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Saturday, 11 September 2010

Comic Artists Map their influences in popular Internet 'Meme'

PJ Holden's 'Influence Map'
2000AD artist PJ Holden has joined the growing number of comic artists who have created 'influence maps' of their work, assembling the art of creators that has inspired him into a pleasing graphic (right).

The project is just part of an Internet 'meme' - a phrase coined by the web's credited creator Richard Dawkins back in 1976 -  defined as a concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet, much like an esoteric inside joke.

Among Paul's influences are Steve Dillon, Cam Kennedy, Belfast cartoonist Ian Knox, Gil Kane and Mike McMahon.

"My intent was to start with the guys that probably influenced me in a thousand untold ways, people I read and loved as a kid and probably copied or imitated," he says in his Meme post on Facebook about the map. "Many of whom I haven’t really tapped into since I was 12. Then I wanted to move into people who are more obviously an influence, people who’s styles I’ve conciously borrowed techniques/renderings from.

"I will borrow a rendering style from an artist but i try and keep my art style – the actual shape of my drawing – my own. But, of course, it’s already been influenced by those that have gone before.

"...It’s been quite a trip through memory lane."

The Forbidden Planet International blog recently reported that several artists have recently created these maps, including Adam Cadwell. John Allison, Aaron Diaz and Rene Engström. Others are Hugh Raine, Paul Shinn and Hi-Ex co-organiser Vicky Stonebridge.  Illustrator Marian Bantjes has created her own design of Map, but it's also fascinating.


But this is just a tip of the iceberg, as this search of ace art community site deviantart reveals.

Paul suggests that those interested in creating their own could do worse than check out the http://britishcomicart.blogspot.com for artists who may have influenced you.

Fox Orian created the template which seems to be being used by most artists for this 'Meme'; check out his own Map here

Check out the Influence Maps on deviantart

Friday, 10 September 2010

Bloodwhat comic reaches its online finale


Bloodwhat, the online comic creation of Worcester film-maker Douglas Wilson, has recently reached the story's conclusion after an impressive regular three times a week schedule for the past year and a half.

With some 6000 views per month, the comic has just shy of 200 strips of fantasy spoofs, parodying a 1980's computer game which Douglas grew up playing. He now hopes to compile a book from the now completed story and is using fundraising site IndiGoGo to pre-order copies with incentives for donators, including a credit in the final printed book and original artwork from the comic.

Creator Douglas Wilson is an animation graduate of the University of Central Lancashire who has worked on the feature film Billi the Vet in Glasgow and Rocket Jo in Angouleme, France. Currently working freelance from Worcester in animation and illustration, he runs two regularly updating web comics, K-9 Lives and Bloodwhat. He's also writing and drawing a graphic novel, The Von Spleen Experiment.

The strip's web site recently underwent a re-design, bringing a bit more personality to the look. "I've made the menu bar quite playful and amusing and hopefully having that same link panel across the whole site makes navigation a little simpler," Douglas explains.

"I also wanted to add hand written notes explaining a little more about what I am trying to do with the site and its contents [and] back-up the handmade, personal aspect of my work in the design."

• Check out comics at: www.dougwilson.co.uk

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Panel Borders: Making Marvels in the UK

Continuing podcast and radio show Panel Borders month-long look at British creators who have written and drawn superhero comics for both the American and domestic markets, in a panel recorded in front of a live audience at the London Science-Fiction Film Festival, Alex Fitch talks to a quartet of Marvel UK luminaries who were responsible for some of the best action-adventure titles in the 1980s and 90s.

Dan Abnett and Gary Erskine co-created The Knights of Pendragon (along with John Tomlinson), a series which gave UK superhero Captain Britain a new, darker spin in the 1990s by adding him to an Arthurian team of heroes. Simon Furman was (and still is) the primary writer of Transformers, as well as the scribe behind a dozen installments of the Doctor Who comic strip, plus many of Marvel UK’s most memorable SF titles including Dragon Claws and Death’s Head. John Freeman helped create many of Marvel UK’s early 90s titles such as Death’s Head II, Warheads, Killpower and Motormouth and edited Marvel UK's intended rival to 2000AD, Overkill, for much of its run.

