Derry Journal, 9 June 2008
Derry does itself proud at '2D'Edit
Hundreds of local school children, comic books fans and families attended the hugely successful '2D' Open Day as part of the Northern Ireland Comic Festival at the weekend.
Some of the top artists and writers working in comics today spent the entire day at the Verbal Arts Centre sketching popular comic characters like Batman, X-Men and Tank Girl, as well as signing autographs and generally meeting and greeting local folk. The Open Day was one of many events organised for 2D 2008.
'2D' Organiser David Campbell said that this year's event had been a "massive success" and says: "We were overwhelmed at the response to this year's festival and it was great to see such a mixed crowd coming in, from families with young children, to comic fans and aspiring artists.
"We also tried to expand on the range of events available this year, which obviously worked as it has been a massive success. We had great feedback from the 2D guests and the public alike," he added.
Internationally renowned Manga artist Ilya said: "I've been to many larger (and probably comparatively hugely-funded) conventions and arts festivals all around the world and I can honestly say I've never been better looked after, nor seen the public better catered for - credit for which surely has to go to David Campbell, but also to all of the staff and helpers at the centre."
"I was further impressed by the top standard of entries to the character design competition running as a part of the festival, and would love to see more on this side of things: unleashing the creativity that the local population has in spades and giving it both encouragement and a forum," Ilya added.
- Thriving community
Comic writer Alan Martin, co-creator of Tank Girl, was also impressed at what Derry had to offer: "Coming to Derry for the first time I didn't know quite what to expect - or how relevant my presence would be at a Northern Irish Comics Festival - but after meeting a few of Ireland's bright young comic hopefuls, it became very obvious that there is a rich, varied, and thriving comics community, and any scraps of advice I could offer were enthusiastically received.
"2D is the warmest, friendliest comic festival I have ever attended and the humour of the crowd (fans and creators alike) was fantastic.
"I'd like to thank David and his hard-working team for having me over. Ask me again and I'll be there like a shot," Alan added.
- Thank you Derry
Rufus Dayglo, who has illustrated world-famous comics such as 2000AD and Tank Girl, travelled from London to attend the 2D Festival. Speaking to the 'Journal', Rufus praised the 2008 event: "The 2D Comic Festival is without doubt my favourite comics Convention and Verbal Arts Centre's Artist in Residence, David Campbell, is to be congratulated for creating not only an amazing line-up of talent, but an arts event accessible to the whole community. This Festival should be the template for all arts events in the UK, and my only regret is that David is not organising one in London where I live!”
Rufus said he had the “good fortune” to be invited to both 2007 and 2008's 2D Festival, “and I'll be back for the third, even if I have to swim from London. I have more fun at Derry 2D Festival than all the other events I go to combined,” he enthused.
Rufus went on to thank David the organiser, everyone at the Verbal Arts Centre and all who came to the festival: “We had the warmest of receptions. Everyone we met was so friendly, and were so warm and welcoming.
“Thank You Derry, you've done yourselves proud, and set an example that I hope will be followed elsewhere,” Rufus added.