Here’s an unusual one for our roster of UK comics conventions – the Melksham Comic Con is a small-scale gathering, about as small scale as you can get from the sounds of it. And I must admit I like the sound of it – the idea is to have a small, personal scale comics event in the wee Wiltshire town of Melksham (I will confess I had never heard of it before, had to look it up) and it is a grass-roots event, with the folk from the local comic store in the village organising it, local fans volunteering to help, local businesses also taking part and offering sponsorship and help, the whole thing being a not-for-profit enterprise. They had a successful event last year and are now planning another this summer, but as a not for profit they rely on sponsorship and fundraising to afford the event, so they currently have a Kickstarter campaign running. This year’s event hopes to have guests including Kieron Gillen, Andrew Wildman, Simon Furman, Mike Collins, Emma Vieceli, Kate Brown and more.
I really do like the idea of this – I remember commenting when the Hi-Ex crew had their first comic con in Inverness that, despite it meaning more travel for me I appreciated the fact here was a decent comic festival in Scotland that wasn’t restricted to a major central belt city like Glasgow or Edinburgh. Not that there is anything wrong with big city events, we love ‘em, but it’s good to see events in other parts of the nation too – and fairer to fans as well, I think. And of course it is always good to see such grass-roots enthusiasm and organisation, fans doing it for themselves effectively, so if you can, give them some support and pass the link to their Kickstarter around too.