The Phoenix Star In A Comic Competition

Here at True Believers, we love to see people create art, characters and stories and support anything that encourages people to do so, so we're really excited about the latest competition from The Phoenix Comic, who are inviting children to create a new comic hero or heroine, with the chance to win some awesome prizes.

The winner will see their character feature in a special 16 page comic story that will be drawn Neill Cameron (Mega Robo Bros, How To Make Awesome Comics) and will run for 4 weeks starting with issue 300.  As if that wasn't enough, the winner will also receive a special bound edition of the story, a full set of The Phoenix Presents books and a annual subscription to The Phoenix for them or their school. 

To be in with a chance of winning, just follow the following 3 steps to create your character;

1)  Get drawing and create a new comic character!  This could be your alter ego, an awesome new hero/heroine or maybe even you!

2)  Show what makes that character awesome - Like a secret power or ability.

3)  All great comic characters have an arch enemy, so draw them too!

The competition is open to all children aged 18 and under and the deadline for entries is at 11:59pm on Wednesday 31st May 2017.

Entries can be sent by post or email to the addresses below;

By email:
By post:  Phoenix Superstar, The Phoenix comic, 29 Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2NP

You can find more information and Terms & Conditions on The Competition Page and you can check out The Phoenix on their website.

Rachael Smith at #TBCF2018

We're delighted to welcome the fantastic Rachael Smith back to Cheltenham Racecourse for True Believers 2018.

If you're a True Believers regular, you probably know Rachael and her work, but for those who don't, Rachael is the writer/artist/creator behind TBCF favourites The Rabbit, Wired Up Wrong, Bess, I Am Fire and House Party (among others).

Away from her creator own work, Rachael has worked on Titan's Doctor Who comics, providing a 10th Doctor strip for the ongoing 10th Doctor series as well as variant covers across Titan's Doctor Who series.  She has also provided the cover for Boom Studios excellent Lumberjanes comic (issue 29).

You can find more of Rachael online at her Website.

And if you haven't bought your tickets yet, head to our Ticket Page now to get yours

The Etherington Brothers at #TBCF2018

We're delighted to welcome the high energy duo The Etherington Brothers back to Cheltenham Racecourse for True Believers Comic Festival 2018.

Robin & Lorenzo are the writer/artist siblings behind Long Gone Don, Baggage, Von Doogan and Monkey Nuts (among many others) as well as regulars in The Phoenix, where they not only have great stories, but Lorenzo also does regular drawing tutorial sheets, each offering tips and skills for drawing anything from facial expressions to smoke effects and beyond.

They also take their tutorials from the page and run regular workshops aimed at teaching children the art of storytelling, through a high energy session that encourages children to get involved and be an active part of the workshops.

You can find more on The Etherington Brothers on their website.

And don't forget you can buy your tickets for the event from our ticket page now.

Phil Winslade at #TBCF2018

We're delighted to welcome the fantastic Phil Winslade to the True Believer Family and as our guest at #TBCF2018.

Over his career in comics, Phil has worked for 2000AD, DC Comics, Vertigo and Marvel, working on titles including Goddess (with Garth Ennis), Daredevil/Spider-Man, Judge Dredd, Batman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Howard The Duck and more.

Phil returned to the pages of 2000AD for Lawless: Welcome To Badrock (with Dan Abnett) and recently provided the art for the back up story in the recent Adam Strange/Future Quest comic, featuring the team up of Batman and Top Cat.

You can find more of Phil's work online on his Facebook page

If you would like to meet Phil at True Believers, head to our Ticket Page to buy your tickets now.

Mike Collins at #TBCF2018

We're delighted to announce that the fantastic Mike Collins will be joining us for a fourth year as our guest at True Believers 2018.

Mike began working for Marvel UK in the 1980's, working on titles such as Spider-Man and Transformers.  He then went on to work for 2000AD, DC Comics & Marvel where he has written or drawn for pretty much all of their major characters.  He was also the artist who introduced Gambit to the world in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #266.

