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The British Invasion Continues

24 April 2013

Ahead of our trip to MoCCA Arts Festival in New York, Publishers Weekly talked of SelfMadeHero being at the vanguard of a ‘new British Invasion’. But as creators Glyn Dillon, Rob Davis, JAKe and Robert Sellers signed, sketched and talked their way through a weekend in New York, it became clear that this invasion, while very real, is being fought on a civilised, gentlemanly front. In fact, it wasn’t just the originality and brilliance of their work that caught the attention of critics, but the ‘niceness’ of their character. As Timothy Callahan of Comic Book Resources said,

[SelfMadeHero] were clearly conspiring to present the most impressive trio of books-sharing-one-table while the artists sat back confidently and pretended to be super-nice and friendly, but were surely secretly plotting some kind of cricket match or something. Those guys were too nice, if you know what I mean.

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After charming the locals at SelfMadeHero’s pre-MoCCA Spring Party at Bergen Street Comics, it was down to the business of signing and selling books. MoCCA had a great atmosphere this year, and it was really good to see such energy and enthusiasm among the punters, artists and professionals in attendance. It was great, too, to see such passion for the British graphic novel scene. On the Sunday, SelfMadeHero’s four creators took part in a panel event on the subject, which was hosted by The Comic News Insider’s Jimmy Aquino. (There’s a great report of what they had to say over at The Beat.)

But it’s not only the work of our British creators that’s gaining such popularity in North America; our fiction and non-fiction in translation, which also attracted a lot of attention at MoCCA, is also winning acclaim. The week after the festival, when Comic Con International announced the nominations for the Eisner Awards 2013, we were delighted to hear that A Chinese Life by Li Kunwu and P. Ôtié had received two nominations (in the ‘Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia’ and ‘Best Reality-Based Work’ categories) and Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal had received a nomination in the ‘Best Adaptation from Another Medium’ category for Chico & Rita. Many congratulations to them – and fingers crossed for the win!

You can listen to Jimmy Aquino’s MoCCA recap on The Comic News Insider here.