Paul Gravett sends a big update:
Sorry to have been rather out of contact over the busy summer. Hope your
summer was fine too.
I enjoyed the 2nd week-long Bande Dessinée Université d'Eté in Angoulême and
Dundee's Biff, Bam, Crikey conference in July. In August had a great 12-day
trip to New York, my brother's place upstate, then on to Toronto and the
excellent Toronto Comic Arts Festival, a truly uplifting and inspirational
celebration of the best in current comics. Then soon after my return, two
days in Manchester for Dave Huxley's intense Aesthetics of Trash conference,
very stimulating and hopefully a harbinger of more.
Many of you in the UK will have seen the trailers and press coverage for
COMICS BRITANNIA, a 3-part series of one-hour documentaries about British
comics. The series starts on Monday September 10th on BBC4 Digital at 9pm.
Thanks to Paul Wells, who advised on Animation Nation, I was brought in to
advise and help them make contact with creators and experts. Clearly, three
hours is nowhere near enough time to cover all of British comics- or at
least those since The Dandy's launch 70 years ago this year. Lots had to be
left out, my suggestions were not always included, but it does a great job
over three hours of giving an overview and if it proves successful enough
may well lead to more BBC programmes on comics to come. If you do enjoy it,
let the Beeb know and urge them to do more. I've already got several
follow-ups proposed to them!
Btw I've written three web articles to accompany the series that will go up
over the next three weeks. The first one is here:
I've also done a rather brief chat with Arthur Smith about the first
programme on today's Loose Ends in Radio 4. It goes out tonight at 6.15pm
but you can listen again online:
In other news, the British Museum Manga To Anime Season is going well. A
good house last night for Phoenix 2772, though apologies again for the
difficulties with the subtitled version and having the screen the dubbed
version instead. I hope to see some of you at the next screenings: Barefoot
Gen on Thursday 13th and Akira this coming Friday 14th. More info and links
Cult Fiction continues to tour the country and I'll be in Leeds next month
for a lunchtime illustrated talk and guided tour at the Leeds City Art
Gallery on Saturday October 6th. I'm also chairing two panels on graphic
novels at the Ilkley Literature Festival on the 6th and Manchester
Literature Festival on Sunday 7th, both with Simone Lia, Rutu Modan and
Bryan Talbot, courtesy of Jonathan Cape.
Keep an eye out on the COMICA subsite as the full programme of events, at
the ICA but also elsewhere, will get posted there. It's a truly
international festival this year, with LINGUA COMICA, supported by the
Asia-Europe Foundation, as a major component, bringing to London fourteen
young talented creators from Asia and Europe. The Festival spans just over
two weeks this year and I hope you'll be able to come to some of the varied
events on offer. One extra event will me a talk on British comics at Dulwich
Picture Gallery on the morning of October 31st.
Big thrill yesterday was the arrival of the Finnish edition of GRAPHIC
NOVELS, with a superb translation and adaptation job by Otava in Helsinki.
Due soon in print will be my interview with Posy Simmonds for The Comics
Journal and a paper on coming to 'terms' with the graphic novel in Europe
for Third Text.
Peter Stanbury and I are also at work on a new book for next Spring. More
news on that shortly. And this month I'm also joining the panels of judges
to choose the winners of The Observer/Jpnathan Cape/Comica graphic short
story prize, and the Embassy of Japan's Manga Jiman competition (there is
still time to enter this - closing date is Friday September 14th):
I'm afraid i won't be at the exciting Birmingham International Comics Show
Instead, I'll be at an Italian festival called Komikazen that weekend, which
should be an interesting gathering if you can make it along:
Finally, webwizard Tim Webber has posted two articles on the site this
weekend as he is off now on a well-deserved break. Tim does a superb job
designing the site for me, I know so many of you appreciate it.
All the very best and looking forward to seeing you perhaps at some of these
All my best