Comic fans were saddened yesterday by the news that the only comic book expo in Scotland has been postponed due to lack of funding and time constraints.
The Hi-Ex comic expo, which was due to be held at Eden Court, Inverness, in March 2011, has run for the past three years and attracted more than 600 people each year.
The two-day event is organised by couple Vicky Stonebridge and Richmond Clements who live in Lochcarron.
Ms Stonebridge said postponing the event was the last thing they wanted to do, but promised fans they would be back bigger and better in 2012.
Ms Stonebridge said: “Last year’s event was so big and successful that we didn’t want to put on a half-hearted one this year.
“It wouldn’t be fair to all the visitors that look forward to it so much.
“The Hi-Ex event is on a purely voluntary basis and, because Richmond and I both have full-time jobs, we just don’t have the time to put it on this year.”
Ms Stonebridge also said they had found it hard to secure funding and support from local businesses and organisations, but it was something they would be looking into for 2012 and would still be holding comic workshops and signings throughout the year.
Yesterday, Gary Davis, owner of Inverness’s only comic store, Heroes For Sale, expressed his disappointment about the news.
Mr Davis said: “It’s a real shame that it’s not going to be on next year.
“Any event that brings 600 extra people to the Highlands has got to be a good thing.
“It has become a highlight in many people’s calendar and I know a lot of my regulars will be disappointed.
“It’s something new and exciting and has introduced a lot of people, young and old, to the art form.
“We understand why it has to be postponed though; it’s a lot of work and Vicky and Richmond have done a fantastic job over the past three years.
“I’m looking forward to seeing it return in 2012.”