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Latest Comic Guest Announcement - Jessica Martin Attending: Friday, Saturday & Sunday Doctor Who, It Girl, Vertigo Quarterly, Elsie Harris Picture Palace, To End All Wars Jessica Martin is a musical theatre and comedy actress also known to many of you as 'Mags' in the Seventh Doctor's DOCTOR WHO episode THE GREATEST SHOW IN THE GALAXY. However, this year she's here primarily in her new role of Comic and Graphic Novel creator, as she recently turned her storytelling skills to writing and illustrating comics. Her main themes are film history and stories with a strong female protagonist. Jessica’s first mini comic IT GIRL was based on the life of Clara Bow, and was selected as one of the “Ten Must Own Comics of 2013” by Broken Frontier Press, while VIVACITY was based on the life of Vivien Leigh. Her other work includes THE AUDITION for Vertigo / DC, ELSIE HARRIS PICTURE PALACE set in the Thirties film industry (and shortlisted for the 2015 Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Prize), TO END ALL WARS for Soaring Penguin Press and TO ARMS, another World War One graphic anthology. Her next work is LIFE DRAWING: A LIFE UNDER LIGHTS, a Graphic Novel Memoir through Unbound Press (https://unbound.com/books/life-drawing) Jessica blogs regularly on her website at officialjessicamartin.com
RICHARD BRUNING Designer for Vertigo and DC ATTENDING: Friday, Saturday & Sunday BEST KNOWN for his work on over 100 covers for Vertigo and as the designer of the DC mature readers’ imprint visual style and logo, Richard Bruning has been working in comics since 1980. That was when he helped start the nascent Capital Comics, where (as editor-in-chief and art director) he was involved in such titles as Nexus, The Badger and Whisper. The publisher shut down in 1984 and a year later Bruning surfaced at DC as design director. As such he was involved with the look of Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns while also serving as cover editor for the entire line. In addition he edited a number of series, including 1988’s The Prisoner (a four-part Prestige sequel to the cult TV show). He also oversaw the initial development and packaging of DC's collected editions line. In 1990 he left DC to run his own graphic design and corporate communications company, Brainstorm Unltd, but not before writing a three-volume prestige formatAdam Strange series with art by Andy and Adam Kubert. Returning to the company in 1996 as vice-president creative director, he focused on DC’s packaging, promotion and digital efforts, including the 2007 launch of DC’s first web imprint, Zuda Comics. Later promoted to senior vice-president, Bruning left DC in 2010 to concentrate on cartooning. His latest creation, Bob! the Presidential Atheist appears online twice a week at Bob4Prez.com.
Latest Comic Guest Announcement - KAREN BERGER Editor of DC's Vertigo line Attending: Friday, Saturday & Sunday DUBBED Comics' Mother of the Weird Stuff by The New York Times, Karen Berger has played a major role in the development of comics beyond the action/adventure themes that became the US market's primary focus from the 1960s on. Entering the industry in 1979 as assistant to DC editor Paul Levitz, she graduated to editing House of Mystery in 1981 taking on her first superhero title in Legion of Super-Heroes two years later. In 1983 Berger was, among other things, also responsible for launching Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld but it was the following year that events began to shape the direction of her career, taking her down the path that would lead her to play a pivotal role in comicbook history. More interested in horror than in mainstream (read superhero) comics, in 1984 she took on [The Saga of] Swamp Thing, which Alan Moore had begun writing only five issues before. It was a match made in Heaven. Under Berger's stewardship, the game-changing British writer was able to forge ahead with his innovative approach, pretty much singlehandedly ushering a new generation of sophisticated comics that appealed to older readers. Impressed by Moore's skill and wanting to further evolve the comics medium, Berger sought out other British talent, bringing such writers as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan and Jamie Delano into the DC fold before the '80s were over. Between them they would produce a variety of 'Suggested for Mature Readers' titles withAnimal Man, Doom Patrol, Shade the Changing Man, The Sandman andHellblazer migrating from DC to form the foundation of a new Berger-driven imprint alongside Swamp Thing and the freshly launched Black Orchid. Aimed squarely at the embryonic mature readers market, Vertigo flourished and Berger and her team began to expand the line. From its birth in 1993 through until 2011 when the stars of the imprint's original properties were absorbed back into the DC Universe, numerous new titles premiered with Preacher, Sandman Mystery Theatre, Y the Last Man, Scalped, 100 Bullets, Loveless, The Unwritten,Transmetropolitan and Fables being just a handful of Vertigo's major successes. As Gaiman, Morrison et al drifted off to other pastures, their roles at the writer-centric label were taken up by the likes of Garth Ennis, Mike Carey, Brian Azzarello, Jason Aaron, Bill Willingham, Brian K Vaughan and Warren Ellis among many others. Throughout it was Berger's hand that guided Vertigo's development, expanding the line beyond its fantasy roots to encompass such other genres as science fiction, crime, Westerns and historical. Elevated to Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of the DC Entertainment imprint in 2006, she stepped down from her role seven years later and after 33 years of steering the ship that became Vertigo through what at the outset were uncharted waters After three years away from comics, she will be returning with Surgeon X. Funded by a Society Award from Wellcome Trust (an independent global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health) the ongoing series is written by documentary filmmaker Sara Kenney and illustrated by John Watkiss. It debuts from Image later in 2016.