Alex and the four creators discuss the rise in popularity of Marvel UK as a producer of original material in the 1980s and some of the memorable comics they founded along the way.

• Panel Borders: Making Marvels in the UK (Part 1 of 2) airs at 5.00pm on Resonance 104.4FM (London) / www.resonancefm.com, on Thursday 9th September 2010. For further information visit http://podcasts.resonancefm.com/archives/4477

The podcast is available here on archive.org - or just play it via this embed...



Beano Club to be revamped into online community

beano-club_gnasher-badge.jpgBBC News reports that The Beano Club, launched in 1976 as the Dennis the Menace Fan Club, is to be replaced with a website in a bid to attract more members.

The official web site for the Club - probably the last officially-run comic-inspired club in the UK - announces "There are big changes going on behind the scenes here, and we mean big..." and promises "Exciting news for The Beano's biggest fans".

Longtime comic readers may shudder at the use of the phrase "exciting news", often trailed on the covers of comics that were about to cease publication and merge with another. For the Club, which had 1.25 million members at its peak and today costs members £12.99 a year - a far cry from the original 75p membership levy when it launched - it means it will be replaced soon with a new website known simply as Beano.com.

The Club stopped accepting new members in August, although publishers DC Thomson told the BBC it would honour existing subscriptions.

A spokesman for the DC Thomson said they had not yet decided whether Beano.com would be free or be run as a subscription model with different levels of access.

"It's not closing down," Mike Stirling told the BBC. "What we're going to be doing is we're going to be running it in a different format which will enable more people to join."

Mr Stirling said anyone who signed up before the cut-off point at the end of August would still receive their newsletters and a birthday card. All 10,000 members would be informed of the changes by post and DC Thomson is hoping to launch the new website in October.

wlog_badge.jpgClubs based on comic titles have a long and distinguished history in the UK and the Beano Club is probably the last of these.

The Pip, Squeak and Wilfred club began in 1927, inspired by the hugely popular strip of the same name in the Daily Mirror created by Austin B. Payne. Named the Wilfredian League of Gugnuncs (WLOG) it organised many competitions and events for the thousands of members, especially at South Coast seaside resorts. (Gugnuncs is a combination of two baby-talk words used by Wilfred, who as a toddler-aged child cannot speak yet. Nunc being his version of Uncle). There was a WLOG member's badge in blue enamelled metal, featuring the long ears of Wilfred. Among the WLOG rules was one to never eat rabbit.

Mary Cadogan notes in an article for Books Monthly that the Gugnuncs soon numbered 100,000 members, "who filled the Royal Albert Hall at their annual rallies there, and whose meetings, parties and fêtes raised money for several children’s hospitals and charities."

(Such was the popularity of this early newspaper strip, it even inspired First World War medals).

The Eagle had a members club, which cost a shilling (5 pence) to join. In his foreword for The Best of Eagle, published in 1977, the comic's founder, Marcus Morris, said they had applications from 60,000 readers "after our first two issues. Two noble ladies were in charge of this department: Mrs Stark and Miss Mincher."

For their shilling, apart from the book of rules, Eagle club members would receive a charter of membership and the Eagle badge made in gilt.

Lion Club Badge.ComicsUK notes readers were invited to join the Lion Birthday Club (the Lion being Eagle's main rival), where they filled out a form with their name, address and date of birth. Then, if their birth date was selected by the Editor (it had to be the exact date, inclusive of year), they would win one of the birthday presents of a Blow Football game, Replica Pistol, Pocket Telescope, Compass, Penknife, Stamp Album or Conjuring Tricks. If you also sent in one shilling you would receive the Lion Club Badge, made in gilt, which also allowed members to enter the competions within the comic.

