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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

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

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

"...a comprehensive, varied and exciting season that demonstrated the reach and diversity of the art form."
The Comics Journal

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

"...far and away the best place to find a serious and eclectic showcase of world comics fare."
The First Post

"When the event was over the audience was left wanting more."
Liban Diriye

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

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

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

"PHEW! I just met Matt Groening!"
Jim Medway