Wonderlands: Sunderland to host graphic novel convention

Bryan Talbot
Bryan Talbot
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NOVEL enthusiasts are expecting a graphic display as a festival makes its city debut.

Wonderlands - The UK Graphic Novel Expo will see Sunderland University’s City Space play host to discussions, guest speakers and interactive workshops.

The free event is being led by Bryan Talbot, an award-winning author and illustrator who lives in the city, who is working alongside the Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust and the university.

A publisher’s hall will be set up, representing a range of large, well-established firms to small press, with the city’s branch of Waterstones also backing the day.

Bryan, who is famed for his graphic novels including Alice in Sunderland and has illustrated Judge Dredd, said: “Wonderlands will be a unique event celebrating the form of comics-as-books.
 “Britain has had comic conventions for decades but here, at last, is a book fair dedicated to graphic novels – the fastest-growing area of book publishing for the last eight years.

“We will be showcasing the full range of what the medium has to offer, from autobiography and memoir, to heroic fantasy, reportage, satire, romance, young adult fiction and humour.”

Wonderlands will be a unique event celebrating the form of comics-as-books.

Bryan Talbot

Wonderlands will be one of several MAC Sunderland events to be delivered as it acts as a catalyst, developer and promoter of cultural activities within the city.

Others on the bill include Posy Simmonds, who was behind the Tamara Drewe comic strip before it was turned into a film, with authors who have worked on Batman novels also lined up to attend.

Hannah Matterson, fund-raising and event development officer for MAC Trust, said: “This is the first MAC Sunderland event which we will be delivering in the city and we’re really pleased to be bringing such a prestigious and exciting event to Sunderland.

“Graphic Novels offer something for everyone and we hope that our audience enjoy the programme for the day.”

The event at City Space in Chester Road will be held on Saturday, May 30.

More details are available via www.wonderlands.org.uk.