We’re all looking for heroes. There aren’t many in politics but there’s plenty in culture. At least in fictions. And MCM Comic Con, which kicked off on the same day that Theresa May resigned as Prime Minister, is never short of superheroes. We also look to a Japanese gay manga by Tagame Gengoroh, and to a science book by astrophysicist and rockstar Dr Brian May for bold inspiration.


Who can beat Star Wars?

The cosplay at MCM Comic Con. Two of the highlights:

Visitors from Jakku. Image: ©Story Of Books
We got held hostage by a Stormtrooper and a Jedi. Image: ©Story Of Books

Enough of that. We’ll show you more in our photo gallery of MCM Comic Con 2019.

Brevity and clarity make a good comic story

He’s a hero. Neil Gibson (pictured, right) is at MCM Comic Con this weekend to showcase the first volume of  TPub Comics’ best-selling series, Twisted Dark. You can find out more on TPub Comics here. Image: ©Story Of Books

Neil Gibson, Creative Director and Publisher, TPub Comics, delivered a very engaging – if somewhat brief – masterclass on how to craft the perfect comic story and find collaborators to work with. He illustrated the different approaches in comic narratives and the types of structure most suited for a more enticing storyline. Basically, he told us to not be boring and get straight to the point in our storytelling.

The event was also a platform for TPub Comics to showcase their graphic novels, in particular Twisted Dark. We got a complimentary copy of it for asking an ‘interesting’ question – but more on that and Gibson’s comic-writing tips in our upcoming feature on TPub Comics. Watch this space.

From Comic To Screen

Howard Mackie (pictured, middle) and Max Texeira (pictured, right) delight the audience with funny anecdotes on their comics and the actors playing their lead characters in films. Image: ©Story Of Books

Writer Howard Mackie and comic artist Max Texeira got us in stitches with anecdotes on book-to-screen endeavours and film actors. They were behind works such as Spider-Man, X-Men, Ghost Rider and He-Man. Of course, there had to be a joke about Game Of Thrones somewhere. That cropped up when Mackie fielded a question from the audience about disappointing TV and film adaptations of books.

You’ll find out what they thought about Hugh Jackman, Nicholas Cage and Game Of Thrones in our upcoming report on “From Comic To Screen”.

Young women behind webcomics

The future of comics is in the hand of these wonderful creatives. Image: ©Story Of Books

Siberian Lizard, Kate Ashwin, Mary Safro and Anthea West discussed their involvement in webcomics in a talk about “The Culture Of Webcomics”. There was a good discussion about representation in webcomics as well as intellectual property. The panel explained to the young audience that a creative work is the moral right of the creator until he or she decides to waive it (either via payment or a job, or by giving it away for free or via creative common agreement).

Self-Publishing 101


Our favourite creative duo, Shades Of Vengeance, gave some useful tips on self-publishing and self-marketing. We asked them how creatives who are introverts can get over their shyness and market their works. A lot of writers and artists, not to mention animators, are introverts. So how do they overcome this obstacle? We’ll tell you what Shades Of Vengeance told us soon. But don’t forget to follow more talks by them this Saturday and Sunday at MCM Comic Con.

Gay manga for heterosexuals

Tagame Gengoroh (pictured, left) explains the rationale behind the cover of his book, My Brother’s Husband, to book curator Haba Yoshitaka at the Japan House. Image: ©Story Of Books

No, this was not an MCM Comic Con event but a manga event at the Japan House, High Street Kensington, London. On Wednesday, 23 May 2019, manga artist Tagame Gengoroh talked to book curator Haba Yoshitaka about his gay manga for heterosexuals, My Brother’s Husband.

It is a humorous manga about a moving, complex and often heart-breaking depiction of the struggle for gay acceptance in contemporary Japan. Gengoroh, however, put us at ease whilst explaining the concept behind the story, the layout and the book cover. We’ll expand more on this in our summer special edition on Heroes.

Stars in their eyes

Sir Martin Rees (pictured, middle) and Dr Brian May (pictured, right) talk about astronomy and rocks in space. Image: ©Story Of Books

We rushed from MCM Comic Con in East London to cover “Summer Of Space: Martin Rees In Conversation With Brian May” in West London. Of course, Dr Brian May barely touched on Bohemian Rhapsody at this talk which took place at the IMAX Theatre, Science Museum in South Kensington. Rather, Dr May and fellow astrophysicist Sir Martin Rees talked about the mission to the moon, the race to Mars, global warming and the former’s stereoscopic photography book, Mission Moon 3-D: Reliving the Great Space Race. Someone in the audience asked about the black hole, as you would. The answers given by Dr May and Sir Martin were so funny we just have to save it for a special feature that we will publish soon.

In the meantime, you can follow our MCM Comic Con updates by following our Twitter and Instagram.