The cost of joining the Beano Club is seen as expensive and current and past members have been critical of its benefits, which included a newsletter and birthday card. DC Thomson say they want to make it easier to join, to get more members and give them more of a sense of a Beano community - but for longtime members, the move to a web-based service has not been universally well received.

"I wonder if the fall in members has anything to do with the increase in subscription fees to three times that caused by inflation," pondered Jalanie Crue in a comment on the BBC news story.

"I lost interest in the club when they changed how they manufactured the Gnasher badges and started to make them out of a more "plasticy" material," said James Francis from Stratford Upon Avon. "Plus I spent years wandering around saying 'Ding!' to random people, in the hope of getting a 'Dong!' back. Nothing. I'm easily disappointed."

"Sounds like the usual corporate cost cutting, and very poor show," suggests Justin Stringfellow. "Why not have the website and the club. I was a member of the Dennis the Menace and Gnasher Fang Club in the 70s/80s. After that it must have turned into The Beano Club, at which point it stopped being cool anyway.

"Do kids really read the Beano any more, or just spend the days shooting zombies in the face on their PS3s? I suspect the latter."

"That would be a great pity, as my son [a member] really looks for the mail delivered," feels one parent. "Looking at things on a computer screen lacks the personal touch for a child. It's the tangible that appeals to children - 'my membership card', 'Newsletter addressed to Me'. An email has to playground value - but an exclusive badge has! After all how many 9 year olds have exclusive Internet access? None of my three children do."

• Official Beano Club web site: www.beanotown.com/index.php?s=club

Image publishes US edition of Rian Hughes Yesterday's Tomorrows

Yesterday's Tomorrows, a collection of comics by "luminescent pop culture demon" Rian Hughes spanning over two decades of his career, is being re-published in the US by Image Comics in November.

Previously published by Knockabout Comics in the UK in 2007, the 264-page collection features two infamous and hard-to-find collaborations with Eisner Award winner Grant Morrison: Dan Dare, a post-modern classic that sets the aging and retired iconic British character Dare against a modern British landscape he no longer understands; and Really and Truly, a high-octane psychedelic road-trip torn from the pages of cult comic 2000AD.

Also included is one of Hughes’ first longform comic tales - The Science Service, also the first professional commission written by John Freeman back in the 1980s, created in duotone for Magic Strip; while Hughes explores an evocative noir palette replete with dramatic angular lighting for Raymond Chandler's Goldfish, adapted by It’s Superman author Tom DeHaven; and The Lighted Cities by acclaimed comics creator Chris Reynolds.

Rian is an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator, comic artist, logo designer and typographer. He studied graphic design at the London College of Printing before working for an advertising agency, i-D magazine and a series of record sleeve design companies. In 1994, he founded his own studio, Device, and has since worked with a wide range of international clients in publishing, advertising, music and fashion. He has also worked extensively for the British and American comic book industries, both as artist and designer. 

In addition to sketchbook pages, merchandise and rare strips Yesterday's Tomorrows features an introduction by comics guru Paul Gravett, who published Hughes’ very first strips in his seminal independent comics magazine Escape.

Rian also has a number of books about different aspects of 20th century design scheduled for release from Fiell Publishing Limited, either already published this year or due for publication soon. Out now is Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s (Amazon UK link), a survey of magazine artwork from the Swinging Sixties. Featuring over 1,000 gloriously inventive and stylistically diverse illustrations, it offers a fascinating insight into the extraordinary artistic talents of the illustrators featured, it also reveals the social aspirations of this unprecedented era of political optimism and sexual freedom.

Complementing this release is Lifestyle Illustration of the 50s (Amazon UK link), also due for release in November, an overview of the astonishing artistic skill of the leading lifestyle illustrators of the period, revealing the changing social aspirations of the post-war generation and their growing optimism for the future.

