comicbookGRRRL Do not offend the chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible.

5Jul/126

Glasgow Comic Con: Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely in Conversation

Glasgow Comic Con returned for its second year after it was brought back to life after an absence of 15 years. Held in the Mackintosh Church once again, it was a fitting venue given Glasgow's ties with the world of art and comics. Hidden away from the centre of Glasgow though, it was a tight squeeze and the acoustics made it difficult at times to hear what was going on. Hopefully after expanding to two days and across two venues this time we'll see a move to the centre of the city next year.

The guest line-up was stellar, featuring Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Jim Starlin, John Wagner, Alan Grant, Rufus Dayglo, Karrie Fransman and more, many of whom spent the weekend mingling amongst the crowd and tirelessly answering questions, looking through portfolios, and sketching away. I'll be providing a full write up of the majority of guests in the next few days but first we'll focus on the headline panel of the Saturday - the dynamic duo of Glasgow boys, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

Having the guys on together was a brilliant move, as Frank's calm resulted in a more relaxed Grant who is often slightly nervous in front of crowds. The two laughed and joked together, and it's easy to see just why they collaborate so well together. The boys talked Flex Mentallo and Pax Americana, with Grant revealing some of the names of the other Multiversity books -  SOS, The Just, Thunder World, Master Men - along with Grant's future book plans, his love for Damian, and both of them attempting to explain their philosophies of life.

The Glasgow Boys

10Mar/120

Women in Comics: Interview with the Creators of Bayou Arcana

With the fuss over the perceived lack of women guests at the Kapow! Comic Con this May, one group of creators ended up getting a little more exposure than they were bargaining for! Bayou Arcana, an upcoming comics anthology title, had already made a surprise splash in the UK headlines when featured in The Guardian, a national newspaper. 

Described there as a "female-driven anthology", the book contains 11 stories, all written by men with the art by women. Several of the creators are heading down to Kapow! to feature on a panel, and I took the opportunity to ask the creators their thoughts on the book itself, on appearing at a large comics convention, and for the women, on their experiences within the comics industry as a whole.

Bayou Arcana is released in May and will be available through all good book shops.

Bayou Arcana: Promises by Sara DunkertonBayou Arcana: Promises, art by Sara Dunkerton

29Feb/120

Glasgow Film Festival: Women in Comics Panel (Full and Uncut)

My recent friendly argument with Mark Millar on Twitter about women guests at the Kapow! Comic Con seems to have brought "women in comics" to the forefront of the comics headlines in the UK again, with Kapow!, Super London Comic Con, MCM Comic Con, and Thought Bubble all eager to announce that they do in fact have women guests, and in the case of the latter two, as a main part of their programme.

I was interested then to see what discussions would be present at the Women in Comics panel at the comics strand of the Glasgow Film Festival, also called Kapow, and with Mark Millar as patron. Chaired by Ariadne Cass-Maran of Graphic Scotland, the panel featured: Denise Mina, crime author and Vertigo writer; Kate Brown, comics writer/artist; Rhianna Pratchett, games and comic writer; Gillian Hatcher, editor of Team Girl Comic, an all woman anthology from a Glasgow collective; and Penny Sharp, an animator and contributor to Team Girl Comic. A very late addition to the panel was Charlie Adlard, artist of The Walking Dead.

This write up is an almost complete transcript of the proceedings given a full write up. Normally for interviews I produce (when allowed!) a full transcript but when covering a group discussion I felt that much of the tone would be lost without me properly contextualising what was going on.

photo by Jonathan Mayo (http://www.jmayo.net/)Kate Brown at her earlier panel (write up coming soon!)

23Feb/120

Women in Comics: Tokenism

In the aftermath of the discussion about women guests at Kapow! Comic Con, much has been made of the issue of "tokenism" when it comes to including women guests at these kind of events. A request for more women creators to come into the industry, for publishers to perhaps look harder for talented women, for events to have woman guests, or indeed for a comic to include a woman character, is often met with the brick wall of "well you wouldn't want tokenism would you?!" or perhaps "positive discrimination gone mad!".

Let's be clear, "tokenism" has a very specific meaning: the limited inclusion of a member of a minority that creates a false impression of inclusion. A false impression. It's a pretty easy pitfall to avoid, just make sure that the women you include are ones you truly want to be there. Like you do already with guys... it's very easy. "Tokenism" is an easy way of saying "can't be bothered looking". Because believe me, there are LOTS of women creators in the comic industry, at all levels, who are constantly trying to step forward and bumping into that brick wall. Saying their inclusion is "tokenism" is not far from saying those women don't deserve to be there, which is far from true!

Paradise Island by Kate BeatonKate Beaton - one of the biggest names in comics?

18Feb/123

Women in Comics: Women Guests at LSCC

The London Super Comic Convention is the new kid in town this year, opening its doors on the 25th-26th February. I've been in touch with them for a while now, organising the interviews with their star guest Stan Lee, and also about their quest to attract women guests.

The main line-up consists of 49 men and one woman - Emanuela Lupacchino (Marvel's X-Factor) - but the organisers are keen to stress that there are women guests in the small press section of the convention, and that women guests are an important part of their future.

The organisers of the LSCC have given me the following statement, and the list of women creators at the convention later this month, and it all sounds very positive indeed!

"London Super Comic Convention would love nothing more than to encourage diversity in the comic convention field, to that end we contacted quite a number of mainstream women creators to invite them to attend. Due to either work commitments or other reasons they were unable to do so, but we did manage to secure Emanuella Lupacchino and we have several women attending as part of our small press creators. [hit the jump for more!]

London Super Comic Con starring Emanuela Lupacchino

15Feb/120

Women in Comics: Kapow! The Women Are Here

As a follow up to yesterdays article, it has now been made widely known that the Kapow! Comic Convention does indeed have some women guests. In Monday's press release on CBR, "the creators of Bayou Arcana" are stated as guests, but this news somewhat slipped under the radar.

Bayou Arcana is a well publicised upcoming anthology title in the UK which is made up of 11 stories, each created by a male writer and women artist. The Kapow! website was updated today with details of 5 women from the project who are attending - Dani Abram, Jenny Clements, Lynsey Hutchinson, Patricia Echavarri Riego, and Alex Thompson - along with organiser and writer Jimmy Pearson, and writers Steve Tanner and Darren Ellis. The Kapow! organisers tell me that the group will be hosting a panel to talk about their work and women in comics.

This is fantastic news as five women guests are certainly better than zero, and it's interesting that this is very much an independent book which may indicate that the con is starting to soften its rule of superhero books only.

I'll be talking to the ladies involved very soon... (hit the jump for more!)

Bayou Arcana