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A COMICA REVIEW BY:

GAREN EWING


Garen Ewing is a UK based illustrator and designer, and author of The Rainbow Orchid comic series.

Taking Comics Seriously?

My brother and I went to Greenwich to one of the last events of the Comica festival, a discussion by Paul Gravett and Benoit Peeters concerning the medium of comics and how, or if, it is taken seriously (or not).

It was lovely to get into the cool of the National Maritime Museum’s lecture theatre and to be greeted by Paul Gravett who, recognising me from Bristol, introduced me to Benoit Peeters. The first book I bought about Tintin, which introduced me to the man behind the comic (Herge), was Peeters’ Tintin and the World of Herge, so it was a bit of thrill to meet him.

The discussion was based around a series of slides that charted something of a history of comic strips from Hogarth and Topfler, through McCay and Frank King, up to Eisner, Spiegelman and Ware. Both Paul and Benoit are hugely knowledgeable and interesting with their views, and we really could have done with another hour of this. In fact the slides had to be cut short due to time. The last half hour was taken up by the showing (premiere, indeed) of Peeters’ first ‘Comix’ documentary, this one focusing on Art Speigelman and his In the Shadow of No Towers strip. It was very good indeed, and I hope to see more. After that, Benoit stayed to answer some questions… there were only 10 or 12 of us making up the audience, and three questions were asked, one about Herge and Tchang, one about new creators turning back to early comics for inspiration (me), and one about America becoming more accepting of comics as a medium. It was definitely worth the trip.

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Reviews

"The epitome of geekchic, it's most definitely worth checking out."
The Rough Guide To Graphic Novels

"...Comica continues to be a must-visit destination each year..."
Joel Meadows

"Hurrah! This year's Comiket was a brilliant success."
Sarah McIntyre

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

"5 Stars... a superb exhibition."
Time Out

"...Sacco had some interesting things to say about the comics form in general."
Simon Hacking

"...i left the ica full of encouragement and positivity."
Maartje Schalkx

"I was about to fall off my chair from overstimulation."
Sarah McIntyre

"Guibert turned out to be a captivating speaker."
Sarah McIntyre

"I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the presentation. It was so impressive!"
Helen McCarthy