Mike has also had a long association with Doctor Who, having worked on the Panini Doctor Who Magazine since The Doctor returned to TV in 2005 and IDW's US comic series as well.  He also provides tutorials and art tips in the Hachette part work series Draw The Marvel Way.

Away from comics, Mike has provided storyboards for TV and films, including Doctor Who, Sherlock (for which he also provided the art for the colouring book) and Horrid Henry. He also illustrated the music video for the Agnetha Faltskog/Gary Barlow song I Should've Followed You Home.

Mike has been part of the True Believers family since 2013 (when we first asked him to be a part of True Believers 2015) and is a key part of what makes True Believers True Believers! 

You can find more of Mike online at his Website.

And if you haven't bought your tickets to #TBCF2018 yet, head to our Ticket Page now.

The Awesome Comics Podcast at #TBCF2018

After the success of this years appearance at True Believers, we're delighted to welcome The Awesome Comics Podcast team back for True Believers 2018, which will see Vince and Tony once again reign terror down on Cheltenham Racecourse! And this time they're bringing Dan along too!

For those who have never listened to the Awesome Comics Podcast (you really should), ACP is a weekly podcast hosted by Vince Hunt (creator of The Red Mask From Mars), Tony Esmond (writer for Down The Tubes) and Dan Butcher (creator of Vanguard) that puts the focus on Small Press Comics and their creators.

As well as bringing the Awesome Pod to TBCF for another panel, they will also be bringing copies of The Red Mask From Mars, Vanguard and more to the convention floor.

You can find more of The Awesome Podcast online on podbean, along with The Red Mask From Mars, Vanguard and Down The Tubes.

Don't miss out on the Awesome Pod at TBCF, buy your tickets now from our ticket page.

Emma Vieceli at #TBCF2018

Having missed this years event (our fault), we're delighted to welcome the awesome Emma Vieceli back as a guest for #TBCF2018.

Emma joined us for the first True Believers in 2015 and joined us again for TBCF2016, when she had just started artist duties on Titan Comics excellent Eighth Doctor series.

Recently she has been providing art for DC's Adventures Of Supergirl Digital First series, Walker Books' Alex Rider and IDW's Jem & The Holograms. Her previous work includes Vampire Academy, Manga Shakespeare, Avalon Chronicles and Marvel's Young Avengers.

You can find more of Emma online at her website.

And if you haven't bought your tickets yet, be sure to head over to our ticket page now.

Sarah Graley at #TBCF2018

We're delighted to welcome the fantastic Sarah Graley as our guest at True Believers 2018.

Sarah is both the writer and artist on the Rick and Morty 'Lil' Poopy Superstar miniseries published by Oni Press, as well as on her creator-owned comic Kim Reaper (also published by Oni Press and out now!) and the 24 page adventure story Pizza Witch.

She is also the brains behind the popular webcomic series Our Super Adventure, which has been collected into a fantastic hardcover collection of 200 Our Super Adventure comics!

You can find more of Sarah on her website.

And if you haven't bought your tickets yet, head over to our Ticket Page now to get yours.

True Believers 2018 Lanyard details

If you've been to any of the previous True Believers events, you may well have gotten your hands on one of our True Believer Lanyards.  For the last two years, we've been lucky enough to have Transformers: The Lost Light artist Jack Lawrence providing the art for the lanyards and we're thrilled to say that Jack will be doing the art for our 2018 True Believer Lanyard too!

Unlike the previous two years, where we put it to a vote to see which character will be featured on the lanyard, this time we have decided to celebrate Superman's 80th Birthday with a special Superman True Believer Lanyard.

Superman is a hugely important character in both the world of comics and for us here at True Believers, so it seemed only right to honour The Man Of Steel in our own special way (and if all goes to plan, we'll have a few Superman related things going on at the event too).

