The Aye Write! Festival in Glasgow runs from March 10 until March 20 2016, with many fantastic events and performances looking at literature, books, reading and writing. For 2016 the festival has a new strand called Aye Con. This intriguing section has several events covering graphic novels, comic books, fiction, video games and the finest in geek culture. The events all take place in the Mitchell Library, North Street Glasgow and the many enchanting and captivating rooms in this old building will be the perfect setting to stage the first Aye Con strand.
Glasgow in particular has a strong connection to comic books with many of the worlds best selling and acclaimed creators coming from the west coast of Scotland. Last year Mark Millar (creator of Kick Ass, Wanted and several high profile books for Marvel) attended Aye Write!, but this year Aye Con brings a wider variety of artists and writers to the festival.
Tasha Kavanagh and Laura Powell come to the Aye Con strand on Saturday 12 March at 12pm. Their event is called ‘Unsettling, Obsessive Fiction‘ and this is a good summation of the style and genre of these two new and exciting prose writers. Expect to hear the authors give an overview of how to unnerve readers, while making sure they are engaged in exciting and deranged narratives.
Metaphrog (the collective name for the pairing of writer and artist John Chalmers and Sandra Marrs) will be taking part in two events at Aye Write!. Firstly they will be discussing their new book The Red Shoes and Other Tales at an event on Saturday 19 March. This will be an excellent opportunity to hear the talented duo talk about the heady task of adapting the work of Hans Christian Andersen into the comic book format. The release of this book also draws attention, as it is a departure from their popular series of Louis graphic novels. Later that afternoon Metaphrog will be joined by writer Alan Grant (of Judge Dredd, Batman and Strontium Dog fame) and artist Frank Quietly (All Star SuperMan, The New X-Men, We3). This event is subtitled as ‘The Many Faces of Scottish Comics‘ and should present an enlightening and entertaining overview of Scotland’s contribution to the medium from four masters of the art.
One event not to be missed will be the LGBT Comic Mart on Saturday 19 March which runs from 12pm until 5pm. The mart will present several comic book creators who will be selling their work and chatting with attendees. It will be a welcome opportunity to buy some original and exciting comics from some overlooked and up and coming creators and a great chance to try something new. On the same day creator Steve Orlando will be talking about his book The Midnighter and will be continuing the discussion of LGBT comic characters and creators.
It’s not just comic books and prose that Aye Con covers. On Sunday 13 March crime writer Chris Brookmyre will be discussing Bedlam, his novel and now first-person shooter video game created by the studio RedBedlam. Brookmyre will be talking about the process of having Bedlam reimagined as a game and be in discussion with Kirsty Strain and Rab Florence who provided the voice talent for the adaptation. This is very much a unique opportunity and highlights the diversity in the literary topics that Aye Write! is tackling in 2016 with the Aye Con strand of events.