Sunderland’s Graphic Novel Expo Returns – Wonderlands 2017

teaserbox_2463273344The U.K. Graphic Novel Expo returns, and the website is finally up. Wonderland 2017 takes place on Saturday 3rd June, CitySpace building, Chester Road, Sunderland. Free entry, as usual, and a bunch of guests, including John Wagner, John Higgins, Martin Rowson, Hannah Berry, Jade Sarsen, Tim Perkins, Geoff Anderson and Bryan and Mary Talbot.

Here’s a look at the previous two years’ events.

Here’s who you’ll find there…

Analogue Press

The Analogue Press is a small press publisher of comic books. Based in the North East of England, we aim to showcase the best in local and national talent. We are dedicated to producing beautifully designed comics with the highest possible production values.Our first publication is Radio On, an annual anthology of graphic storytelling based loosely around the theme of music, and we’ve just released our third Broadcast.We’ll be stocking all three Broadcasts of Radio On, as well as publications and prints from our friends and contributors.

Jeff Anderson

Jeff Anderson was an artist for Judge Dredd and 2000AD.  In the 1980s, he worked for Marvel UK as an artist on the UK line of Transformers’ comic books.  First as an inker, but later also as a penciller. He has released the graphic novels ‘The Shadow’s Edge’ and ‘The Cutting Edge’ and two volumes of Riddler’s Fayre.  He spent nearly five years adapting the Bible to a graphic novel in ‘The Lion Graphic Bible’ in cooperation with writer Mike Maddox. During the last year he has just completed an adaptation of the New Testament which will be published later this year.

Yomi Ayeni

Yomi Ayeni is an award winning Transmedia creator, producer, filmmaker, and storyteller. His current project – Clockwork Watch – is a retro-futurist Steampunk / Victoriana story told across graphic novels, interactive theatre, online, and film. The story has so far spawned several graphic novels, immersive live events, exhibits at the Scottsdale Civic Library (Arizona), Royal Observatory (London) and a fictional online Victorian newspaper.
Yomi believes in mapping his stories to everyday life, and creates experiences that get his audience get close to the heart of the narrative. He is one of a few writers involved engaged in bringing a multicultural slant to the Steampunk genre, by exploring Victoriana outside the Great Britain.
Clockwork Watch is set in the Steampunk genre, at a time when mechanics is the most important technology in the world. When British society is promised something new, Her Majesty’s Government appoints a group of esteemed scientists to create a brighter future. They look to an Indian visionary for help. Chan Ranbir, Master Kineticist at Calcutta University – a man with dreams of a clockwork world.
Things soon go awry, the when lifelike clockwork servants created to do society’s bidding gain sentience, and demand their civil rights.

Hannah Berry

Hannah Berry is an almost-award-winning graphic novelist, writer, illustrator, occasional lecturer and editorial gun-for-hire, regular tutor for the Arvon Foundation and one-time Online Writer in Residence for Booktrust. Her critically acclaimed first graphic novel Britten & Brülightly was published by Jonathan Cape in 2008, with subsequent editions in the USA, Italy, Holland, France and Serbia. The French edition was chosen as part of the official selection for the 2010 Angoulême International Comics Festival. Her second graphic novel Adamtine was published in 2012 and she is currently working on a political satire, Livestock, both published by Cape. She has also contributed to numerous publications, including La Villa sur la Falaise, Hoax: Psychosis Blues (with Ravi Thornton), IDP:2043 (with Pat Mills), and Above the Dreamless Dead.

Castle Rock

Castlerock is the home of Edinburgh comic creator Bob Turner. Self publishing since 2014 Bob has recently completed his mini series DTHRTL (death rattle) a brightly coloured wordless epic poem.Website:castlerockcomic.bigcartel.comTwitter/Instagram:@castlerockcomic

Darryl Cunningham

Darryl Cunningham worked as a health care assistant on an acute psychiatric ward – an experience which inspired his book Psychiatric Tales (Blank Slate).
His book, Science Tales published by Myriad Editions, was shortlisted for Best Book, British Comics Awards 2012. Science Tales takes on controversies surrounding climate change, electro-convulsive therapy, the moon landing, the MMR vaccine, homeopathy, chiropractic, evolution, fracking and science denialism.