The True Believers Lanyard is available with all tickets (for a limited time) and makes a nice souvenir of the event (a few of our regulars have a nice collection going)  at no extra cost!  If you buy your tickets before Sunday 7th May 2017 you will get your lanyard tickets at a special early bird price as well, making them an even better buy than they are already! 

You can check out the 2016 & 2017 lanyards below and the 2018 one will be revealed in a few months, but to make sure you get yours head to our Tickets Page now.

2016 True Believer Lanyard by jack lawrence

2016 True Believer Lanyard by jack lawrence

2017 true believer lanyard by jack lawrence

2017 true believer lanyard by jack lawrence

The Etherington Brothers at TBCF: Summer Variant


We're delighted to announce that The Etherington Brothers will be joining us again for the Summer event.  If you missed them at True Believers in Feb, you'll definitely want to catch them this summer.

Robin & Lorenzo are the writer/artist siblings behind Long Gone Don, Baggage, Von Doogan and Monkey Nuts. They are also regulars in The Phoenix, where they not only have great stories, but Lorenzo also does drawing tutorials.

As well as comics, they also run regular comic workshops in which they talk comics and share tips with children interested in creating comics.

You can find more on The Etherington Brothers on their website.

And don't forget to buy your tickets now.  It's just £5 per adult (with £1 from every ticket being donated to the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice) and kids under 13 get in for free with a paying adult.

Design our Lanyards Competition

2017 Lanyards by I Am Zoot and Stuart

2017 Lanyards by I Am Zoot and Stuart

Calling all artists!  Would you like to win some cool prizes and see your artwork hanging around the necks of people at the True Believers Comic Festival 2018?

We're looking for some budding artists to create some cool looking artwork for our Press, Photographer, Exhibitor, Celebrate Cosplay and Guest Lanyards that will be used at True Believers 2018.

The winners will receive two free adult tickets or one family ticket to True Believers Comic Festival 2018 and a special framed edition of the True Believers 2018 lanyards (much like the 2017 lanyards in the picture).

The deadline for entries is Saturday 5th August 2017.  The winners will be selected by our panel and announced here (and on our Facebook and Twitter pages) on Friday 1st September 2017.


- Finished artwork should be emailed to as a high resolution PDF or jPEG file by 11:59pm on Saturday 5th August 2017

- There are 5 sets of prizes to be won.

- Each winning artist will be credited for their work both online and on the lanyard itself.

- A maximum of one entry per person is allowed.

- The artwork must be an original piece by the artist.  Any entries that use another artists work (either redrawn, traced or morphed into a new image) will be disqualified from the competition.

- The judges panel will include people directly and indirectly involved with True Believers.  Submissions will be presented to them for judging without the artists names to avoid any conflicts when voting.

- The judges decision is final.

- Each winners tickets will be posted to them before True Believers Comic Festival 2018 and the framed Lanyards will be available to collect from reception at TBCF2018.

- If you have already purchased tickets to the event prior to winning, your purchase will be refunded if required.

Introducing The True Believers Bus

Sometimes getting to a comic con is half the battle, especially if you can't drive.  So we're delighted to be able to offer a solution for #TBCF2017 in the form of The True Believers Bus, which will take you from Cheltenham Town Centre straight to The Racecourse.

The bus will run from outside Boston Tea Party, Clarence Street, Cheltenham at the following times;

9:30, 10:15, 11:00, 11:45, 12:30, 14:00, 14:45, 15:30, 16:15

The bus will also take people back to the Boston Tea Party stop from the event, between these times, but we do not have set return journey times, with the exception of the last two trips of the day, which will be at 16:45 & 17:35 from The Racecourse.

The bus will cost a suggested minimum donation or £1 per person per trip, with all fares going to The Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice (so please make a donation if you can).

As well as raising money for Sue Ryder with the bus, we'll also be holding a charity raffle at the event as well.  Full details of which can be found here.


