As the dust settles after Derry’s 2D Comics Festival, details have emerged of just how successful this annual comics event has become.
Thousands of people attended this year’s 2D, which not only had people from from all over the UK and Ireland, but attracted guests from as far away as New York, Berlin and even the Orkney Islands! And not just comic creators, but some of the world’s leading creatives.
Olly Moss, one of the most in-demand designers in the world, who recently created the official posters for the Oscars to celebrate their 85th anniversary, came along to Derry, as well as Robert Cullen, whose company create the award-winning Gumball cartoon for the Cartoon Network - and Frank Victoria, concept artist from the Hobbit!
The international line-up of guests was reflected in the audience, with a host of international visitors in attendance. Nick, an Icelandic comics fan now living in Sweden, travelled all the way from Sweden to visit Derry specifically for 2D! Ishmael and his friend travelled from Spain to visit 2D as they said they had heard so many good things about it and they wanted cult comic artist Garry Leach to sign the comics he had drawn! Now that’s dedication!
All workshops were packed to capacity, and the special 2013 Heroes & Legends and Force Training events went down a storm. Not forgetting that Magee Core Video Games Area had standing room only for most of the weekend.
2D is usually a good event for guests and exhibitors to promote and sell their work, but this year surpassed all expectations with many exhibitors completely selling out of stock and having record sales!
The amount of drawing and free sketches produced was also staggering, with Dr Who artist Mike Collins alone producing around 80 free sketches over the two days of the festival.
As always, some of the requests for sketches were hilarious, ranging from Superman to a Robot putting on trousers to Robocop playing the guitar! Only in Derry...
The international guests at 2D were enthusing via social media about their great weekend in Derry too.
Andy Diggle, a writer for Superman and Daredevil, said: “Awesome weekend at the @2DComicsFest in Derry. Fine folks all! Thank you guys.” Dan Berry, artist and leading UK Comics Lecturer, said: “Had so many amazing conversations with so many amazing people. Got a head full of ideas now.”
Chris Thompson, the leading comics journalist from Australia, said: “Can’t believe @2DComicsFest is over for the year. Great to see such a friendly, community-based event celebrating the Ninth Art.”
Jock, celebrated comic artist on Batman and the Batman Begins movie, said: “Had a great time @2DComicsFest. Great event. Thanks to everyone that came out to the show” and Roger Langridge, comic writer and artist for The Muppets and Popeye said: “@2DComicsFest Enormous thanks for a fun weekend and for treating us like kings. Very glad I came.”
Chris Judge, the children’s book illustrator responsible for The Brave Beast, said: “Thanks so much to everyone at @2DComicsFest for making it such an amazing weekend! Got to meet lots of heroes too,”.
Finally, Tula Lotay, comic artist and organiser of the Thought Bubble convention in Leeds, the UK’s largest comic show, said of the Derry comics festival: “Had an amazing time @2DComicsFest this weekend. The best show I’ve been to.”