Out in October is Custom Lettering of the 40s and 50s (Amazon UK link) is a celebration of the stunning and stylistically varied headline lettering that predated modern computer type. Each a unique one-off, custom hand-drawn lettering had a stylistic freedom and creative energy unfettered by traditional typographic rules and regulations.

The handbook features over 4,500 examples of custom lettering - from urgent rough block capitals to sophisticated looping copperplate scripts, elegant fashion brush scripts and dynamic illustrative sans serifs, the extraordinary range of graphic styles is as exciting as it is stylistically diverse. It should appeal to typographers, graphic designers and, of course, retro culture fans, lettering aficionados and printed ephemera collectors.

More information about Image Comics new US edition on the Image Comics web site

Buy the Knockabout Comics edition from Amazon UK

• Rian Hughes official web site: www.devicefonts.co.uk 

Fiell Publishing Limited 

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

In Review: Paragon Issue 6

paragon6.jpgThe latest issue of indie comic zine Paragon is out now, an anthology title featuring the work of creators Mark Howard, Dave Candlish, the Emperor and Stephen Prestwood.

There's also a fab 'guest pin up - a gruesome demon by artist Matt Soffe which will feature in the title's 'Jikan' strip in a future issue.

The range of strips has dropped again - just three strips, as opposed to Issue 5 - but once again, 'Battle Ganesh' is my favourite art-wise, a fun modern re-telling of Indian mythology.

Script-wise, I'd argue Mark Howard's 'Jikan' is the best of the title, and Dave Candlish's clean line is rapidly gaining confidence. His storytelling still needs work - key moments could be better served by more energy and action, and but it's a distinctive strip and shows promise, if he develops his limited backgrounds.

All in all, Paragon continues to display an enthused energy and the creators all show promise. Check out the title's blog or track it down at the Smallzone stand at the next big comics event.

• Copies will be available from http://paragoncomic.blogspot.com/ to order any day now. You can also check out the ongoing adventures of 'Jikan' as a three frame web comic there


Read our review of Paragon #5

Read our review of Paragon #4

CLiNT #1 sales strong, says Mark Millar

(Updated 1430, 9th September): Sales of CLiNT #1 and reaction to the new British comic magazine have been very positive, according to its creator Mark Millar - and he says more retail outlets are seeking copies, including supermarkets, which account for almost 40 per cent of magazine and newspaper sales in the UK.

"The good news is that this has gone down a storm," Mark told his fans in a post on his forum yesterday.

CLiNT #1 went on sale across the UK in a fanfare of publicity, including a signing by Jonathan Ross and Mark Millar at WH Smiths in Victoria Station, London, covered 'exclusively' on Sky News and coverage on other TV channels.

"[WH] Smiths and Tesco said they're having a great response," says Mark, "and finally - finally - a comic is generally being stacked alongside car, lifestyle and other traditional men's interest mags.

"For too long they've been sticking 2000AD etc next to the Teletubbies on the bottom shelf," he claims, "but now we're at eye-level and it's paying off."

This isn't of course, strictly accurate - most WH Smiths have dedicated sections for 'teenage' titles, including 2000AD, Panini's Marvel Comics collections and similar titles. Where things fall down is when staff at a local WH Smiths don't follow shelving instructions and rack a title like CLiNT in with junior comics (in one instance, next to Bob the Builder. Another problem for the visibility of many long-running British comics is that they are more likely to be ordered by a customer, so they become what's known as 'put aways' - and then there are no copies to be seen on a shelf.

(Commando, whose 40,000-strong audience is incredibly loyal, with publishers DC Thomson claiming many readers sticking with the title for over 10 years and 2000AD have this problem).

But this is nit-picking: the important thing, as far as Mark and publishers Titan Magazines are concerned is reaction to CLiNT outside the comics community.

"Response from new readers, which has been over 90% of our emails received so far, has been amazing," Mark says. "They picked it up because it didn't look like a traditional comic and found themselves loving the comic strips, which was exactly the plan.

