High praise for the ‘best 2D yet’

From left, Captain John Donaldson, Professor Liz Stevenson and Batman Karl Dornan, volunteer performers from the Emerald Garrison Heroes and Villians, visiting Derry for the 2D Comic Book Festival at the Verbal Arts Centre. (0506PG11)

From left, Captain John Donaldson, Professor Liz Stevenson and Batman Karl Dornan, volunteer performers from the Emerald Garrison Heroes and Villians, visiting Derry for the 2D Comic Book Festival at the Verbal Arts Centre. (0506PG11)

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Artists, writers and visitors who attended last weekend’s 2D Northern Ireland Comics Festival in Derry have been singing the city’s praises following the biggest and busiest Verbal Arts Centre comics convention to date.

No.1 New York Times best-selling author Tony Lee (Dr Who, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), enthused about the three-day event on social networking sites.

“I have to say, 2D Comics Fest was one of the best cons I’ve been to,” Lee said. “Great organisation, fantastic vibe. Utterly wonderful and inspiring... Bravo. Definitely a bravo.”

Having travelled to Derry from the USA, Chris Ryall, US Editor in Chief/Head of IDW publishing (Transformers, True Blood, US Judge Dredd, Dr Who), was similarly impressed.

“The 2D Comics Fest was excellent. David Campbell organised a wonderful affair and managed to stay calm throughout! The 2D Festival was encouraging to kids in ways that other shows should adopt,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, artist and Derry regular, Garry Leach (Judge Dredd, The VCs, Miracleman, Dan Dare), said: “Of the hundreds of UK and US annual comicons, 2D continues to fill a totally unique niche.

“There may be bigger festivals, but 2D genuinely has the biggest heart and most honest intent. You’ll never find so many happy fans and guests in one venue. And just to top it all off, the evening guest talks are held at Sandinos, one of the best venues in Ireland... all round, an unmissable comic event!”

Leading podcaster Chris J. Thompson (PopCultureHound) said: “Can’t express how much I enjoyed the people & surrounds of 2D Comics Fest. Great to meet people so passionate about what they do.”

Fellow podcaster Aaron Abernathy (Sunnyside Comics) added: “I think 2D Comics Fest has the effect on me that church does for some - it helps reaffirm my faith.”

With thousands attending 2D over the three days, organiser David Campbell is thrilled with the success of this year’s festival, promising an even bigger 2D Comics Festival in 2013.

“We hoped this year’s 2D would be a good one, but it really exceeded our expectations and big thanks to everyone who attended,” David said. “We had great crowds and fantastic feedback from the public, guests and exhibitors and we’re really excited about what we’re planning for 2013.

“2D has a real focus on education and industry, with the opportunities it gives people to work with the best in the business, but we really want to engage with the next, younger generation of comic fans and cater for kids, something that a lot of other shows don’t do. Having so many families and kids at the Comics Fair was brilliant.

“Thanks to all the great artists who sketched on our drawing walls and entered our art competitions, some amazing talent out there! Massive thanks to the Verbal Arts Centre and James Kerr, for having the vision to support a unique event like 2D and also to our partners and sponsors - Arts & Business, DCAL, Derry City Council, Arts Council NI, Brunswick Moviebowl and Digital Derry.”

For more information, see: www.2dfestival.com