THE BLOG AT THE CROSSROADS
Posted: September 22, 2014
You wait ages and three come along all at once! Three great gallery spaces are opening some ace exhibitions in London this week, all well worth your while visiting. Tuesday September 23rd brings the opening of Gekiga: Alternative Manga From Japan at The Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London, WC1A 2HH. This is the first time that original drawings of gekiga - the underground movement that revolutionised manga - have been exhibited in Europe, including over 50 pieces of original artwork and reproductions from rare manga. This exhibition lasts till November 29th.
Then on Wednesday September 24th, Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women opens at last in Britain at Space Station 65, 373 Kennington Road, London SE11 4PS. Co-curated by Michael Kaminer and Sarah Lightman, Graphic Details is a groundbreaking touring exhibition providing the first in-depth look at a unique and prolific niche of graphic storytelling – Jewish women’s autobiographical comics, continuing till December 13th.
And thirdly, also opening September 24th is the selling show Miniature Ink featuring miniature original artworks from over 100 of the most talented tattoo artists from across the globe, with profits going to cancer charity Sarcoma UK. Small but perfectly formed, each work is the same affordable price, providing an opportunity for all art lovers to own an original by some of the industry’s most sought-after names. This show runs till October 15th (and will be followed by a Comica Festival collaboration, the first London exhibition of manga mistress, Junko Mizuno!). Be sure not to miss these three highly recommended, stimulating cultural experiences!
Posted: September 20, 2014
And here’s another reason to pop over to Brussels: the major exhibition of Tardi’s originial artworks from Goddamn This War! are on show now at Bozar Centre For Fine Arts in Brussels. If you missed it at Angoulême this year, or Paris and Erlangen, don’t miss it in this prestige venue in the Belgian capital!
Posted: September 20, 2014
The Spectra Ensemble are putting on two more performances of Lint, the graphic novel by American comic book legend Chris Ware, which covers the life story of Jordan Wellington Lint (1958-2023), a man excelling in wrong decisions and missed opportunities. The leitmotifs, counterpoints and other musical elements in this comic drew the attention of Walter Hus, who put the story into music, page by page. The result is a comic book opera, sung by Angélique Wilkie. Lint: The Opera will be performed in Belgium, at de Warande in Turnhout on November 21st, and at the Theatre Marni in Brussels on November 28th.
Posted: September 14, 2014
When an admiring woman dares to touch a man with extremely active glands, she finds that he sweats pure fat. Female corpses rise from their graves because they have been buried without their bras. Once a century, the ‘Bread Man’ walks the earth to shame those who fail to kiss a dropped crust. Tall tales from a well-thumbed found journal recording Adventures on a Desert Island are among some two dozen stories which fill Polish writer-artist Maciej Sieńczyk’s graphic novel of the same name.
His main protagonist sets off on a gigantic liner bound for Johannesburg but ends up shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Sieńczyk explains, “I like the idea of the ‘inner journey’, when a character’s journey is a pretext for the presentation of his spiritual world.” Read the rest of my new Article here…
Posted: September 14, 2014
Achat Design at 3 avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris are working with the Galerie Moebius and hosting an exhibition of Moebius’s sublime artworks from September 18th to October 31st. As their announcement states, “Come and discover or rediscover his artworks full of poetry and colours, mixing humour, fantasy and science fiction. Enter the universe of Moebius…”
Posted: September 12, 2014
One of the challenging but rewarding comics activities I am involved with is helping to judge comics competitions. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and these contests and talent-hunts are a great way to get your work noticed and take an important step towards being published. Have a go and don’t give up, keep trying!
There’s still time till September 27th for UK residents to enter your 4-page comics to this years Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize. There is no theme, so it’s wide open. Best of luck! The winner will be announced and presented with their cheque for £1,000 at Comica Festival 2014 this coming October/November. The winning entry will be printed in The Observer and on their website.
Thanks to the Embassy of Japan in London, UK-based comics creators have until November to enter the 2014 Manga Jiman contest. This time it is on the theme of ‘Once In A Lifetime’. Prizes includes two plane tickets to Japan!
And the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom has announced its second International Comics Competition “Animate Europe”, on the futuristic theme of ‘Europe Fast Forward’. It’s open to anyone anywhere in the world, as demonstrated by last year’s excellent entries from countries far and wide, inside and beyond Europe itself. The first stage is to propose your 8-page comics and submit the very first page only. Have a bash at these and other competitions I list and link on my Things To Do page - you never know but you’ve gotta be in it to win it!
Posted: September 9, 2014
The witty and wise New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast talks about her moving new autobiographical graphic novel, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant (Bloomsbury), in the latest instalment of Gil Roth’s online interviews at Virtual Memories. Listen and enjoy ‘Podchast - Parental Guidance’!
Posted: September 8, 2014
The coming weekend of October 3rd to 5th kicks of this year’s Rencontres Chaland, an annual jubilee for the brilliant French comics artist Yves Chaland in various venues and on the street of his hometown of Nérac. And this year’s Guest of Honour, himself a huge admirer of Chaland, is Charles Burns. Here’s his poster for the festival and for his one-man exhibition, one of six running till November 8th. Get there if you can!
Posted: September 7, 2014
The most vivid childhood experiences can implant indelible impressions. In the case of Keiichi Tanaami, born in 1936 in Tokyo, they were enough to fuel a lifetime of diverse, determined self-expression in a wide range of media, from psychedelic Pop art paintings and experimental animation to designing the Japanese editions of Playboy (‘Wonder Girl’ spread from 1968, below) and record albums by Jefferson Airplane and The Monkees. Some of Tanaami’s sharpest memories have haunted him since the Second World War. As a boy he witnessed and survived the American air raids which decimated the capital, their firebombs lighting up the night sky and shimmering through his father’s goldfish tank. These distorted, brightly coloured creatures have become one of his recurrent symbols. Read the rest of my article, Tanaami-sensei’s new piece for ArtReview Asia & Web-Exclusive interview here…
Posted: September 2, 2014
For my latest advance monthly recommendations for November 2014, the creators and their styles and subjects come not only from the USA and UK but also from as far afield as New Zealand, Lebanon, Korea, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Japan and France. I’m singling out for special mention that rarest of sightings, a new graphic novel from Dylan Horrocks, his exuberant and philosophical gem Sam Zabel And The Magic Pen. Here’s what Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?, has to say about it:
“Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen is a tour de force. There’s something very pure about Dylan Horrocks’ comics. That’s perhaps an odd word to describe this book which is so much about desire. But Horrocks’ line and his imagination both seem to flow freely and directly from some primal source. If you’ve ever wished that Hergé had written comics for grown-ups—gorgeously drawn and playful adventures that explore the serious anxieties of midlife—your wish has come true, and then some.”
Which title will be your pick of the litter this time? There’s plenty to look forward to here from around the globe and on your doorstep, so enjoy investigating these upcoming titles and stretching your comfort zone! Check out my PG Tips here…