26th October 2019
11:00 - 17:00
20 Scott Street, G3 6PE
Ghost Comics Festival aims to showcase a wide range of original, unique, and challenging work that promotes the potential and diversity of comics, visual narrative storytelling, and sequential art.
Portuguese cartoonist Joana Estrela (she/her) had her first graphic novel, Propaganda, published by Plana Press in 2014. The book has also been published in French by Vraoum Editions in 2015, and a second edition of the original version (in English) has been self-published by Estrela in 2018.
Propaganda follows Estrela's own daily life as a volunteer at the Lithuanian Gay League, helping to organise Baltic Pride. Her work is mostly focused on queer themes and often assumes the form of autobio and reportage comics.
Apart from being an excellent cartoonist, Joana Estrela is also an award-winning author and illustrator whose picture books have been published in Portugal by Planeta Tangerina.
At Ghost Comics Festival, Estrela will be launching a mini picture book title James's Dresses, which will be published by Glasgow's own O Panda Gordo.
After having taken part on the very first Ghost Comics Festival in 2018, Aki Hassan (they/them) & Nathaniel Walpole (he/him) are coming back as our local (very special) guests, and have been commissioned to design our poster for 2019.
Aki Hassan has been producing comics as part of a multi-disciplinary practice which includes performance, sculpture, and music, and is often concerned with the idea of self-discovery.
Nathaniel Walpole has been working mostly with watercolours and black ink in the creation of elaborate and intricate drawings that contain complex narratives often dealing with interpersonal relationships.
Together, they have founded Power Couple Press earlier this year with the intent of publishing and distributing their own work as well as the work of fellow artists, illustrators, and cartoonists. And they have been doing so in a way that is very generous and supportive to the people they work with.
Aki Hassan, Nathaniel Walpole, and Power Couple Press are a much valuable force in the Glaswegian and Scottish independent comics scenes and we are very happy to shine a spotlight on them at Ghost Comics Festival 2019.
Our curated comics fair features over 50 artists, collectives, and small presses from Glasgow, Scotland, the UK, and beyond!
The comics fair will take place on Saturday, the 26th of October, from 11:00 to 17:00, at the Assembly Hall of The Art School.
Here's the full list of exhibitors:
We're excited to offer four fun and accessible 1-hour workshops as part of our Ghost Comics Festival 2019. The workshops are all introductions to comic making, however each one of them will focus on a different specific approach.
Our tutors will cater to every skill level so you don't need to have previous knowledge of the topics being discussed. Materials such as pens, pencils, and paper will be provided on the day, although participants are welcome to bring their own if they wish to do so.
These workshops are open for anyone aged 16 or over and are limited to 12 participants each. We recommend booking them in advance by using the payment buttons below. If there are still places available, it will be possible to sign up on the day as well.
The workshops will take place on Saturday, the 26th of October, at The Art School, on their Project Rooms 1 and 2, located on level 2, which is accessible by lift.
Our workshops have been kindly sponsored by t-shirtcat, a Glasgow based company specialising in screen printing on t-shirts but happy to print on all sorts of garments.
Project Room 1, 13:00 – 14:00
An experimental comics workshop where instead of illustrating a story, we're going to make drawings and then find out the stories they can tell us. It'll be a collective exercise where we'll be drawing the same pictures and experiment with laying them out to see how different combinations result in different comics.
João Sobral (he/him) is a visual artist, cartoonist, editor, and independent publisher based in Glasgow who runs O Panda Gordo, a small press and distro dedicated to contemporary practices of comics and drawing. He has a soft spot for sweet losers who just want to love and be loved and that's why his drawings and comics are full of weird characters who are trying to find their place in the crazy world they live in. Sobral has been mostly self-publishing his work but has also been featured in several anthologies such as Komikaze (Croatia) and kus! (Latvia), and has been published by Bebel Books (Brazil). He's also co-founder of Ghost Comics Festival.
