The Birmingham Comics Festival is proud to announce that Eisner award-winning artist Mark Buckingham will be among the celebrated guests attending the inaugural gala event taking place at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium on Saturday 18th April 2015.

Mark was one of the first major guests we invited and who heartily agreed to attend, but we’ve kept that kind of a secret until now,” revealed the festival’s organisers. “Back in the day, just as he was starting out he attended one of the early Birmingham Comic Art Shows and he was often a guest at the more recent BICS events so we not only wanted to keep that continuity going we also knew there was a genuine demand for his presence. What we didn’t anticipate was that Mark’s career would continue to escalate to where it’s now at such a high profile level.Mark Buckingham has not only been the principal artist on the bestselling and multiple award-winning Fables series from DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint for most of its lengthy publication history, but has now established himself as a writer with its spin-off series Fairest, as well as consecutively drawing the Dead Boy Detectives series, that follows the adventures of characters from The Sandman.

In 2015 Buckingham will have returned to drawing the vintage British superhero of Marvelman that he became established with, alongside writer Neil Gaiman, under the guise of Miracleman for the American comic book industry. “It is the intention of The Birmingham Comics Festival[/url] to celebrate comics’ past glories and its future potential,” said the organisers. “That a character whose adventures were read by our post-war great-grandparents is in the safe hands of Mark Buckingham ensures today’s worldwide readership can continue that legacy when reading future exploits as Miracleman!”

With both Fables and Fairest due to conclude in early 2015, and Miracleman in development, Mark Buckingham‘s appearance will be a momentous celebratory occasion that his many fans can share with him exclusively at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium as part of The BirminghamComics Festival taking place on Saturday 18th April 2015.

Having completed his studies in art and illustration, Clevedon-born Mark Buckingham applied himself promptly to those commercially creative possibilities the late 1980s had to offer; from assisting in the animation of Peter Gabriel‘s awarding-winning Sledgehammer video for Aardman Animation, to illustrating features by Neil Gaiman and Kim Newman for a satirical magazine called The Truth and making inroads to comicdom by drawing strips for British independent titles such Heartbreak Hotel.

His association with Gaiman lead to them becoming the new creative team for Miracleman, a British superhero renamed for American publication by Eclipse Comics, and also drawing a Poison Ivy strip for DC Comics’ Secret Origins that eventually lead to work on The Sandman and later inking various Death mini-series; those talents were similarly employed on the Jamie Delano scripted Hellblazer where he later became the book’s pencil artist, as well as other DC books. Intermittently he would also contribute to 2000AD, Marvel UK and independent American publishers, most recently on Dr Who for IDW, and would, also for a time, be chairman for Great Britain’s Society of Strip Illustration. Shifting gears he was to become involved in the X-Men spin-off Generation X and other titles for Marvel, notably Ghost Rider 2099 and Doctor Strange, and for a time shared his workload between both companies drawing both Peter Parker: Spider-Man and Batman: The Shadow of the Bat. A professional work ethic that ensured he met timely deadlines alongside his innate skills and diligent craftsmanship meant that Buckingham would go on to illustrate many major characters for the largest comic book publishers in the USA, producing some excellent work along the way. But few were to define him, at least not for long, for his very versatility resulted in an evolving look to his work.

From a contemporary media overview outlook this changed with Fables. Created by Bill Willingham, and in monthly publication since 2002, Buckingham has been its main artist throughout, applying consummately classic visual storytelling qualities, while embellishing and redefining characters carefully as the years have passed. A tale of folk from fairy tale and nursery rhyme alive today; involved in murder mysteries, thwarted romances and other dramas more akin to prime time television or popular literature it found a readership swiftly; not least a sympathetic female one, and non-traditional comic readers too. With 14 Eisner Awards, a Hugo Award nomination and others it has proved popular beyond expectations, but will conclude with #150 in 2015, as will Fairest, a spin-off series that Buckingham took on the role of writer for. His diligence continues unabated for he is also drawing Dead Boy Detectives and is returning to complete Miracleman for Marvel Comics. Comic fans can hear all about this for themselves when Mark Buckingham attends The Birmingham Comics Festival at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium on Saturday 18th April 2015.

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