Supercrash: How To Hijack The Global Economy (Myriad Editions),  A book about the long rise of conservative politics in the Western world. It contains a biography of the novelist and political thinker, Ayn Rand, an overview of her influence on modern politics, and a detailed breakdown of the causes of the 2008 financial crisis. Want to know what derivatives are or how the collapse of the US housing bubble in 2008 caused a worldwide financial catastrophe? This book explains it all. He lives in Yorkshire.

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson is a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University specialising in teaching and research relating to comics, graphic novels, picturebooks and fiction for children. Her doctoral thesis was on British women’s memories of their girlhood comics reading.

Mel has also run training and promotional events about comics, manga and graphic novels for libraries, schools and other organizations since 1993 when she contributed to Graphic Account on developing graphic novels collections for 16-25 year olds, published by the Youth Libraries Group. Mel runs also training events on working with young adults in libraries and working with picture books.

Mel’s website

Alan Henderson

The Penned Guin comic strip features the fun antics of a funny group of penguins from the pen of writer/artist Alan Henderson. With family friendly humour for all the comics have covered topics as diverse as meeting other zoo animals through to choosing the right tie for a job interview.

Based in West Lothian, Alan started releasing the daily webcomic in early 2013 to the website – and this was followed by a number of self published collections.  Alan successfully crowd funded the Penned Guin Treasury Edition at the start of 2017 allowing the penguins to travel across the globe from New Zealand to a over the USA.

John Higgins

John Higgins is probably best known for his colour work on Watchmen. In 2005 he was invited to return to the world of Watchmen to oversee the digital re-colouring for the Absolute edition of the book. He was also involved inBefore Watchmen, co-writing and illustrating Curse of the Crimson Corsair in 2012.

John has worked as an artist, and sometimes writer, on such diverse characters as Judge Dredd, Batman and Jonah Hex.

At the end of the nineties John self-published the first issue of the acclaimed comic-book Razorjack, for which he was the sole creator, artist, writer and tea maker. In 2013 the collected edition of John’s creation Razorjackwas published by Titan Books.

Going back to DC/Vertigo for a new original series ‘Jacked‘ written by Eric Kripke in 2015 and he also found time to illustrate a special set of Royal Mail stamps ready for the 350thAnniversary of the Great fire of London in 2016.

2016 is also the year John has spent preparing an autobiographical art book ‘Beyond colouring Watchmen, the art of John Higgins‘ to be published by Liverpool University Press to coincide with a major retrospective exhibition of his work at the Victoria Gallery and Museum in Liverpool, opening in March 2017 running until October 2017.


Mary Talbot

Mary Talbot is an internationally acclaimed scholar of gender, language and power who now writes graphic novels. Her first, Dotter of her Father’s Eyes (with Bryan Talbot), won the Costa Biography Award in 2013. Her second, Sally Heathcote, Suffragette (with Kate Charlesworth and Bryan Talbot), came out in May 2014. The Spanish edition has received Best International Graphic Novel Awards from Gremio de Libreros de Madrid and Splash Segunt Cómic. Her third, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia (with Bryan Talbot) appeared in May 2016.

She has also collaborated with Kate Charlesworth on a chapter for the dystopian SF graphic novel IDP: 2043, with Alwyn Talbot on a short strip for Cross: A Political Satire Anthology and with Kate and Bryan again for an upcoming Amnesty International anthology.

Mary is a founder patron of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

Bryan Talbot

Winner of many comic awards, including an Eisner award, Le Prix SNCF and several Eagles, Bryan Talbot has been working in the medium for over thirty years. He’s produced underground and alternative comics, notably Brainstorm!, science fiction and superhero stories such as Judge Dredd, Nemesis the Warlock, Teknophage, The Nazz and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight.

He’s worked on DC Vertigo titles including Hellblazer, Sandman, The Dreamingand Fables and has written and drawn the graphic novels for which he is best known, including the first British graphic novel, The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, its sequel, Heart of Empire, The Tale of One Bad Rat, Alice in Sunderland, Cherubs! (with Mark Stafford) and Metronome. He is published in over twenty countries, is a frequent guest at international comic festivals, and has been was awarded with an honorary Doctorate in Arts and an honorary Doctorate in Letters.

His recent books are the Grandville series of anthropomorphic steampunk thrillers featuring Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard, a two-fisted badger with the deductive abilities of Sherlock Holmes. Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, the graphic novel he produced with his wife Dr Mary M Talbot, was the winner of the 2013 Costa Biography Award.

