Comics Salopia: A New UK Con Taking Over Shrewsbury Town This Summer

by Olly MacNamee

This June 2nd and 3rd will see the historical, rural-set town of Shrewsbury taken over by a new, free comic book event called Comics Salopia. Launched in the town centre on Monday 21st January, with the revealing of a specially commissioned statue from the British Ironworks, Comics Salopia intends to offer punters something different from your average comic con experience, and something more akin to The Lakes International Comic Art Festival up in the north of England.
It’s a beautiful part of the world to put on such an event, especially with so many comic book creators calling Shrewsbury their home. There you could well find yourself bumping into the likes of John Wagner (co-creator of Judge Dredd), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead) and Christian Ward (The Invisible Kingdom), all who live there. Indeed, the aforementioned Adlard, alone with ICE founder, Shane Chebsey and ex-Mayor of Shrewsbury, Jane Mackenzie, are the brains behind this new venture.

British Ironworks specially commissioned statue

As for the vision, ex-Comics Laureate Charlie Adlard stated:

The vision is for it to be a festival that supports all forms of comics. Comics are for everyone, aged nine to 99. The perception in the UK is that they are just for kids, but really it’s just a different form of reading. We want to change perceptions and widen their appeal.

As with other events organised by Chebsey, this one will have an adopted charity. This year, it will be Share Shrewsbury, an organisation that aims to raise awareness about substance misuse, and support local people in recovery.
In taking over this idyllic rural town, it means many of the events will take place in some very interesting locations including The Dana Prison – in a takeover of this landmark by 2000AD – as well as The Castle Grounds, Shrewsbury Library, The Town Square, the Museum and Art Gallery and The Guildhall. Impressive.
For further developments for his summer show, do check out their newly minted website here, and keep an eye out for family-friendly workshops, panels and more as they’re announced. And, with most events taking pace indoors across the town, it doesn’t matter whether to rains or shines. Although, I do hope it doesn’t rain if it’s all the same.

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