Comic Arts Festival: Audience

For this brief, the key thing that we have to always keep in mind when working on our project, is the audience that will be viewing our final piece. It will be up in Ruskins Bar as part of a Mark Millar art installation piece and will be viewed by many different people at the festival, so it’s important that we have a good understanding of the kind of audience we should expect, as well as the general atmosphere of the festival. We want our piece to be interesting for them to view and fit into it’s surroundings.

Festival goers and ‘what the festival means to them’

I found this video from the 2014 Comic Art Festival. It’s a really great resource for helping with understanding the general feel of the festival because you get to hear from actual participants.

Quotes from the public

This video is full of comments that can help us tailor our film to the kind of audience that are likely to be viewing it.

  • “Anyone can come in and see comics”
  • “A chance to get together with like-minded creative people”

As you would expect, you can see that the majority of people who attend the fest are comic book enthusiasts taking up the chance to spend a weekend immersed in something they love. However there are also likely to be lots of people there new to comic books, in fact “38% of people attending the festival described themselves as general comic art fans, 44% were avid fans, and 18% said they were new to comic art” therefore we will need to make sure that our projection appeals to Mark Millar fans by including some of his most famous and loved work, but is also able to be watched and appreciated by people who won’t know much about him or comics. To achieve this, it would be a good idea to piece together a slide show with a wide variety of artwork from him from all across his career, that way people will be able to watch the film and come away with a good idea about what his style is and what his artwork is all about.

  • “It’s not geared around superhero comics it actually touches on what comics are all about really, which is that it is an artform that is pretty underappreciated. The more people that can appreciate there’s more to it than batman superman and the green lantern, then the better for everybody.”

Mark Millar is known for his work on superhero comics like Kickass, Wolverine and Civil War, however something that the attendees of this festival love is that the people there are able to appreciate the talent that goes into drawing all the images for comic books. A survey was given out to the public and one of the most popular answers to the question “What was the best bit” was that there was a large variety of artists there, meaning something for everyone.

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-3-40-57-pmScreenshot taken from the event evaluation 

This means that we don’t need to worry about including stills from only his most popular work, we can make our film a dedication to his artwork and go through ALL his work to find the drawings that are the most visually stunning.

  • “It’s nice to have somewhere that isn’t a soulless metal box”
  • “we’re very well looked after”
  • “It’s got a lot of easy-going friendly people”

There’s lots of comments like these, and while they don’t really help us in terms of our film, they do show you the feel of the festival. It’s clear that the atmosphere at Comic art is very warm and friendly, everyone there can bond over a common interest without feeling judged and are happy to be surrounded by something they love.

The facts and figures used were taken from the VISITOR SURVEY AND EVENT EVALUATION, which is a detailed document of all the information collected from the event. This was a very useful resource to find, because you can really use it to understand all the specifics of the festival. There are sections for ‘Audience Profile’, ‘Satisfaction Breakdown’, ‘Festival Engagement’ etc. and you know the information is reliable (see screenshot below).


Interview with the director of Comic Art Fest

We were also given the chance to meet the founder and director of the festival, Julie Plank. She has watched the festival grow and change since its creation four years ago, so she was able to give us a detailed explanation of the atmosphere there.

She founded the festival because she felt “most comic festivals are gatherings in massive metal hangers” and are often centered around selling work. She made sure that Comic Art isn’t about selling, instead it’s about opening peoples eyes to the world of comics and celebrating the skill and range of artists work.This is perfect for this project because Mark Millar has collaborated with a number of different artists on his work, meaning they’re all very visually different.

(left to right: Kick-ass, Chrononauts, Starlight)


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