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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

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

"...the Talking With Gods documentary didn't disappoint."
The Guardian

"Gives the comic form the cultural representation the UK doesn't normally see."
David Greene

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

"Featuring some of the most critically-acclaimed international comic book creators..."
Tripwire

"This event showcased some of the great variety of manga art styles and artists working across languages, continents and cultures in the world today."
Karl Pell

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

"...some of the UK's sharpest cartoonists gathered at the 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."
The New Statesman

"The Comica Festival's uniqueness resides in its selection of international comic artists [and] its presentation of cutting-edge themes..."
Dominique Le Duc

"The whole affair was very effective as an insight into the creative process of a genius."
Unified Review Theory