Please Be Aware: The bus that has been offered to us to use on the day is a heritage bus and therefore is unfortunately unable to take wheelchair users on board.  

We apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

The True Believers 2017 Charity Raffle

Following the success of last years TBCF Charity Raffle, we will again be holding a Charity Raffle at this years event.  This year we will be raising money for The Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice and have the following fantastic prizes up for grabs...



First up we have a fantastic bundle of Darwyn Cooke goodies up for grabs, courtesy of the lovely folks at Proud Lion Comics, including The Darwyn Cooke Batman Black & White Statue, 3 DC Variant cover edition comics and the trade paperback of DC New Frontier.


Our next raffle prize is an exclusive one of a kind prize.  At the event, our guests will each be drawing a sketch on our TBCF2017 Sketch Sheet, which we will then be framing and giving away, making for a truly unique prize. 

So far the guests who will be adding a sketch to the sheet are Jack Lawrence, Vince Hunt, Jessica Martin, The Etherington Brothers, Andrew Wildman, Cam Smith, Rachael Smith (see below), Des Taylor, Sally Jane Thompson and Ben Oliver.

PRIZE #3 & #4*

The fantastic Rachael Smith has kindly donated these two awesome Doctor Who prints to the raffle.  Both prints are A3 and will come signed and framed (and without the TBCFCHARITYRAFFLE written across it).  

*The 3rd number picked will have first pick


Leckhampton Court is a Hospice based in Gloucestershire, whose staff care for people aged 18 and over dying from conditions like cancer, heart failure and lung disease both at the hospice and through their Hospice At Home service.

It costs £8000 a day to run the hospice and provide care for the people who are there and your support in helping us raise some money for this great cause would be huge in helping them keep doing what their doing and in acknowledging the amazing job that all their staff do.

We will be raising money in memory of Stuart's brother-in-law John Lawson, who was cared for at Leckhampton Court and was a massive comic book fan who is deeply missed by all of us who knew him.


- Tickets will be available to buy from various places around the event (including in Reception on the day) between 10:30am and 2:30pm. 

- Tickets cost just £1 each and all money raised will go to the charity.

- The prize draw will take place at the end of the Cosplay Catwalk at 3:45pm*.

*The winning ticket holder is required to be in the Celebrate Cosplay Hall to collect their prize (unless they have a table at the event, in which case you are required to write your table number on the back of your tickets).  If you are unlikely to still be at the event at the time of the draw, please write a contact phone number on the back so that we can contact you to arrange collection of your prize.

TBCF2017 Des Taylor Commissions now open

As True Believers Comic Festival rapidly approaches, it's time to start thinking about your commissions!  Booking your commissions in advance helps to save you time on the day and also ensure that your art will be there for you on the day. Some guests also prefer to take commissions in advance rather than doing them on the spot, so it never hurts to find out in advance. 

When a guest opens their commission list, we'll let you know here;

The fantastic Des Taylor has opened his commission list for #TBCF2017, giving you the chance to get your hands on a special and unique piece of art.

To get prices and book your commission, please email Des at

The True Believers Convention Floor 2017!

Table Plan 2017.jpg

So after locking myself in the nerd cave, I'm thrilled to reenter the civilized world again, clutching the floor plan for #TBCF2017, which I can share with you here and tell you who will be where on the day (so you can start planning your walk of the floor).

We're thrilled to say that not only does 2017 have one of the largest number of tables we've had on offer, it also has one of our best selections of Guests, Small Press, Artists, Exhibitors and Traders (all with a huge selection of back issue comics and merch & collectibles!  

So please take the time to check out the list below and start your planning now!


