Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Places I Bin: The Drawing Circus

Brighton Fringe Festival
Is it REALLY that long (10 years!) since I last went to life drawing?
And even longer since the last time I drew in charcoal??

Drawing real people in real life is not the same as studying a pose and drawing in ink is NOTHING like using charcoal – so off I went to the Spiegeltent: Bosco Theatre for an evening of sketching circus folk.

Turns out they are 'just' people in costumes but because there is a story and they hold poses rather than tumble around, it's just what I needed to (start to) clear off some of that rust. A good looking troupe and a story and some cracking live music to help get the blood pumping while drawing. I loved it and will try to get to their events whenever I can from now on (regular sessions are on Thursday nights which sadly clashes with other commitments so it will be just the odd shows I guess).

Below are a small number of the less embarrassing pictures I made.

  TOLD you I was rusty!!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Places I Bin: Graphic Brighton: Drawing in the Margins

Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton, 58-67 Grand Parade BN2 0JY
01/05/15 and 02/05/15
Two days of academic talks on the subject of the marginalised voice in comics.
Good talks, good chats outside the talks and some good beers after the talks!

Friday night's Gay Manga panel (Emma Vieceli, Inko, Chie Kutsuwada and Ilya, moderated by Alex Fitch) was interesting in itself, but especially notable for how often the panelists had to return to discussing the definitions of different manga categories. Even 'gay manga' is too broad with numerous variations on the theme.

Quick Strips, which followed, was largely a forum for Myriad Publishing authors to talk through their recent projects, but a few of the speakers did step outside of 'precis mode' - particularly Hannah Eaton, Danny Noble and Fraser Geesin.

The comics dynamo that is Karrie Fansman was interviewed by Time Pilcher to set the tone on Saturday.

Muna Al Jawad, Corinne Pearlman and Julian Hanshaw shared a stage for 'Can't we talk about something more pleasant? Older people and comics'. Corrinne gave us an overview of representations of the elderly in comic form; Julian talked through the thinking behind his upcoming Tim Ginger book, which imagines himself as a septuagenarian; Muna described her method of using cartoons in workshops and had us pair off to draw 'a memory of an old person', which images were then discussed to tease out unspoken and unexpected attitudes to ageing. 

Ilya (above, looking more puzzled than sincere which was the sketch I was intending to make) and Nye Wright hosted 'Street Dwellers': a lively panel asking if the homeless have a voice in comics. Impassioned contributions from the audience – particularly Kate Evans on who owns an individual's story – made this one panel that stuck in the memory. I thought the two leads handled it with grace and compassion, even when challenged on the ethics of depicting real people without their permission or knowledge...

Bumps, Births and early Motherhood in comics and graphic novels (phew!) was very rewarding. I've enjoyed Francesca Cassavetti's personal memoir comics for a few years now and her fellow panelists Henny Beaumont and Kate Evans had me noting down there titles to seek out later.

A much stronger second year for Graphic Brighton. Running parallel streams of talks is frustrating when interests overlap, but demonstrates how much ground there is to cover. Most panels seemed to be recorded, possibly video'd, so hopefully they will be made available online soon through Graphic Brighton or the Panelborders podcast.

Bring on Year 3 – tentatively themed War (& Peace, following comments at the closing session, we hope)