Do you get particularly excited about discussing the DC and Marvel universes and holding what seems like master classes on the pros and cons of each?
While others gush over the K-pop group Bangtan Sonyeondan (more popularly known as BTS), are you the type that can't hold back tears when they hear Brian Bolland speak?
You must be a comic geek, in which case the Middle East Film and Comic Con is for you.
Head to Abu Dhabi in March 2023 and listen to real masters discuss comic art at the MEFCC Creative Academy
The MEFCC is the ultimate pop culture festival, the region's first and biggest event of its kind. It is attended by thousands of comics, film, manga, anime, television, video game, and science fiction fans from around the globe. Last year, it welcomed 45,000 participants from the region and beyond.
In 2023, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on Al Khaleej Al Arabi St will again be the MEFCC venue. Like last year, the convention will be a three-day affair. Mark your calendars for 3-5 March 2023. The festivities start at 3pm on Friday (although VIP early access begins at 2pm) and end at 11pm on Sunday.
You can either geek out or eat your heart out, so which would you rather do?
The following are some things comic art fans like you can look forward to in MEFCC 2023.
1. Meet Professional Comic Artists.
This is a dream come true for anyone who loves comics and manga.
Who wouldn't jump at the chance to meet Rob Liefeld, the author, artist, and creator of the comic book characters Cable and Deadpool? Imagine having the opportunity to check if he shares Deadpool's quick wit and indubitable charm.
At the MEFCC, you can also meet Leinil Francis Yu, a comic artist who made history by being part of the team that won the Guinness World Record: Fastest Production of a Comic Book. Beyond the glitzy world record, he has a remarkable body of work, including landmark pieces that even non-comic geeks know, like Superman: Birthright (DC) and Secret Invasion (Marvel).
Aside from Rob and Leinil, Mark Brooks is coming, too. Mark, an Inkpot awardee, has an illustrious career as a comic artist in Star Wars Hans Solo and is mainly remembered for his cover artwork for X-Men and Avengers.
You can meet Rob, Leinil, and Mark at their meet-and-greet events. The other comic artists to complete the MEFCC lineup are:
He has worked on the cover of Spider-man, X-Men, and Deadpool comic books. His portfolio includes Hasbro packaging art and other artworks commissioned to him by DC, Warner Bros., ImagineFX, Capcom, and other big-name brands.
He works on projects from DC, Marvel, and Line Webtoon. He is both a writer and comic artist, and his work includes several Deadpool titles.
She is a penciller and illustrator whose credits include projects from Marvel, Archie, Coffin, and Valiant Comics, among others.
Comic artist and colorist Sabine Rich is exclusively in charge of Rothic and Ablaze Publishing's Theory of Magic. She's also worked on projects from major comic publishing houses like Marvel, DC, Valiant, and Image Comics.
He has published art books and specializes in watercolor comic art.
He is a comic book cover artist who has done work for major comic publishing companies. He has also done interior comic artwork.
He is best known for his Disney art, and his work is displayed in galleries worldwide.
Known for a distinctly Japanese ink painting style, Andy has worked on projects from Marvel, DC, and Dragon Ball.
2. Learn Advanced Techniques at the Creative Academy
Are you a graphics artist or an illustrator with a singular passion for comics and manga?
Perhaps you are an amateur who sketches, pencils, colors, and shades comic panels for fun. Or you can be somebody who's already doing it professionally, say, as a freelance cover art illustrator or a game illustrator at a game development company.
Whichever you are dabbler, amateur, or professional you must take the time to participate in MEFCC's Creative Academy.
At the Creative Academy, expert artists and creators will hold master classes and hands-on workshops in topics like comic art, film and TV production, anime and manga, game design, arts and crafts, and content creation.
As a comic artist, you can learn advanced techniques you can apply in every facet of comic book publication, including (perhaps) comic storyboarding, sketching, penciling, and coloring. Specialists with distinct artistic styles (for instance, Andy Lee and his sumi-e painting style) can teach you their trademark approach to comic art.
There are also classes for beginners and amateurs. Even if you're just starting to hone your craft, the Creative Academy has something for you.
Note: Just don't forget to bring your tools, whether a digital tablet or Bristol paper and Sharpie pens.
3. Artist Alley
The Creative Academy sessions and Meet the Star are not your only opportunities to interact with professional comic artists. Expect to find some (if not all) of them at the international Artist Alley
This is where artists exhibit their best work and showcase their prowess. Many artists should be open for commission, so you can get autographed cover art and illustration.
The Artist Alley is not only for international artists. It is also a place for local and budding artists to show and receive feedback on their work.
Comic Artists and Fans Unite
If you can spend hours talking about Spider-Man, Deadpool, X-Men, and Avengers; if you can name the comic book titles, arranged chronologically; if you can recognize comic book cover art and provide trivia for every one you encounter, you are a true-blue comic book geek.
Likewise, if you are working as a professional illustrator; if you gush with admiration whenever you see comic art with particularly well-executed coloring and shading; and if you have a lot of opinions about color combinations and penciling, you must have a passion for comic art.
Comic fan or artist, be sure to check out the Middle East Film and Comic Con and meet famous comic artists, learn from comic art specialists, commission custom pieces of art, and get to know up-and-coming artists.