Meet the Team
Festival Chair Councillor Jane Mackenzie
The idea of holding This festival came about following a conversation between Jane and our Patron- Walking Dead Artist Charlie Adlard – back in 2016. Charlie shared his dream with Jane, to establish a Comics Festival in Shrewsbury, and she agreed to help make it happen. When she asked for his advice on where to start, Charlie put Jane in touch with Shrewsbury born Comics Event Director, Shane Chebsey. The rest is history.
However before the festival was dreamed up Jane was already working hard in the community as our Mayor from 2017 – 2018 and has been championing literacy and the arts through her work as a councillor and even for many years before that in the NHS as a Speech and Language Therapist, rising to become the National Policy Director for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.
Jane has always recognised the important role that communication and literacy plays in our lives, and is passionate about providing access to literacy to people of all ages and all backgrounds. She firmly believes this equips us with the skills we need to navigate the challenges that life throws at us all.
She works tirelessly on various charity and community projects including her charity, “Share”, to which all profits made from Comics Salopia will be donated. Find out more about our charity here.
Jane’s contribution to the festival is huge. She brings with her a wealth of experience, and her invaluable little black book of local contacts, which have allowed us to plan a prestigious event, on a scale, which is beyond anything attempted before.
Festival Director Shane Chebsey
Born here in Shrewsbury and a regular contributor to the local music scene as part of the band Cosmic Rays along with Charlie Adlard, Shane has been organising successful comic conventions, conferences and festivals since the first Birmingham International Comics Show in 2006 at the historic Custard Factory.
Since then he has gone on to establish world renowned comic art event brands Like Comics Uncovered The International Comic Industry Conference and ICE, which is dubbed Britain’s Coolest Comic Convention.
He has also organised international events in Brighton, Margate and Manchester and brought some of the biggest names in comics to our shores from all over the world for nearly 12 years.
Shane is a staunch supporter of the British small press publishing scene and for over 20 years published comics and Graphic Novels himself under the banner of Scar Comics alongside renowned artist Andrew Richmond. This included the award winning Madam Samurai Graphic Novels written by Empire Award Winning screen Writer Gary Young and illustrated by Eagle Award winning artist David Hitchcock. Shane served as Editor on the books adapting the film screenplay to comic script to great effect.
An artist himself Shane is passionate about supporting the work of other creatives and passionate about bringing the magic of comic art to a wider audience and what better way to do that than through a huge free festival in his beautiful hometown!
Festival Patron Charlie Adlard
The public face of Comics Salopia is the world renowned artist and co creator of The Waking Dead Charlie Adlard.
He is a veteran of the comic industry and has worked for all of the major publishers both here in the UK and overseas including Marvel Comics, DC Comics, 2000AD and – of course – Image Comics, where along with writer Robert Kirkman he co created the Walking Dead which then, with ANC Studios, went on to become a record breaking Hit TV Show entering the homes of millions worldwide.
Over the years he has also worked on some of the world’s most well known characters and franchises including Batman and a huge run on the X-Files for Topps Comics in America.
Born and raised in Shrewsbury, Charlie has a passion not just for his hometown, but for promoting the full potential of the comics medium as both art and literature.
In recognition of his global contribution to the Comics industry, Charlie was made the UK Comics Laureate in 2017, and travelled the country giving talks and presentations in Schools, colleges, universities and libraries extolling the virtues of comics, and the importance of its role in promoting literacy, to many thousands of people.
His work still carries on however, and we are proud that Charlie is now part of the Comics Salopia Team as our Patron.