Glasgow Film Festival explores the world of mainstream comics and graphic novels

  • The List
  • 16 February 2011
Glasgow Film Festival explores the world of mainstream comics and graphic novels

For a city that doesn’t (yet) boast a gallery of its own Lycra-clad do-gooders in the way that the superhero capital New York does, it’s ironic that it is writers Mark Millar and Grant Morrison, two sons of Glasgow, who are the current creative driving forces behind, respectively, the Marvel and DC Comics super-powered universes. It’s wholly appropriate, then, that GFF Ambassador Millar should curate this new festival strand that features screenings of new and classic films, guest talent, industry events and a focus on the Scottish comics scene.

Millar, who is currently working on a sequel to Kick-Ass and his Glasgow-set superhero team film Miracle Park, will host a workshop looking at the art of writing graphic novels. Artists Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) and Frank Quitely (the Glaswegian who’s collaborated with both Millar and Morrison) will talk about illustrating them, and Indian graphic novelist Amruta Patil will be in conversation with comics historian Paul Gravett, at which event she will launch a new, GFF-commissioned graphic short story.

Elsewhere, the ‘non-conference’ ComicCamp 11: Comic, Gaming and the Film Industry gathers professionals to look at the relationship between the entertainment media and where it’s headed. Portfolio Review with CLiNT Magazine assembles the team behind the comic magazine launched by Millar who will be on hand to appraise the work of aspiring comics creators. Finally, in Metaphrog: Graphic Novels & Adaptations the eponymous Glasgow-based duo, who recently adapted poet Edwin Morgan’s The First Men on Mercury, will discuss working from different media.

And so to the films. Millar’s offbeat selection of cult and classic titles is intriguing. There’s the ultra-violent manga-alike adaptation Battle Royale, now rendered in spanking new 3D 11 years after it was first released. There’s Danger Diabolik, horror maestro Mario Bava’s super-camp 1968 romp inspired by the Italian comic (and an inspiration for Austin Powers). And there’s Heavy Metal, the 1981 Canadian animation based on the infamous adult illustrated magazine of fantasy and erotica. Terry ‘Ghost World’ Zwigoff’s wonderfully weirdo documentary, Crumb, a warts ‘n’ all look at the life and work of legendary underground commix creator Robert Crumb, also receives a welcome screening. As does Superman II – the Richard Donner Cut, which is a reassembly of the director’s original vision before he was kicked off the Christopher Reeve film. Millar’s selection is capped by a new release, Griff the Invisible, an Australian comedy about a bullied office worker who moonlights as a masked crime fighter on the mean streets of Melbourne.

But hold, impetuous one! That’s not quite all. There are two more new comic book-related films debuting as part of the GFF’s Glasgow Youth Film Festival strand. The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec is director Luc Besson’s adaptation of Jacques Tardi’s graphic novel series set in the bohemian early 20th century and charting the exploits of a beautiful female journalist who saves Paris from a dinasaur invasion. And last but not least Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are reunited as a couple of comic fans who befriend and go on the run with a extra terrestrial they call Paul.

As Marvel supreme Stan Lee would say, ‘nuff said!

Glasgow Film Festival, 17–27 Feb.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information displayed here is accurate, always check with the venue before attending (especially during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Glasgow Film Festival

Since 2005, Scotland's fastest-growing film festival has become a force to be reckoned with in the movie world. The 2021 festival will be presented in a new online format.

Various venues: Glasgow

Wed 2 Mar 2022

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

Thu 3 Mar 2022

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

Fri 4 Mar 2022

Times & prices vary / 0141 332 6535

…and 9 more dates until 13 Mar 2022

Amruta Patil Interview

Tramway, in partnership with Glasgow Film Festival and supported by British Council Scotland, is commissioning a new piece of work from India’s first female graphic novelist Amruta Patil, creator of Kari. Amruta will create a new graphic short story, launched at this event, and will also discuss the current graphic novel…

Danger Diabolik

  • 1968
  • Italy / France
  • 1h 45min
  • 12
  • Directed by: Mario Bava
  • Written by: Mario Bava, Brian Degas, Tudor Gates, Dino Maiuri
  • Cast: John Phillip Law, Marisa Mell, Michel Piccoli, Terry-Thomas

Tongue-in-cheek action movie inspired an Italian comic book character, the daring Diabolik, who mounts ever more elaborate and dangerous heists.

David Gibbons in Conversation

Dave Gibbons discusses his extensive career in this lively illustrated event. An English comic book artist, writer and sometime letterer, Dave Gibbons is best known for his collaborations with writer Alan Moore which include the miniseries Watchmen and the Superman story For the Man Who Has Everything. He was also an…

Frank Quitely Workshop

Internationally renowned Glaswegian graphic novelist Frank Quitely, aka Vincent Deighan, will examine his approach to visual storytelling in this involving workshop. He is best known for his frequent collaborations with Grant Morrison on titles such as New X-Men, WE3, All Star Superman, and Batman and Robin, as well as…

Heavy Metal

  • 1981
  • Canada
  • 1h 30min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Gerald Potterton
  • Cast: Harvey Atkin, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Marilyn Lightstone, Harold Ramis, Richard Romanus, Alice Playten

Heavy Metal was originally released in 1981 and whilst not an instant commercial success it soon became a cult favourite, regularly showing at midnight screenings. This Canadian animation is made up of a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories adapted from Heavy Metal, an adult illustrated magazine famed for its…

Mark Millar Workshop

Mark Millar, the Coatbridge-born comic-book writer and filmmaker will lead this workshop which will examine the art of writing for graphic novels. Cutting his teeth writing for 2000 AD and DC Comics, Mark Millar graduated to Marvel Entertainment ten years ago and in that time has written some of the most successful comic…

Portfolio Review with CLiNT Magazine

Join the team behind CLiNT magazine and get a unique opportunity to present your own portfolio for feedback and get expert advice on how to break into the comic-book industry. The 50s had The Eagle, the 70s had 2000AD and now we have CLiNT. Edited and co-published by Mark Millar, CLiNT is the first mainstream news-stand…

Mark Millar

  • 4 stars

Award-winning graphic novelist Mark Millar has given his own unique twist to some of the most famous franchises in comics, including the X-Men, Captain America, Spider-Man and Superman, and his series Kick-Ass was sold as a movie before the first issue even hit the stand. He talks about his work and takes questions from…

Superman II – the Richard Donner Cut

  • 1980 / 2006
  • US
  • 1h 55min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Richard Donner, Richard Lester, (uncredited)
  • Cast: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, Jack O'Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Clifton James, EG Marshall, Marc McClure, Terence Stamp

Never before shown on a cinema screen in the UK, the Richard Donner version of Superman II is a fascinating lost treasure. Donner worked on the original Superman and its sequel at the same time and is thought to have completed between 70–80% of Superman II when he was informed that his services were no longer required.