"So me, Titan and all the dudes working on this are very happy. We're in 90% of the Smiths outlets and going up to 95, more supermarkets now jumping on to see what the fuss was about."

Responding to comic fans appeals for comic-oriented features rather than the lads mag-style material published, Mark is adamant that this is the wrong approach if comics are to break out of their perceived 'ghetto' on the news stand.

"I want no more silly responses here where people say it looks like a lads mag," he chastises. "That was kinda the plan, as it got us different shelves and a new audience.

"It's been 25 years since the mainstream really looked at a mass market book that wasn't an outright funny book," he continues. "This was very, very calculated and so far - touch wood- seems to have worked... CLiNT is a pop culture hybrid that gives them something they know with something they haven't tried before.

Elsewhere, in an interview with the denofgeek web site, Mark has enthused about his fellow creators on the magazine - who include Jonathan Ross and comedian Frankie Boyle.

"In our launch issue we've got the highest paid man in British telly, and probably the biggest comedian in the country, and their combined profile helps enormously, because it shows people we really mean business," he says.

"In fact, I think the reason British comics often fail is that mainstream retailers really don't care about me, or any other British or American comic author. You can come up with the best idea for a character and story and nobody with the shelf space will care. So, the trick is to get some big names that retailers recognise to author some comics.

"Having Kick-Ass 2 launching off the back of the DVD release helps, but having Frankie and Jonathan, and some of the writers we've got coming later too, that's really going to get us in shops, and hopefully it'll help create a platform for new talent as well."

Read Mark's full post on the Millarworld forum

Official CLINT web site

Read the downthetubes of CLiNT #1, which includes links to other reviews and news stories about this new launch



Discuss CLINT #1 on the downthetubes forum (membership required)

Tube Surfing: Dr Strange and Spider Man, zines in Birmingham , a misunderstood shark and more CLiNT reviews


Right, what's out there today:

There's an excellent interview with artist Brendan McCarthy over at Mark Kardwell's Bad Librarianship blog. In it, Brendan gives us the inside track on various projects past and present, as well as discussing his new trade collection, Fever (starring Doctor Strange and Spider Man):

"Marvel got a fun and unusual comic and I was able to get the Ditko/Dr. Strange thing out of my system. The Fever trade collection also reprints the 1960's Spider Man Annual by Lee and Ditko that inspired my story. I wish they could have scanned it directly off the old printed pages to get the period feel. Still, artistically it's Ditko at his peak. His genius is there to be enjoyed. Sadly, I am not worthy to sharpen his pencil!'

Leonie O'Moore has posted a short (and funny) online comic about Jaws at her blog. Have a read!

Comics collective We Are Words + Pictures (WAWP) will be attending the Birmingham Zine Festival this weekend and running a Drop-in + Draw session there too. What's a Drop-in + Draw, you say? Over to the peeps at WAWP:

'We’re also running a Drop In + Draw in the nearby Island Bar between 5 and 6.30pm, a chance for creators and the public to unwind with pencil and paper. We’ll have material to help you get started, and a few people on hand to guide you and answer your questions, all for free.'

• Speaking of the Birmingham Zine Festival, their site has lots of cool interviews that are worth checking out, such as this one with James Nash.

• Oh, and a whole bunch of people are reviewing Titan Publishing's new anthology, CLiNT: we already mentioned some, but check out further reviews at Comic Book Resources (via), Paul Gravett (scroll down for this one), Bleeding Cool and Comic Vine...

Oh, and we reviewed it too awhile ago...

Anyway, that's all for now, folks. See you at my next Tube Surf!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Hi-Ex 2011 Cancelled

Bad news from Scotland this evening: the organisers of the popular annual Highlands comics convention Hi-Ex have announced that there will not be one in 2011.

"There's no easy way of saying this, so we'll just come right out with it: there isn't going to be a HiEx in 2011," co-organisers Richmond Clements, editor of Futurequake, and artist Vicky Stonebridge announced in a joint statement earlier today.

