The East London Comics and Arts Festival (ELCAF) 2013 is just around the corner and if last year's inaugural edition is anything to go by, it'll be a spectacular showcase of the very best in indie comics and graphic art – sure to delight enthusiasts of all ages and tastes.
Even those who aren't yet immersed in the off-kilter world of independent and self-published comics should be bowled over by the talent on display. Young artists, designers, illustrators and writers from London and further afield will be present and exhibiting, so attendees will be able to shop and mingle with creators at the same time.
Expect books, posters and prints but also handmade T-shirts and toys, all showing off cutting-edge design and an irresistible DIY ethos. Shopping at ELCAF won't break the bank, but visitors might find there's a surplus of attractive artefacts they'd like to take home.
This year, ELCAF will also incorporate a densely-packed programme of talks, panel discussions and workshops, so those wanting to learn a little more about the artists – or even get involved in the scene themselves – should find plenty of interest.
These events include a drop-in workshop hosted by Takayo Akiyama, Tom Smith, Becky Barnicoat and Ashley May, where complete beginners will be guided through the process of making their own comic book. Those looking for industry insider perspectives can attend To Publish or to Self-Publish: That is the Question, a panel discussion featuring artists who've taken either path.
For fans of more eccentric spectacles, Ready Steady Draw should be well worth checking out. This mammoth eight-hour performance sees a rolling lineup of artists take their turns to collaborate on a giant banquet illustration, letting spectators come up with delicious and deranged dishes for them to draw.
ELCAF 2013 takes place at the York Hall in Bethnal Green on Saturday (June 22nd). The venue should prove easy to reach from most central London hotels, being a short distance from the Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath tube stops.