Last Saturday I paid my first visit to the ELCAF Festival in Bethnal Green, London.
The event is always flagged on the calendar for Small Press Comic Creators from the UK and all over the world to tout their wares.
Hosted by Nobrow, it has more of a hipster feel to it than Thought Bubble but even an old square like me didn’t feel too out of place!
There were queues outside and the hall itself was packed to the gills.
ELCAF Poster
Bob, my trusty partner in comic crime and I went purely for a look around and meet up with various friends. The talks were for the most part booked up. I would have loved to have been able to attend the Chris Ware talk. He is an American comic artist and giant of the independent comic scene. He also designed this year’s poster.
Saw some familiar faces on the Self Made Hero stall… David Hine and Mark Stafford still going strong with “The Man Who Laughs“, Rob Davis‘ “Don Quixote” and Jake’s “Hellraisers” all doing good business. Although I didn’t see him, Ian Culbard was there with his new book “Celeste“.
Woodrow Phoenix was on the Blank Slate table with “Napoleon” amongst other works. I’m looking forward to seeing his giant one-off comic work on display at the British Library soon. Another face from the recent Myriad Prize evening was Ilya, who I spent time talking with about the importance of self promotion, even when your work is published.
Got to meet the prolific Darryl Cunningham who produces informative, important work in a really engaging way. He signed my copy of “Science Tales“, which I had on me. Also had a chance to meet Adam Caldwell of Great Beast publishing who are producing a range of terrific comics including his own “Blood Blokes“… his twist on the vampire genre which is original and very funny.
Two of my comic journo friends were also there. Andy Oliver from Broken Frontier will soon have to clone himself, as he is in such demand and lovely Alex Fitch from Panel Borders.
And then I also spent a good deal of time in the very inviting bar area outside with two of my ‘collaborators to be’ Philip Ebbrell and Bryan Lea. It was so hot you really had to go around the fair in shifts.
As per usual, came out with more goods than I’d intended to buy but what can you do? There are worse vices!
Think I will definitely try to get myself a pitch there next year.
Might have to grow a beard!

About Jessica

Jessica Martin is a multi-talented performer whose career has taken her from comedy impressionist to musical theatre leading lady and scriptwriter.
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