Project Room 2, 13:30 – 14:30
Join Jem Milton as we discuss ways of building fantasy worlds and characters, structuring a fantasy story, and using interesting approaches to starting a comic. Together we will generate a unique starting point for you to develop your own fantasy comic.
Jem Milton (he/him or they/them) is a comic artist and illustrator based in Glasgow. He's been working as a graphic facilitator for years and more recently as a mentor for the Scottish Book Trust. He makes and self-publishes diary comics and has been published by various small press groups such as One Beat Zines and Comic Book Slumber Party. Milton also works on an ongoing queer fantasy webcomic called The Flying Ship, which is inspired by Russian Folklore. Recent books include: The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks by Amy Kean – a bestselling ‘feminist handbook’ for the modern age; “Beyond This Place” – a collection of comics based on the stories of Edinburgh Women; and “Polly Who?” – a collection of diary comics about love, queerness and polyamory.
Project Room 1, 15:00 – 16:00
In this workshop, we will look at the unique and flexible ways that comics can represent time. We will play with the temporalities of our narratives to tell different kinds of stories that reject linear and progress-oriented approaches. Join us to see what different understandings and surprising effects we can create for the reader.
Esther McManus (she/her) is a visual artist and self-publisher, who is interested in learning and working with others. Alongside her own comics she takes part in several collaborative projects including Temporal Drag (an imprint that re-publishes texts on book/print history), and The Joy of Reading (a study group based in the library of London Centre for Book Arts). As part of her MA Arts and Learning at Goldsmiths, University of London, she produced Between Friends - a comic about publishing’s relationship to politics, and the lineages of feminist publishing in the UK. McManus is currently shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Future Awards in Comics.
Project Room 2, 15:30 – 16:30
A workshop focused on autobiographical comics and finding inspiration in one's experiences and memories. We will talk about autobiographical books and practice with drawing and writing exercises aimed at helping us tell our own stories and turn what may seem ordinary into something exceptional.
Joana Estrela (she/her) started drawing family portraits at an early age, writing funny subtitles to go along with them. One of her classic birthday gifts was a list of things-we-say-when-we-are-angry, applying the concept to different family members. Her methods haven’t changed a lot since then and what motivates her to start a book is still the amusement that comes with it. In 2014, Plana Press published her first book: Propaganda. In 2016, Planeta Tangerina published Mana, the winner of the 1st Serpa International Award for Picture Books. Since then, Estrela has been commissioned to illustrate several books whilst self-publishing her own projects and collaborating with small presses such as Sapata Press (Portugal) and O Panda Gordo (Scotland).
Apart from our main event at The Art School on Saturday, the 26th of October, we're also organising smaller events during the week leading up to the big day!
These events, which include comics reading, launches, and a panel discussion, will be hosted by our wonderful partners Good Press (32 St Andrews Street, G1 5PD) and Category Is Books (34 Allison Street, G42 8NN).
comics reading with local cartoonists
22th October 2019
19:00 – 20:00
An evening of comics reading with local cartoonists Chris Kohler, Ida Henrich, and Marc Baines. Most of the comics they'll be reading from, and some others, should be available to purchase on the day as well.
a launch by Marie Taggart
23th October 2019
19:00 – 20:00
Aki Hassan and Nathaniel Walpole will make a quick presentation of the work they have been doing with their Power Couple Press followed by the launch of Marie Taggart's first comic WAXY PALACE, where they will be conducting an interview with the artist.
a launch by Joana Estrela
24th October 2019
19:00 – 20:00
Joana Estrela will talk about and read from James's Dresses, published by O Panda Gordo. She will also talk about some of her other work focusing on both her process and the subject matters that inspire her to write and draw.
a panel discussion with trans and NB artists
25th October 2019
19:00 – 20:00
Join us for an hour-long discussion about how comics works as a medium for us to tell our stories and to deal with fluidity of gender identity and identity in general. Moderated by Jules Scheele, with Jem Milton and Aki Hassan.
