic Novel Expo will be drawing in the crowds once more in May.

On May 28, University of Sunderland’s CitySpace in Chester Road will be transformed into an eye-catching display, attended by – and featuring the work of – some of the most successful graphic novelists in the world.

The programme is being curated by Bryan Talbot, who has written and drawn comics and graphic novels for more than 30 years. His best-known works include Judge Dredd, The Tale of One Bad Rat and Alice in Sunderland.

Also there will be The Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell, along with Doug Braithwaite, ­who has drawn just about every major character in both the Marvel and DC comics.

Bryan said: “Our first year was a huge success. Graphic novels are the fasted-growing area of publishing either side of the Atlantic and we found that the event attracted people from all walks of life, keen to see the world of those who exhibited.

“We really do hope to attract a bigger audience and to share with them the wonder of graphic novels.”

The event is free to attend, and includes a number of presentations, including a talk from Sha Nazir and Laurence Grove from Glasgow University on The Glasgow Looking Glass, which is regarded as the first mass-produced comic book that was published with illustrations.

Other presentations, talks and panel discussions will explore issues from self-publishing to the history of UK graphic novels.