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A COMICA REVIEW BY:

THE NEW STATESMAN


The following article appeared in the New Statesman on 23 October 2006 and was written by Sam Alexandroni who attended the 24 Hour Comic event at the ICA.

On 6 October, some of the UK’s sharpest cartoonists gathered at the Institute Of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London for a unique test of creativity and endurance: a 24-hour comic marathon, during which each artist was challenged to create a spontaneous 24-page story.

Among the participants were David Simonds representing the New Statesman, Steven Appleby, the crew from Le Gun magazine, Matilda Tristram from Bad Idea magazine and four or five Japanese manga artists.

While some of the participants opted for tales of rapacious landlords, sci-fi adventure or, in the case of Steven Appleby, a story about a mind-reading evangelical murderer, our David embraced the big picture. “I’m charting the history of evolution from the Big Bang to George Bush,” he said, explaining: “It begins and ends in darkness.”

The event, which was part of a season at the ICA celebrating comic art, took place simultaneously in 58 locations across 17 countries, with participants from as far afield as Indonesia, Serbia and Brazil, who contributed by blog on www.24hourcomics.com.

Six hours in, David was bearing up well: “Just got to keep going,” he told me between brisk pen strokes. “If I get RCI - repetitive comic injury - I shall send the bill to the New Statesman.”

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Reviews

"The ICA treats comics the way they should be: as contemporary art."
Sci Fi London

"...fascinating..."
Redrawn

"It was a real learning experience."
Tom Humberstone

"...one of the cultural highlights in London's graphic novel calendar."
Joel Meadows

"With Comica, the ICA is doing what it does best: reaching out to culture's fringe."
Kulture Flash

"I arrived to find a queue for the sold-out event stretching out of the building."
Paul Tierney

"...a major new international festival devoted to sequential narratives."
Flux

"...vastly informative and entertaining."
Kevin Fitzsimmons

"....plenty of food for thought in terms of fresh reading material ideas..."
Euan Gillespie

"...a very special conversation between two incredible artists."
Chris Thompson