“I want our Con to highlight and bring comics to the fore” organiser Kev Brett looks forward to Nottingham Comic Convention 2017

This October sees the return of the Nottingham Comic Convention, featuring a guest list packed full of awesome comic professionals alongside the best of the small press (including our good selves). So as we begin to look forward to this fantastic comics focused event, we catch up with organiser Kev Brett to find out more about why Nottingham is a convention you need to support and also get the lowdown on the new NCC Anthology, now funding on Kickstarter!

We’re a month away away from Nottingham, what can we look forward to and why should people be popping along to your convention?

Kev Brett: This year at Nottingham Comic Con we have some amazing guests (all from the comic book industry!), small press exhibitors, Q&A sessions, live music, short animated film screening, kid’s zone (for those little ‘uns), charity raffle and a load more.

It’s a whole lot of family fun with a focus on comics!

Courtesy of Tom and Charlotte Martin

What guests and events will you be having this year?

KB: Our guests include Marc Laming (Marvel legend!!), Roger Langridge (Eisner and Harvey Award winner), Jay Gunn (Titan), Neil Cameron (The Phoenix), Sarah Graley (Rick & Morty, Kim Reaper) plus a load more! We’ll be having Q&A sessions with some of the guests, the kids will have a comics Masterclass from Kev F Sutherland (Beano) as well as animated films and live music etc.

What inspired you to start a comic convention in the first place and how have you seen it evolve and grow in the process? What have been the key thing you have learnt along the way?

KB: I make my own comics and back in 2013 I applied for Thought Bubble, and didn’t get in. I looked around locally but couldn’t find anything, so I suggested to the wife we put on our own event. She’d always wanted to run charity events, so we put the two together. (You can read more in my comic The Making of a Comic Con)

Over the years it has grown in terms of exhibitors and visitors and we’ve learned a lot. One of the biggest things we’ve learned has been marketing. It is tricky without much money to pump into it, but with social media and word of mouth there are always options and directions you can go. Also don’t run before you can walk. I’m dreadful for getting an idea and just implementing it straight off, and a lot of times it can blow up in my face, so I’m trying to filter things now. Also, be nice to people and stick to your morals, otherwise you just become another money grabbing scrooge.

Courtesy of Tom and Charlotte Martin

It’s a busy time of the year with Thought Bubble, the Lakes and more, have you been at all affected by the big conventions changing dates this year?

KB: Not so much this year. Because of the venue we use, we can never get it on the same date each year, so we move slightly from week to week. Last year we clashed with MCM London and that had a big effect on us, especially with small press exhibitors. This year we do clash with the Lakes (which we’re gutted about to be honest) and has stopped a couple of guests coming to Nottingham, but there are enough AMAZING comic book creators out there for us to replace them.

You put an emphasis on comics rather than cosplay and celebs, is that a key factor of what makes Nottingham work as a convention? And will there be many books debuting at the con?

KB: Maybe…Our convention is comic book focussed and guests are from the comic industry. I love making comics, I love reading comics, that’s what interests me and that’s what I want our con to highlight and bring to the fore. There are enough “comic cons” out there that focus on Film and TV celebs, I feel that we are something different (in terms of the smaller cons – I appreciate there are a few out there such as ICE, Leamington, True Believers, that focus on comics as well).

There are a number of books premiering at NCC this year, including Perrywinkle by Susie Gander, The Late Knights by Jon Laight and Matt Stott plus, our event will mark the 10th anniversary for Time Bomb Comics, plus a load more.

You’re about to launch your second anthology on Kickstarter, what can we look forward to in that and what inspired you to create a comic to support your convention?

KB: I love putting together these anthologies. It’s amazing to ask someone to create something for your book and to see where they take it and what they create. Initially I just wanted something that we can do to raise money for our charities on the day and thought this was a great way for people to be introduced to new creators who they may never have seen before.

What creators have you got involved – are there any who you are particularly excited to have involved or who have produced particularly interesting contributions? And how did last year’s anthology go down?

KB: Last year’s anthology was a great success, selling a whole bunch and making a ton of money for charity. It also allowed me to show people that we actually can get these things made. That helps when asking people to contribute for future issues, as they can see we mean business.

We have some amazing contributors including, Marc Laming, Roger Langridge, The Etherington Bros., Laura Howell, Steve Beckett, Chris Baldie, Nick Prolix plus a whole load more (find out more on the Kickstarter page). I’m really chuffed about having everyone that’s involved, we’re really blessed that everyone said yes! I’m really pleased with the awesomeness of all the work, but I personally really love Emily Owen and Gav Mitchell’s Pup & Grumpicorn comic. 

And finally where can people get tickets from and find out mor info?

KB: Pop along to www.nottinghamcomiccon.co.uk for tickets and to find out more.

You can support the Nottingham Comic Con anthology on Kickstarter here.