"We know, it's terrible! But at the moment, we simply don't have the spare time available over the next few months to get things ready on time and to do it justice and give you the event you deserve."

Vicky and Rich, who are clearly downhearted at having to make the decision, also revealed they have been struggling with finding sponsorship for the event - which should come as no surprise as arts funding cuts begin to bite across the UK.

"We fully intend to return in 2012 (the End of the World not withstanding!)," the pair also announced, "and hopefully that extra time will give us more room to find sponsorship and/or grant money and get things organised!

"...It really is the last thing we're wanting to do, but we have to be realistic with the amount of work required compared to the number of hours we have available to do it."

We're sure this is disappointing news for the event's growing legion of fans, including those who even organised their own "Hell-Trek" to get to Inverness in a mini-bus from southern England last year. Let's hope 2012 proves more receptive to comics events beyond the Cairngorms...

• Hi-Ex web site: www.hi-ex.co.uk

Monday, 6 September 2010

Aces High! Commando celebrates the Battle of Britain

The latest batch of titles from DC Thomson features the first three books in Commando’s six-book 'Aces High' salute to the RAF on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Editor Calum Laird commissioned two brand new stories and also scoured the Commando archives for four cracking air stories which haven’t seen the light of day for decades.

Included in the reprints is Mustang Ace, John Ridgway’s first ever Commando book, first published in 1971. At the time he had a day job and it took about four months of evening and weekend work to complete. He used very think board back then and the stack of art stands about six inches high! John has gone on to establish himself as a fixture in the British comics world and the Commando team like to think that DC Thomson gave him a helping hand in the beginning.

The remaining three books in the 'Aces High' series will be released on the 16th September.

Commando 4323: Island Ambush
Story: Sean Blair Art and cover: Mike White

The SOS came through weak and distorted by static. An American survivor of one of the many battles of the Pacific war, calling for help from a lonely island.

Radio operator Eric Aburto aboard PT Boat 1101 heard the message and knew he had to go to the man’s aid -- not only was he a fellow US serviceman…Eric was sure he recognised a voice from his past!

Commando 4324: One-Eyed Ace ('Aces High' story)
Story: Alan Hebden Art and Cover: Keith Page

Newly-commissioned Pilot Officer Johnny Dangerfield dreamed of racking up the five kills needed to call himself an ace -- and was determined to face anything the Nazis threw at him to do it.
However, it was to be the actions of one of his own squadron’s pilots that would cause him to lose an eye and Johnny’s dreams of being an ace would be over... Or were they?

Commando 4325: Mustang Ace ('Aces High' story)
Story: Mac Macdonald Art: John Ridgway Cover: Ken Barr
Originally No 546 from 1971

An ace... that’s what Joe Jennings was, one of the few gifted pilots who could make his kite do anything but talk. Nobody believed there was a Jerry alive who could match Joe in combat.

Yet the day did dawn when Joe was shot down in flames. And how it came about makes a fantastic story.

Commando 4326: Clash of Aces ('Aces High' story)
Story: Peter Newark Art: Amador Cover: Ian Kennedy
Originally No 465 from 1970

When Squadron-Leader Alec Scott in his old, lumbering Gloster Gladiator was set about by a flashing Messerchmitt 109, it was David and Goliath all over again.

This time David needed more than a sling to down Goliath -- but the big ’un was cut down to size just the same!

• Official Commando web site: www.commandomag.com

• Click here for subscription information or write to: D.C. Thomson & Co Ltd, The Subscribers Department, Commando Library, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL or Freephone (UK only) 0800 318846


• You can read interviews with former Commando editor George Low, current editor Calum Laird and writer Ferg Handley on the downthetubes main site.

Morecambe-based Comic published for iPad

We're pleased to report that Lancaster cartoonist David Hughes comic story Thomas Wogan is Dead, first reviewed on downthetubes last year, is now available to read on Apple's iPad.