Their new collaboration, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, is published on May 5th.

Tim Perkins

Tim Perkins is an award winning comic illustrator and writer and has worked on comics as diverse as DARK DOMINION, TRANSFORMERS, THUNDERCATS, DOCTOR WHO, JUDGE DREDD, DREAMSTONE, EARTHWORM JIM, and HOT WHEELS for MARVEL, DC, 2000AD, DEFIANT, and TEKNO, amongst many others. He is also a concept artist/designer and writer for themed rides/attractions and animation. He is the founder/lecturer of the Fantasy Art Unlimited art course, which celebrated its 10th year in September 2014.

In 2005 he founded WIZARDS KEEP LIMITED, and the publishing imprint, WIZARDS KEEP PUBLISHING, home to the highly successful Worlds End concept. The “Science Fusion” graphic novel WORLDS END – VOLUME 1 – THE RIDERS ON THE STORM was launched in 2011.

2015 sees him working on the second volume, WORLDS END – VOLUME 2 – A HARD REIGN’S GONNA FALL. He currently resides in a leafy dell in the north of England with his wife, Margaret, his dogs Bentley and Pixie and their menagerie of other dogs, cats and fish. His daughter, Joanne has flown the Keep (pun intended) and now lives happily with her husband, Toby and their baby daughter, Phoebie and their pets, Lucy and Sox but a stone’s throw away – as has his son, Simon who is now living happily with his fiancée Amy, their future baby daughter, Peyton and their dog, Chiefy.

Links to Websites:

Martin Rowson

Martin Rowson is an multi award-winning political cartoonist, writer, illustrator and graphic novelist. Over the past 30 years his work has appeared regularly in The Guardian, the Daily Mirror, The Times, The Independent, The Spectator, The Morning Star and most other publications you can think of apart from The Sun (they never asked).

His books include graphic novel adaptations of T S Eliot’s The Waste Land, Laurance Sterne’s The Life & Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and Gulliver’s Travels, as well as a memori, Stuff, which was long-listed for the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize.

He was also Ken Livingstone’s Cartoonist Laureate for London (in exchange for 1 pint of beer per annum, still 6 years in arrears) and is currently a vice-president of the Zoological Society of London as well as being chair of the British Cartoonists’ Association. He’s currently working on all sorts of stuff.

Bryony Ryan

Bryony Ryan is a Digital Illustrator and a Masters student at Teesside University. She has particular interest in concept art, character design and sequential and narrative illustration.

Jade Sarson

Jade Sarson is a comic Artist/Writer and Illustrator. Creator of Cafe Suada (a teastained webcomic romance) and For the Love of God, Marie! (a sexy graphic novel about religion and love in the 60s). Winner of the 2014 Myriad First Graphic Novel Comp.

See her work on

Suzy Varty

Suzy Varty is a comic artist, first published in 1975 and part of the underground comix movement. She produced the first British women’s comic Heroine in 1978, going on to have work published in Virago and Penguin books, Wimmin’s Comix and Kitchen Sink Books in the USA, BBC and Thames TV publications, Knockabout and Fanny Comics UK and Blank Slate Books’ acclaimed Nelson among others.

Suzy directed an International Comic Art Festival as part of the Arts Council’s Year of Visual Art in the North East in 1996 and has delivered many artist’s residencies and literacy workshops using the comic medium. She also devised and ran Cartoon Courses for Newcastle University and HMP Frankland as well as inventing a comic on a billboard for Tyne and Wear Development Corporation.

John Wagner

John Wagner has written many US comic favourites, but it is for his work for the long-running British sci-fantasy comic 2000AD that he is best known, having co-created future lawman Judge Dredd as well as a host of other memorable characters including Strontium Dog, RoboHunter and Button Man. In 2005 his Paradox Press graphic novel ‘A History of Violence’ was made into a major film.  His latest project is Rok of the Reds, the story of the world’s first alien footballer.

Wendy Wood

Wendy is a bunny obsessed webcomic creator and fan of all things cute. The creator of Gilbert and the Grim Rabbit and Commander Cottontail, she’s been posting comics online for the last ten years and has alongside her own comics has produced literally countless guest strips, having completely lost track of how many herself. 

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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