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Saturday, June 22, 2013

IBDS 2013 Conference

From the website for the 2013 conference of the IBDS (International Bande Dessinée Society), which is being held at the University of Glasgow from 24-28 June, and features appearances by Grant Morrison and many other UK comics luminaries:

Comics have a long tradition in Scotland and her neighbours. Many argue that the Northern Looking  Glass (1826), which was created in Glasgow, is the world’s first modern comic, that Scottish publisher DC Thomson’s The Dandy (1937 – present) is the world’s longest running comic, although it was with the English character Ally Sloper that we saw the world’s first comics superstar. The place of comics in Scotland will be celebrated by an exhibition in the Hunterian in 2015 showcasing the Glasgow-based Northern Looking Glass, as well as comics from DC Thomson in Dundee. In anticipation of this the Joint International Comics and Bande Dessinée Society conference in 2013 will explore the origins of the medium, and has adopted the guiding themes of The National Origins of Comics, Scottish Comics, and comics and national identity. However, the conference, like the exhibition, will also focus on much broader questions relating to text/image history and the cultural status of comics. It will examine the emergence of international comics traditions, exploring world traditions, and, for IBDS, specifically French-language ones. The conference organisers also invite papers and suggestions for panels on the international origins of comics, comics and identity, crossborder influences, and digital comics as a potential transnational “re-birth” for the medium and the industry. 

I am giving a paper on the influence of comics on Five Wounds on Tuesday afternoon as part of the programme.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hand Lettering

Peter Bagge interviewed at The Comics Journal:

I very much followed Crumb’s example with Weirdo, where he made the letters pages part of the art. It was very careful designed and carefully edited to be as entertaining as possible. He lettered the letters pages by hand, and so I did the same thing. But once I started doing Neat Stuff and then Hate then I had to do type-set, because doing that by hand was insane. .... And then Dan Clowes used to do that with Eightball. I would say that along with a lot of what Robert Crumb did, I think nobody made a better package using the comic book format than Clowes. He very carefully pieced it together, he would even hand-letter the indicia, and hand-letter and hand-design back-issues ads. .... So what would normally be all be filler and house ads, he did all by hand and made a piece of artwork out of it. And like his hand-lettered his letters sections, they always looked beautiful. And they ware entertaining.

There is a persistent prejudice against typesetting in the comics world: an assumption that hand-lettering is always more expressive. I don't share this prejudice.