A1W Collective = B4  Anastasia Catris - Artist & Writer = J5  Andrew Wildman = H22

Andy Bloor = F2     Art Of Tom Malin = B8     Ash Pure = K12     Attic Studios = H12-13


Bears & Balloons = Z15                 Ben Oliver = H17                 Beyond The Bunker = Z9

Big Punch Studios = C1-2       Biglin Graphics = D1-2      Blackveil Entertaiment = Z22

Blue Fayt = Z14


Cam Smith = H5 Casey Millin Illustration & Bored Bear = M5  Cats Protection = M11

CCTVYLLE = A10     Chris Imber = J6      Chris Sides/Chris Travell = K4      CJBArt = A1-2

Collectors Assemble = Z5-6          Comic Connections = B9-10           Comic Guy = B1-3

Curious Creations = Z1-2  CuriousHerring & Hunter = M10


David Broughton Comics = A13    Dead Canary Comics = E6    Death By Heroism = J3

Des Taylor = H16     Dylan Teague = H14


Eggabeg = F11      Enthusiast = F8      E-Shop-Toys = G5      Etherington Brothers = H8

Eva Lynch Illustration = F3             Evil Kat Studios = J12             Explosive Barrel = M7


Failboat Press = C7-8         Fandom Strangers Comics = N8             Faye Simms = F4

Flutterby = Z3         Flying Bear Productions = M9         Flying Viper Illustration = A12

Frisson Comics = J9     Funky Spaceport = B6


G. Owen Illustration = F9   GalaXafreaks = F5   Geekycool = E1-2   Genki Gear = G6-7

G-Man Comics = N2                 Goldflower Illustrations = C5               Good Comics = L4

Grayham Puttock = K11                  Great Escape = L5                   GRS Collectables = B5


Hellbound Media = H1-2                 Heroes For Hire = F1                 Horns Of Odin = F14


I Am Zoot = The Zoot Spot    I Want To Believe = B7    Ian Blakeman Illustration = M6

Inheretic = C3


Jack Devereaux = E3               Jack Lawrence = H21                Janine Van Moosel = G1-2

Japan All Stars = L7-8               Jazzuar and Tocsidiser = N5               Jess Bradley = H19

Jessica Martin = H15                      John Higgins = H6                      John-Paul Bove = H20

Jon Turner Illustration = K1-2                Joseph Oliveira = D11                JP Covers = F10


Keith Chan = D4    Kev Brett Cartoons = K6    Kev Crossley = M4     Kinga Korska = E5

Kloob Comics = C11


Lady Gabe = N1                     Level 8 Comics = K3                     Little Crow Customs = M8

Little Shoppe Of Holdalls = F7        Lovecomicsuk = C10        Lynne Morgan Ltd = K10


Mad Robot Comics = Z8                  Mango Dragons = N7                   Manhua Cha = Z16

Marvelous Man = N12                Matilda Dawes = Z13                Metaphoric Media = E4

Mike Collins = H4          Mission Collectables = Z10-12          Moving Ink Studios = D12

Moving Pictures = Z20


Neal Clutterbuck = N4              Nick Gribbon = Z18-19              Nick Prolix Comics = H7

Ninth Circle = J4


Orang Utan Comics = E12


P M Buchan & Martin Simmonds = D6          Paul Grist = H11          PetiteCreme = D10

PhaseChan = N3  Philip Davis Art = E11  Pipedream Comics = H18   PJJArtworks = Z7

Pockett Comics = C4     Proud Lion Comics = A4-5


Rachael Smith = H9                                          Rebecca Mansfield and Vanessa Hill = D5

Retro Grade Future = E10                   Richard Rudge = C9                   RNG Comics = N6

Rocks Comics = N10


Saa Iko = A7-9                    Sally Jane Thompson = H3                    Samsun Lobe = J10-11

Sarah Graley = M1                               Sara's Attic = J7-8                               Scentopia = Z4

Science Fiction Collectables = D9                        Sibéal Madden and Abi Delaney = N9

Smither & Jones/Knitted By Nails = M12                                       Spa Town Comics = D3

Square Orange Games = L1-2   Stained Ribs = A6 Steve Sims = L9    Stu Perrins = K9

