Thursday, 12 June 2014

Holidays + comics + Lumberjanes

I'm going on holiday tomorrow and I am too excited for words. Right now I am like one of the kids from High School Musical 2 staring at a giant clock and counting down to freedom while chanting 'summer..summer…summer…summer..'


 My to-do list has been bananas of late and so caravan fun and sticking my toe in the sea and mooching round model villages and playing crazy golf and hopefully doing archery lessons so I can learn to be Katniss will solve EVERYTHING.

And it's not just the holiday I'm excited about because next week I get to see Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Sarah Zaidan, and Will Brooker talk about super heroes at the British Library in the (Super) Hero with 1000 Faces event.

 I'm. Too. Excited. I've been to a few talks with Grant Morrison now and I'm just happy that anyone ever lets him have access to a microphone and an audience. The last time I heard him speak he talked about how he shat himself on a plane after taking a bunch of drugs. But he's also super eloquent when it comes to talking about the concept of superheroes. His talk at Foyles 3 years ago had him shouting "People always ask me when does Batman gets the time to go to the toilet. What they don't understand is BATMAN DOESN'T PISS! HE'S NOT FUCKING REAL!" so I'm sure it's going to be a tonne of fun. This time round he is joined by Warren Fucking Ellis which is making me fangirl all out.

It's sold out but if there are any returns or if you know people in high places then go if you can!

Oh and I should also mention that while you are there you should also stay for the current exhibition at the British Library Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK. If you can go during a weekday then do it, as the weekends tend to be hella busy and the layout of the display doesn't really allow a great number of people to view and enjoy the displays comfortably. (I made the mistake of going on a super busy Saturday and I was very grumpy about it).

The exhibition has a lot of great content although I found myself questioning some of the curation. The earlier displays in the exhibition feature 'diversity' and so it feels like the rest of the display after that section feels a little bit male and white. I would have loved to have seen more examples of the comic creators that came from the fanzine scene and more links to self publishing. And I also would have liked to have seen the concept of the British Invasion of the 80s widened a bit so we could have seen the impact of that and how it affected the comics landscape in the UK not just in terms of the effect it had on American comics. And I would have liked to have seen gay/queer contemporary comics not just those from the 70s and 80s. I would have liked to seen examples of contemporary representations and visibility within all forms of comic mediums and I often felt like the 'diversity' stuff was just framed within a political and historical viewpoint as though nothing else happened after that.

But for all my criticisms there were some fantastic materials in the display that I would love to go back and take more time to look at. The BL provide ipads on display loaded with so many graphic nvoels and trades for you to read, never mind the actual comic material on display. It's just so much to take in! There were some really great books and art work on display and I lost my shit over a few original art works and original scripts and thumbnails and correspondence between writers and artists. There's also a multimedia installation of various comic creators working in their offices/studios/homes which is actually really mesmorising. There's also some in-process work for the upcoming The Wicked and the Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie which got me more excited for that book.

The Wicked and the Divine in process (borrowed from Gillen's blog)

Oh and speaking of comics I took part in a wee little radio segment about women and comics and waffled on about historical tropes and my love of Ms Marvel. My comments are very 'Women In Comics 101' but it was really nice to be asked and to chat about some of my favourite comics.

And since some of the waffle about my favourite comics was rightfully cut I will just tell you that Lumberjanes is everything right now.


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