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Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls; welcome to True Brit, a look at comics based in Great Britain and / or written by British creators. As a British comics reader I sometimes worry that British books and comickers get overshadowed by our American cousins, as everyone associates comics with The Big Two (or in this day and age the Big Three *waves at Image*) and when people think of British comics we tend to think of the Dandy and the Beano first and foremost. I am here to (hopefully) change that, and to introduce you all to a smorgasbord of British comics, maybe a few new titles, perhaps to remind you of some classics that you have read before.

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and a warm welcome back to True Brit. It’s a new year and a new start, with lots of comics goodness to look forward to in 2018. As well as plenty of new releases and ends of eras, there is a plethora of conventions in the UK, with a host of exciting guests already lined. Let take a dip into the water and see what’s coming up!

On the UK comics’ front, the biggest news has to be that the final year of Wicked & Divine begins in 2018, as we move out of the Imperial Phase and into the crescendo. After the sudden shocks of issue #33, anything could happen in the next 17 or so issues! Mike Carey and Peter Gross’s Highest House gets released, it’s a fantasy story about a slave boy meeting a god, and with the creative team behind The Unwritten on the book it’s sure to be a good thing. Last but by no means least, Vertigo will be blessing my life with Motherlands from personal favourites Simon Spurrier and Rachel Stott. I’m salivating already…

Motherlands #1 Cover Art

Not only do we have all that to look forward to in the first few months of the year, there is a swathe of conventions to attend, and with some of these already in my diary, I’d better start working on my cosplay:

May 2018 brings us the inaugural Portsmouth Comic Con, and with a host of top name stars already lined up to guest, including Walt & Louise Simonson, Rafael Albuquerque and Frank Quitely, it looks set to be a great weekend. I’ll be heading down for both days, and hope to see some of you there – let me know if you’ll be going and who you are looking forward to the most!

In June the International Comics Expo will once again be opening its doors in Cardiff, with Jon Davis-Hunt leading the line-up of guests that always features a lot of new and local talent as well as established stars. Wales is also hosting Wales Comic Con, which has a slew of guests from the entertainment and gaming worlds lined up.

I’m hoping that London Super Comic Con will be back in August, although they have yet to make any announcements following lasts years change of venue and extended days. Fingers crossed!

September sees the (hopefully triumphant) return of Meanwhile… in Chichester, as well as the convention that every UK creator I know of says is the best, Thought Bubble in Leeds. Already looking to be a top draw this year, guests already announced include Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott and Mags Visaggio. Not forgetting of course the famous mid-con disco, which usually sees a pair of “Wicked and Divine” DJs spinning some tunes

The previously controversial Lakes Comics Arts Festival will be back in October in the beautiful setting of Cumbria, hopefully they will have countered the issues from last year and will have a better reception this time around.

Also, MCM will be back all across the country again this year, although with a reduced range of events following their new owners Reed Pop, and have announced the following events: Birmingham (March), London (May), Manchester (July), and Glasgow (September).

Phew, with all that convention talk I think it’s time I took a short break. Here’s a brief interlude from Dani, Aicha and Iman, the young journalism students that I met at MCM in October 2016. They were lucky enough to interview Manu Bennet, star of Arrow and The Shannara Chronicles, and have sent through the following report (warning – may contain spoilers for Arrow season 5!)

Interview with Manu Bennett pt1  Interview with Manu Bennett pt2

Wow, thanks for that ladies, it’s always good to hear from the journalists of the future! Speaking of the future, it’s time to go back (did you see what I did there?) to our preview of the year cinematically we are blessed this year, with “Black Panther” (12 February), “Avengers: Infinity War” (27 April), “Aquaman” (December) and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” (December) and all hit to land. Plus we have the new Doctor gracing our screens in the autumn, and lots of new series scheduled on both Prime and Netflix – it’s going to be a busy year!

With all that, and no doubt more excitement to come, I’d say that we are all set for a pretty good geeky year in 2018. I’ll be back soon with your regular programming, but in the meantime keep reading those comics…

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