Suicidaltoys = L10     Sweet Dee's Bakery = E9


Tanra Studios = A3                    = Z17                              Teeth = L11

Things From Dimension X = G8-9       Toby Lee Illustration = F6       Toggery = M13-14

Tom Graham Illustration = L6                                                     TrainStop Jewellery = M3

Trolltooth Wars/Gavin Mitchell = C6             True Heart & Soul Design Studios = E7-8

TTT Gifts = F12     Twisted Art = L3


Untold Production = F13


Venus's Vault = G3-4                    Victorian Geek = A14-15                    Vince Hunt = H10

Violet Dragon = N11     Viva Hate = K7-8


Werepuppy Creations = A11             Wiggly Pet Press = C12             Wobbly Rock = L12

Wolfskulljack = D7-8              WP Comics Ltd. = J1-2               Wrench Productions = M2


YWJ Entertainment = K5

TBCF2017 Cam Smith commissions NOW OPEN!

As True Believers Comic Festival rapidly approaches, it's time to start thinking about your commissions!  Booking your commissions in advance helps to save you time on the day and also ensure that your art will be there for you on the day. Some guests also prefer to take commissions in advance rather than doing them on the spot, so it never hurts to find out in advance. 

When a guest opens their commission list, we'll let you know here, starting with;


Artist and inker Cam Smith has opened up his sketch list for True Believers 2017.  If you'd like a sketch from Cam, he prefers to do a more finished piece than an on the spot sketch, so prefers to do them in advance of the event and in ink, so contacting him in advance is the best way to ensure you get your sketch.  

You can contact Cam by sending him a private message via his Facebook page with your sketch requests.  

Some examples of Cam's sketch commissions can be found below;

The #TBCFSelfie

So True Believers Comic Festival 2017 draws ever closer and, we're not going to lie, we're getting excited for it.  Even though most of the day goes by for us in a blur, it's one of the highlights of our year.  Even better though is the moments after the event, when we get to see your photos, comments and experiences of the day through social media posts, emails and photos. But while we love to see your photos of the day, we realised that there is a whole journey that leads up to the event as well that we never really get to see. 

A lot of work goes into making True Believers happen and a lot of works goes into preparing your tables, cosplay and visit to the event, so this year we're launching the True Believer Selfie and we want you to be involved.  We'd like you to share your journey to True Believers 2017 by posting your selfies on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and using the hashtag #TBCFSelfie. 

We'll get as many as we can and put them into a gallery on our website and (if all goes to plan) display them on a screen at True Believers 2017 too!

And don't forget, if you haven't bought your #TBCF2017 tickets yet, you can get them now from the website.


The Etherington Brothers at True Believers 2017

Okay, so we know what you're thinking; "didn't you guys make your final guest announcement already?" Well, yes we did, but then we had the chance to get the fantastic Etherington Brothers and their fantastic collection of all ages comic work at the event and when that happens, it's time to make a final, final guest announcement!

The Etherington Brothers have been making all-ages comic adventures for over a decade, and are the creators of Long Gone Don, Monkey Nuts, Freaky and Fearless, Baggage and Von Doogan. They have created comics, stories and art for Star Wars, Transformers, The Phoenix, How to Train Your Dragon, The Dandy, Kung Fu Panda, Wallace & Gromit, Madagascar and James Bond. Their client list includes Disney, Dreamworks, Aardman, the BBC, and many of the world's largest book publishers.

The brothers have toured the world performing sold out shows on creativity and storytelling. Using their unique blend of humour, improvisation and enthusiasm, they have empowered hundreds of thousands of children to take their first creative steps into the greatest storytelling medium on earth - COMICS!

At the True Believers Comic Festival the Etherington Brothers will be bringing their full back catalogue of books, and the show will be the convention debut of their new Long Gone Don adventure - The Terror-Cotta Army!

You can find more of the Etherington Brothers online at their website, Facebook and on Twitter @EtheringtonBros