Sadly there will be no weekend convention Hi-Ex event in 2013.
The first comics event of its kind in the Highlands was held February 2008, at Eden Court, Inverness. It all started with a chance conversation and snowballed from there into a great first-year success – despite having no budget, no time and snow blocking the main roads on the actual weekend! Hi-Ex went on to hold successful weekend events in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
The aims of Hi-Ex are to:
- When possible have an annual weekend comic expo event in Inverness.
- host smaller talks and events throughout the year.
- have outreach projects to involve schools and young people throughout the highlands in comics, books, sci-fi, film & related genres.
- give opportunities for highland families to participate in new activities, promoting literacy and inclusion, furthering an understanding of comics.
- provide a focus in Scotland and the north of the UK for comics professionals and amateurs to network.
- promote Scottish comic talent.
- promote a wider understanding and forward-thinking attitude to comics as an important storytelling medium and evolving art and literary form.
- Address inclusion and equality issues within the comics industry.
- Raise money for charity.
- provide opportunities for self publishing creators, emerging talent and publishers.
- create links internationally between comic creators, publishers and their audience.
The History of Hi-Ex!
Hi-Ex 2008 was held at Eden Court early February 2008. A sudden snowfall blocked the major roads and prevented some of the main guests from reaching Inverness, but this did nothing to deter the determined public, who came in un expected numbers. The event was still hailed as a great success and received rave reviews. A second Hi-Ex was inevitable!
Hi-Ex 2009 was booked slightly later, on 14th & 15th February 2009, in an attempt to avoid a repeat of any snow related drama – no such luck, as 2009 was the spring where the whole of the UK was snowed in! However, despite slightly reduced numbers the event was still enjoyed by all who attended. Thanks to incredibly generous donations from comics publishers and professionals and the public – Every Hi-Ex raises an incredible amount for Children 1st in an Auction and raffle.
The long term future of Hi-Ex is vulnerable: while there is a strong demand for an event of this kind in Scotland and in the North, funding is a problem. For Hi-Ex 2010 the Highland Council kindly stepped in with a grant to assist with outreach and other additional activities.
Hi-Ex took a break in 2011 due to the organisers workloads and a lack of funding, but people just missed it too much and Hi-Ex 2012 was inevitable.
Hi-Ex organisers are currently artist Vicky Stonebridge and Futurequake editor & writer Richmond Clements.