The Prehistory of British Comic Conventions

As an introduction of sorts to the forthcoming UKCAC blog, I thought I’d outline the world before UKCAC changed how comic conventions were in the UK.

Well, actually no. That’s kind of been done in this rather wonderful blog Dez Skinn did on his site, but that’s all fine and dandy if you’re of a certain age and you lived down south, but if you grew up in Glasgow in the 70’s it was nigh on impossible to go to somewhere exotic like Largs, let alone somewhere as distant as London.

The point is that the pre UKCAC days were really quite hard for me to relate to as my first convention was Albacon, a SF convention held in Glasgow in Easter 1980, and my first comic mart was in the spring of 1982, but the first real comic convention I went to was also one I played a part in organising, so the real first comic convention I attended was one held in Birmingham in July 1986 which was a fiasco (I will tell the tale of it sometime) and a half. It was also one of the last conventions Alan Moore went to, and it was one that made me consider that these things were a fucking waste of time thanks to the mess the entire weekend left me in.

That’s a story for the UKCAC blog though.

The point is that by the time I got to my first UKCAC in 1987 comics were no longer the preserve of a handful of hardcore fans but opening up to be a mainstream activity thanks to the success of Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns and Maus in the middle of the 1980’s.

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And at this point you’ll have to wait til the main event…….