|poster by Joe Kessler|
UK comics publishing outfit Breakdown Press are pushing ahead with the announcements: after the successful launch of the English edition of Seiichi Hayashi's Flowering Harbour, the first in what is set to be a series of alternative manga translations, they've now organised their very own comics event/con: Safari Festival. Like much of what the impressive but still-fairly-fledgling imprint does, it reflects a considered approach about what they aim to represent and offer:
'Safari Festival is a celebration of the new wave of alternative and art comics from the UK and beyond. Taking place over one Saturday at the end of August, the festival is an opportunity for a curated group of cartoonists and publishers to exhibit and sell their artwork, prints and, primarily, comics, and for attendees to experience the best of UK comics’ avant-garde. The artists exhibiting have been selected for their innovative, fearless, diverse approaches to making comics; approaches to cartooning that Safari intends to champion.'
The festival will be free to attend, and is due to take place from 11am to 6pm, on August 30th, and will be located at Protein, the new Shoreditch gallery space of the London-based creative agency. Exhibitors in attendance so far include: Breakdown Press (Joe Kessler, Antoine Cossé, Zoë Taylor), Comic Book Slumber Party, Comics Workbook, Decadence Comics (Lando), Donya Todd, Eyeball Comix, Famicon Express (Leon Sadler, Stefan Sadler, Jon Chandler), Ferry Gouw, Grace Wilson, Jack Teagle, Jazz Dad Books, Joseph P Kelly, Landfill Editions (Hugh Frost), Laura Callaghan, Rob Flowers, Space Face Books (JMKE), with more to be announced.
I was expressing the hope of seeing more distinctive comics festivals cropping up on the UK comics scene in my ELCAF report, and this looks like it fits the bill, with it's clear focus on the more experimental and avant garde- fantastic to see it's going to be free, as well. Breakdown Press continue to impress, and their existence is a very true indicator of the strength, variety, and promise of the UK comics scene right now. You can keep abreast of any further announcements and details via the Safari Festival website.