Comic book legends head to Valletta | Malta Comic Con 2012

This year’s edition of the annual Malta Comic Con will feature a star-studded line-up of international comic-book creators, including the illustrator of the celebrated Watchmen as well as the artist who first drew the beloved Marvel Comics mutant, Wolverine.

Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons will be among the guests at this year’s Malta Comic Con.
Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons will be among the guests at this year’s Malta Comic Con.

Taking place at St James Cavalier on December 8 and 9 between 10:00 and 18:00, the Malta Comic Con will be a showcase of international comic book art and related fandom.

Comic book aficionados will be able to meet industry professionals from all over the world, mingle with local comic book artists, pick from a selection of discounted comic books and related merchandise, as well as dress up as their favourite characters over the course of the event.

This year's edition of the 'Con will boast an impressive guest list. Among the featured international artists will be Dave Gibbons. Most famous for illustrating the iconic Watchmen for Alan Moore, Gibbons boasts the rare privilege of being an old-timer who still remains very much at the forefront of the contemporary comic book world, currently collaborating with Scottish comic book creator Mark Millar - of Kick Ass fame - on the mini-series The Secret Service, while also trying his hand with cutting-edge storytelling formats by devising a digital comic book (Treatment) for the Madefire platform.

Having first broken into the scene in 1973 thanks to the enduring British comic book anthology 2000AD, Gibbons has worked with nearly all of the major comic book publication houses, and collaborated with some of the art forms most respected creators, including Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Len Wein and, last but not least, the Marvel Comics founding father Stan Lee.  

Trailer for the 2009 film adaptation of Watchmen

Gibbons won't be the only old-timer to grace St James for the 'Con however, as he will be joined by Herb Trimpe. He may not have known it at the time, but Trimpe had a hand in creating one of the most popular comic book characters of our age - the immortal and rugged anti-hero Wolverine. Illustrating the character for the very first time for a 1974 issue of The Hulk (the clawed mutant was originally intended as a minor villain for the green giant to do battle with), Trimpe went on to have a long career with Marvel which lasted until 1995, when the artist was cut from the company due to financial difficulties afflicting the large comic book houses at the time.

Herb Trimpe

The first appearance of Wolverine, drawn by Herb Trimpe

Trimpe however remained active in the comic book world, carving a niche for himself with G.I. Joe comics, among others.

A crop of bright young things will also be making its way to this year's 'Con. Ben Templesmith, whose scratchy-and-airbrushed style gained something of a cult following after the publication of indie comics hits 30 Days of Night, Fell and Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, will also be making an appearance, along with up-and-coming Spanish artist Emma Rios who, having illustrated a number of home-grown Spanish comics has also worked on The Amazing Spider-Man and Dr Strange.

Ben Templesmith

British comic book artist Ben Templesmith, creator of zombie tale 30 Days Night

Those with a penchant for the gritty and supernatural will also be served by a couple of other 2000AD alums - comics scribe Mike Carey and fellow British artists Glenn Fabry. Carey has his foot firmly lodged in the supernatural, one of his notable works being the critically acclaimed Lucifer - a quirky and long-running DC Vertigo series that cast Lucifer as the owner of a piano bar in Los Angeles. Gliding through similar (and chiefly extra-dimensional terrain, Carey also worked on the same imprint's touchstone title Hellblazer (featuring supernatural detective John Constantine) before embarking on a stint with Marvel Comics, where he wrote storylines for X-Men, the Fantastic Four and others.

Glen Fabry

Glen Fabry is probably best known for his covers work on Preacher (left)

Fabry is perhaps best-known for his covers work for the blackly comic Preacher title (another enduring and much loved series from DC Vertigo). The artist, renowned for his photorealistic airbrushed style, has collaborated on additional titles with Preacher creator Garth Ennis - among them being Thor and Judge Dredd titles.

Malta Comic Con is organised by Wicked Comics in collaboration with The British Council, the French and Irish Embassies as well as Santana Hotel, Department of Information, Heritage Malta and the Malta Tourism Authority.

For more information on guests and activities log on to the Malta Comic Con website.