Sunderland’s graphic novel expo hopes to draw in the crowds

Wonderlands is returning to the city in June.
Wonderlands is returning to the city in June.
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Sunderland will turn Wonderland when a UK Graphic Novel Expo returns to the city.

For the third year running, Wonderlands will celebrate graphic novel artists at the top of their field with a day of panels, workshops and events.

Hosted at University of Sunderland’s CitySpace on Saturday, June 3, the event will see presentations from artists including John Wagner (2000AD), John Higgins (Watchmen) and Martin Rowson (The Guardian).

In addition, the workshop programme will feature sessions with Nigel Auchterlounie (The Beano), Nigel Dobbyn (Sonic the Comic) and Jeff Anderson (2000AD).

Paul Callaghan, from The MAC Trust, said: “The MAC Trust are delighted to be running Wonderlands again this year. Events like this, bringing world class and internationally recognised artists to Sunderland, are at the core of everything we’re trying to achieve in the city.

“Wonderlands is always an exciting and action packed day, and we’re grateful for Arts Council England and the University of Sunderland’s support in bringing it back to Sunderland for a third time this June.”

Daniel Clifford, programme assistant, said: “There is a growing comics scene in the North East and we’re pleased to be hosting some of the most exciting writers and artists from the region at Wonderlands, as well as some of the UK’s best loved creators.

“This year we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of 2000ad with (2000ad guests) and encouraging more younger people to get involved in comics and graphic novels with some of the best all-ages creators the UK has to offer.

“Lee Robinson, who has worked on titles including The Phoenix Weekly Story Comic and King Fu Panda will be working with school pupils around Sunderland to create their own comic strips, and delivering workshops throughout the day on Saturday, June 3 along with sessions by the Beano’s Nigel Auchterlounie, Sonic the Comic legend Nigel Dobbyn and Icelandic creator Ingi Jensson.” -

Throughout the day, the Publishers’ Hall will be open, offering the opportunity to meet artists and authors including Mack Chater (Briggs Landing), Neil Slorance (The National), Tim Perkins (Wizard’s Keep) and artists from Analogue Press and Paper Jam Comics Collective, amongst many others.

•The event is free of charge, and runs from 10am-5pm on Saturday June 3.