Television presenter and comic book fan Jonathan Ross will visit Banbury’s Comic Connections on April 5 to sign copies of his latest comic The Revenge.
The announcement has been made by Comic Connections owner Glyn Smith, who said there will be 200 tickets available on a first-come-first-served basis from 10am on the day.
Mr Smith said: “It is phenomenal news that he is finally coming to Banbury.
“I met him at a Comic-Con event in Birmingham a few years ago, which was his first comic book signing. This will be the first time he will be signing in a comic book store so it is massive news for the town to have an A-list celebrity like him.”
As well as being famous for his ITV entertainment show The Jonathan Ross Show, the 53-year-old is well known as a fan and champion of comics.
He wrote his first comic, Turf, in 2010 with American artist Tommy Lee Edwards and his next comic, America’s Got Powers, was written in 2012.
The Revenge is being released by Image Comics and tells the story of retiring B-list movie star Griffin Franks.
It contains graphic violence and is not suitable for children.
At the Banbury signing, Mr Ross will be joined by British artist Ian Churchill, who has spent 20 years working in the comic book profession.
He has worked on titles such as Deadpool, The Avengers, Supergirl, Teen Titans, Red Hulk and Cable. His creator-owned series Marineman was nominated for both an Eisner Award and a Stan Lee Excelsior Award.
Other titles Mr Churchill has worked on include DC and Marvel comics X-Men, Batman and Captain America.
Comic Connections is Oxfordshire’s longest-serving comic book store since opening in 1994.
Mr Smith started reading comics when he was growing up in the 1960s, and as his comic book collection got bigger, he decided to set up his business in Calthorpe Street before relocating to George Street. He finally settled in Parsons Street in 2000.
Mr Smith said: “I suffer from dyslexia and didn’t like reading books when I was growing up because I suffered from headaches.
“I didn’t have any problems when I read comic books because the art work broke everything up. When I started reading Judge Dredd as an adult, I started to really enjoy it. There were so many comics I wanted so I did some investigating and as I slowly built up my collection as a part-time dealer. I finally managed to set up a shop in Banbury.”
At the moment the shop has 30,000 different comics and 3,000 graphic novels. Mr Smith also claims to have the biggest collection of Batman comics in the country. He added: “If you told someone about ten to 15 years ago that you read comics you would be called a geek.
“Now film directors have turned comic book characters such as Batman, X-Men and Superman into Hollywood blockbusters, being a geek is considered more of a norm now. I am a big fan of Batman. I enjoy reading the darker comics and his story doesn’t get much darker.”
For more information call Mr Smith on 01295 268989 or email firstname.lastname@example.org