This is British publishers Tabella Publishing's first ebook on Apple's iPad platform, the result of what they say comes after reading many books on iphone development, doing tutorials, submitting forum posts and more.

Tabella picked up reprint rights to the quirky tale set in Morecambe (and the hereafter - although is there a difference?) partly after reading the downthetubes review.

Buy Thomas Wogan is Dead for the iPad

Thomas Wogan is Dead is still available in print from Tabella Publishing for £5.99: more details here.

Space Robots and Zombie Robots take over Peter Scott Gallery

Art for iBleed/Peter 2.1 by Adam York Gregory


As a comic artist, games designer and animator, it’s logical that when Lancaster-based Adam York Gregory was given some gallery space at Lancaster University's Peter Scott Gallery, he'd dissect and reanimate a dead computer as part of an interactive installation. 'iBleed/Peter 2.1' seeks to examine the emotional relationships between people and computers.

Adam's work is part of a wider exhibition, Eventual, combining the work of four artists, which seeks to examine transient connections, the tensions between function and dysfunction and the role of technology in arts practice, through sculpture, installation, animation and performance.

Why do we get angry at them when they don’t work? Why do we sometimes feel grief when they stop functioning? Adam invites you to play the role of psychiatrist with an updated and digitised Rorschach test where your patient, the computer, will respond visually to your psychological enquiries.

Also in the exhibition are Aliki Chapple (exhibiting 'I’m Listening, Sales Pitch, Explorers') who has been exploring the relationship between live performance and technology. For Eventual, she's made three performances integrating elements of both. Two of the performances are based on the science fiction stories of Philip K Dick, which are popular sources for perfectly polished mass-market films; in contrast, Aliki’s stagings invite you to fill in the gap yourselves, with the best special effects department in the world, the human imagination. The third, a one-on-one performance staged in the Peter Scott Gallery, is also an invitation to fill in what’s missing; this time with stories of your own.

people_matter_Anne_Hewitt.jpgThrough the use of installation titled 'People Matter', Anne Hewitt explores an emerging dysfunction in social connections and communication which are shown to straddle worlds of both intimacy and isolation. By showing her perceived effects on our physical connection with our surroundings, Anne hopes to highlight the hidden intimacies interlaced with our connection to strangers in our day to day existence.

spectral_layer_Michael_Turner.jpgFinally 'A Spectral Layer' is full of connections, from Michael Turner. Can we hear connections? Can we see them? Are we engulfed by them? And at what level, the conscious or the subconscious? Using piano, computer, projector screen, and eight channels of surround sound, this piece combines audio, video and space to form a new conceptual layer that makes use of the composer's latest research into spectral processing and mapping.

• Eventual runs at the Peter Scott Gallery, Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster University from Thursday 16th - 23rd September. Web: http://eventual.org.uk

Sunday, 5 September 2010

2011 British Comic Events Update

bristol.pngAs the British International Comic Show and London MCM Expo draw ever nearer, a quick reminder that Britain's longest-running comics event - the Bristol International Comic and Small Press Expo - has also started to promote its next gathering.

Again organised by Fallen Angel Media, next year's show will be on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May 2011. Guests are already being signed, events are being finalised and the show is now larger than ever, this time covering the entire floor of the venue with three extra exhibitor and trading spaces and eight extra event areas. making it the largest independent and small press show in the country.

Fallen Angel were delighted with this year's event, which attracted visitor numbers double that of 2009 and they tell us they're working hard to double them again for 2011.

In addition, following the unfortunate demise of the London Thing, Team SPExpo announced last month that they will be running a London Comic and Small Press Expo, to be held on the 12th March 2011, offering all the best in the Indie, Small Press and Web Comix world as well as events, special guests and a whole lot more.For more info, visit: www.spexpo.co.uk

Visit the Bristol International Comic and Small Press Expo web site

Contact downthetubes

• Got a British Comics News Story? E-mail downthetubes!

• Publishers: please contact for information on where to post review copies and other materials: editor@downthetubes.net

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