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A COMICA REVIEW BY:

LIBAN DIRIYE


Liban Diriye reports for the comic news web-site Bleeding Cool on the Black Powers panel, held on 6 November 2009 at the Swiss Cottage Library.

Last night I had the pleasure of getting lost in the Swiss Cottage Library complex trying to find the right room for the Black Powers panel. My bewilderment was shortlived when I soon found a room full of artwork on walls and comics on plinths. The purpose of the exhibition was to showcase black representation in comics.

The panel itself was chaired by the co-curators of the exhibition, Paul Peart-Smith and George Nelson. Also on the panel were artists Woodrow Phoenix, Patrice Aggs and John Aggs (mother and son, quite the artistic family).

As well as talking about the art displayed, some by the panelists, the panel took questions from the audience. The ensuing discussion ranged from Herge’s “naive” (the word used by John Aggs as some in the audience chuckled) portrayal of black people in “Tintin in the Congo” to interesting tangents comparing black representation in cinema to comics.

When the event was over the audience was left wanting more. Well, the work displayed delivered it, included original artwork from Ho Che Anderson’s “King” and Munoz & Sampayo’s “Billie Holiday”. For those alone it’s worth popping down to Swiss Cottage and getting lost for a while.

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Reviews

"Every time I go to these events I come back inspired to do more work."
Sylvia Libedinsky

"...a long-overdue celebration of graphic art and literature."
BBC Collective

"Comica Comiket at the ICA was buzzing with invention and ideas."
The Guardian

"Yet another fabulous evening."
Martin Eden

"...hearing literary translators talk about their work reminded me of the immense difficulty, creativity and importance of the task."
The Financial Times

"...the viewer's efforts were amply rewarded by the superb quality of nearly every comic in the exhibit."
Alison Frank

"The ongoing stream of Comica-related events throughout the year spoils us..."
Andrew Salmond

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

"...it's a great time to be a comics fan in London!"
Chris Thompson

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