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A COMICA REVIEW BY:

THE NEW STATESMAN


The following article appeared in the New Statesman on 23 October 2006 and was written by Sam Alexandroni who attended the 24 Hour Comic event at the ICA.

On 6 October, some of the UK’s sharpest cartoonists gathered at the Institute Of Contemporary Arts (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.

Among the participants were David Simonds representing the New Statesman, Steven Appleby, the crew from Le Gun magazine, Matilda Tristram from Bad Idea magazine and four or five Japanese manga artists.

While some of the participants opted for tales of rapacious landlords, sci-fi adventure or, in the case of Steven Appleby, a story about a mind-reading evangelical murderer, our David embraced the big picture. “I’m charting the history of evolution from the Big Bang to George Bush,” he said, explaining: “It begins and ends in darkness.”

The event, which was part of a season at the ICA celebrating comic art, took place simultaneously in 58 locations across 17 countries, with participants from as far afield as Indonesia, Serbia and Brazil, who contributed by blog on www.24hourcomics.com.

Six hours in, David was bearing up well: “Just got to keep going,” he told me between brisk pen strokes. “If I get RCI - repetitive comic injury - I shall send the bill to the New Statesman.”

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Reviews

"Comica... continues to heap cultural credibility onto this once maligned art form."
BBC Online

"Britain's leading comic event..."
The Wall Street Journal

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

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

"...all [24 hour comic day] participants felt a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction by the end."
Jim Medway

"After five years of attending Comica's Comikets, the event has finally come of age."
Francesca Cassavetti

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

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

"...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