It’s a truism that comics culture and the comics industry varies radically from country to country, but MoCCA Fest’s efforts to bring in an international perspective is laudable, to get past the stereotypes of difference and hear the story first-hand. Needless to say, it’s valuable to avoid a myopic perspective of the American comics industry and acknowledge that our panorama is limited and limiting when facing the tide of increasingly globalization in pop culture. On Sunday, April 7th, SelfMadeHero brought in some of its best and brightest British comics creators in a panel “Table Talk” hosted by Jimmy Aquino of Comic News Insider to discuss with a conversational style their current works, their comics heroes, and how they view the relationship between the British and American comics scene. Glyn Dillon (THE NAO OF BROWN), Rob Davis (THE COMPLETE DON QUIXOTE), JAKe, and Robert Sellers (HELLRAISERS) fielded Aquino’s questions and compared notes on their comics past and comics present.
Aquino asked this small invasion of panellists what exactly they feel the differences are between the world of comics in the UK versus the USA. JAKe immediately leapt to the trends in production, pointing that it’s much more common in the UK to “do it all” without “splitting labor” in comics creating, including both writing and artwork. Davis reflected on the market he’s observed over the years, growing up with comics in the UK that were primarily “aimed at kids” until the sea-change of the ‘80’s. JAKe agreed, citing the “boom” of the late ‘80’s as a transition. After WATCHMEN set fire to the comics scene, “American publishers took all the British talent”, JAKe said. Then there was Vertigo, too, embracing British influence. Davis felt that the field has been levelled in more recent years as the “Internet has become an international language”.