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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

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

"...a fantastically wide selection of comics, to be touched, admired and purchased."
Toby Litt

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

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

"...fascinating..."
Redrawn

"...he's a natural storyteller. He can't seem to stop."
Paul Tierney

"Imagine one of the world's greatest cities hosting a series of events starring the world's greatest cartoonists, put together by one of the world's greatest comics scholars. That's London's Comica."
The Beat

"I'll definitely be going to more Comica events."
Matthew Rees

"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

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