Goodness, have there been a lot of amazing events this month! The kick off of COMICA Festival in November unleashed a torrent of incredible exhibitions, talks, markets and awards which was followed by a Jonathan Cape event in Bristol, Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds and the Book Trust event back in London. Here is the low down:
First up I was invited to host the ‘50 Shades of Comics’ panel with the amazing Aline Kominsky-Crumb (Dirty Laundry, Need More Love, Drawn Together) and novelist Evie Blake (who adapted Guido Crepax’s erotic comic into a novel, Valentina). I suspect I was asked to host it as my book had a few naughty bits in it, but being a bit of a secret prude I was a little nervous about how I’d fair.Melinda Gebbie was also supposed to talk about her collaboration with husband Alan Moore on Lost Girls, but family obligations meant she unfortunately had to pull out. We talked about the inclination for women to have submissive fantasies and the roll of hate in sex and sex in hate. And Aline taught us how yoga can erm… aid oral sex. Fascinating stuff!
We were then invited by the Korean Cultural Centre to another COMICA panel/networking eventwith 5 fantastic Korean Manhwa artists: Lee Doo-Ho, Hyung Min-Woo, Chae Jung-Taek, Suk Jeong-Hyun and Jude Friday. I was pair up with the wonderful Chae Jung-Taek who I chatted to during the panel. His more recent comic is called Mr Kimchi and his comic about a sex-obsessed high school was turned into a movie. Check out this surreal clip below! It was great to see that Korean Manhwa had such strong ties with their sophisticated film industry. I am now dreaming of visiting!
Next up was a Jonathan Cape Festival of Ideas event held in Bristol. I had the pleasure of appearing alongside Katie Green, Simone Lia, Hannah Berry, Joff Winterheart, Bryan and Mary Talbot, Ravi Thornton and Othon… and Alison-friggin-Bechdel! I gave Alison a copy of my book and then was terrified as she read it on our train journey home. Fortunately she really liked it. Phew! But then I had told her the (true) story of how I wrestled my copy of Fun Home back from a gang of Mexican muggers who made off with my wallet/camera. Check out her new book Are You My Mother?
Then we went up to my old university home of Leeds for Thought Bubble were I shared the Jonathan Cape table with Simone Lia and Hannah Berry and had 1000s of chats with 100s of shiny, happy comicey folk! Man I love you guys. (photos below with Ben Dickson and Hannah Berry).
And finally last night back in London I talked at the Hannah Bery/Comica Book Trust event. Packed out and good to have a few new literary brains to wash in the ways of comicy propaganda Read Hannah Berry’s fantastic and hilarious Book Trust Resident Blog here:http://www.booktrust.org.uk/writing/online-writer-in-residence/blog/
Here’s a photo (left) pre-panel with the lovely Simone Lia and Hannah Berry (Sarah MacIntyre also spoke with us). And (right) later in the pub with rather red looking Megan Donnolley, Posy Simmonds and Simone Lia (Sarah McIntyre was taking the photo!). Pretty dramatic to witness Posy flying across the room to alert a young man whose double base had caught on fire. I kid you not. Could only happen in a pub full of storytellers!