What's Ghost Comics Festival?
Ghost Comics Festival is a festival dedicated to alternative comics, visual narrative storytelling, and sequential art. Its second edition has been organised by João Sobral and Julia Scheele, who co-founded it with Jessica Taylor in 2018.
When and where is it happening?
Ghost Comics Festival is happening on Saturday, the 26th of October 2019, from 11:00 to 17:00 (with a quiet start from 11am to 12:30pm), in Glasgow, at The Art School (20 Scott Street, G3 6PE). The Art School is a student and artist led venue in Glasgow, run by the The Glasgow School of Art Students’ Association.
Apart from that, we will be organising satellite events which will happen from 19:00 to 20:00, on the 22th and the 23th of October, at Good Press (32 St Andrews Street, G1 5PD), and on the 24th and the 25th of October, at Category Is Books (34 Allison Street, G42 8NN).
What do you mean by quiet start?
From 11:00 to 12:30, we will operate with dimmed lights, play calm background music, and keep conversations low. Our intention is to create an opportunity for those who struggle with crowds or noise to enjoy our event.
Do your venues have wheelchair access?
Yes, The Art School is accessible for wheelchair users. It also has a lift to every floor and fully accessible WC facilities.
Good Press is a ground level shop – there is a small step at entry, roughly three inches tall, but they have a portable wheelchair ramp which can easily be installed if required. However, their toilet is not an accessible one.
Category Is Books is level-access for wheelchair users, but doesn't have any WC facilities.
What can I see at Ghost Comics Festival?
Our main attraction is our curated Comics Fair featuring over 50 artists, collectives, and small presses, where you can see and buy comic books and zines and other products from our exhibitors. We're also hosting three workshops open to anyone aged 16+. On our satellite events, you have a unique oportunity to see some of our exhibitors presenting and discussing their work.
How much does it cost to go?
It's absolutely free to attend our main event on Saturday, the 26th of October, at The Art School, and visit our curated comics fair. The workshops cost £3 and are limited to 12 participants each, so it's recommended to book them in advance. You can do that by using the payment buttons on this website.
The events on our satellite programme, running from the 22nd to the 25th October, at Good Press and Category Is Books, are also free to attend. You can find more information about these events on this website.
Can I pay by card during the Comics Fair?
Some exhibitors may be able to take card payments, but we highly recommend you to bring cash.
Where is the nearest cash machine?
We believe the nearest cash machine from The Art School is at the front of a Newsbox, at 297 Sauchiehall Street.
Is there any food and drinks available to purchase?
Yes, The Art School hosts Vic Café Bar which offers a varied and affordable menu with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
Isn't this comics stuff just for kids?
We know some people may think that, but actually the comics and artworks featured at Ghost Comics Festival are mostly intended for adults. That doesn't necessarily mean their contents are inappropriate for children, it just means children may not fully understand or be very interested in them.
I make comics, can I have a table to exhibit and sell my work?
Applications for this year's festival are now closed. If you're a creator who'd like to exhibit with us, stay tuned for our future events and open calls. In the meantime, we encourage you to visit us and get to know our exhibitors and their work at Ghost Comics Festival.
I want to make comics, can you help me?
If you want to make comics and don't know where to get started, we invite you to visit us and find inspiration on our exhibitor's comics. We're going to have a wide range of comic styles and approaches, all together in the same space for one day! Come and have a look through all that, have a chat with your favourite artists, and maybe try a workshop?
I don't care about comics, is this event for me?
Maybe not. But maybe you'll find something that will surprise you...
Is there anything else I should know?
Ghost Comics Festival will not tolerate violent, threatening, abusive, discriminatory or harassing behaviour which can include, but is not limited to: sexual harassment, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, religious bigotry. Anyone displaying any of these behaviours will be asked to leave.