|2D, the Northern Ireland Comics Festival is an annual event that celebrates comic book culture and works to promote and support sequential art and storytelling. 2D is organised and supported by the Verbal Arts Centre, a unique and celebrated educational charity founded to promote the spoken and written word in Ireland.|
For the last seven years the 2D Festival has been striving to support comics culture as well as promoting this meaningful artform which is commonly misunderstood. This has been very successful, as it has given comic creators and the public a series of events where there can be focused examinations of the medium and a genuine, inclusive and engaging celebration of comics. There is also a growing focus on the comics industry itself and the festival has been providing a series of invaluable training and educational events.
2D, the Northern Ireland Comics Festival, was conceived as an exciting way of developing the comics related work that the Verbal Arts Centre has undertaken over the last seven years. The Centre initially used some short comic workshops as a way of improving literacy skills in young males.
Following the success of these sessions, the Centre decided to expand its range of projects and employ an artist-in-residence with knowledge of the comics industry in order to add to these workshops, provide illustrations for Centre projects and develop a comic festival that would bring some of the very best creative talent in comics to the North West.
This resulted in 2D - the Northern Ireland Comics Festival in April 2007. The festival has returned every June since, building on the success of 2007 with an expanded line-up of guests and an extended programme of quality events.
The 2D Festival is different from most comic conventions as it is a free event offering free admission to a Comics Fair, workshops, panels, talks and all other related events. By making all parts of the event free of charge, the centre has made the festival accessible to all, continuing its work in promoting comic book culture and celebrating the art form.