Comic festival already proves a big draw

Phoenix comic commercial director Tom Fickling, left, with brother Will Fickling who is the editor

Buy this photo Phoenix comic commercial director Tom Fickling, left, with brother Will Fickling who is the editor

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

THERE will be plenty of comic capers for the whole family afoot at the Story Museum this weekend.

Oxford’s Children’s Comic Festival is to return on Saturday after its successful debut last year.

Such was the demand to sign up, tickets for the event sold out in the first 48 hours of going on sale and around 600 people are expected to descend on the Pembroke Street venue.

It is run by the family run Oxford-based story comic team from The Phoenix, and 12 of the country’s top comic artists will be running interactive workshops.

The Phoenix’s commercial director Tom Fickling said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the popularity of last year’s event, the first of its kind, and the clamour of parents and children asking when we’re going to stage another festival.

“It will be glorious mayhem on the day – everything from creating crazy garden critters to dreaming up new dastardly villains.

Oxford Mail:

  • PR boss Liz Payton

“Most of The Phoenix artists will be there, including some who very rarely make public appearances, like Jamie Smart who writes Bunny vs Monkey, one of our most popular features.”

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The Phoenix – which is produced at an office in Beaumont Street – launched in early 2012 and now has 10,000 readers internationally.

In December last year it celeb-rated its 100th edition, becoming the first story comic for more than 40 years to reach that milestone.

Liz Payton, The Phoenix’s PR manager, said comics could help improve a child’s literacy.

She said: “It is all about the pleasure of reading. Comics are something which have been off the market for some time and there has been a taboo around them but they are a wonderful and visual way of getting children to read.

“It is a much easier narrative to follow than book text for reluctant readers.”

Among the artists at the festival are Jamie Smart, Laura Anderson, and The Etherington Brothers.

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