Monthly Archives: August 2011

Lazy Sunday Comics: Reminder!

Poster by Tom Hunt

So it’s our Lazy Sunday Comics event tomorrow, from 2pm at the Forest Cafe.  It’s essentially a drop in + draw, except we’re commandeering the spirit of a lazy Sunday to make it the perfect post-festival recovery thing.  We’ve got lots of lazy games lined up, and we’ll be creating a huge wall comic throughout the day, so everyone should pop in and create a panel to move the story forward!

Come along to Lazy Sunday Comics

@ The Forest Cafe (3 Bristo Place)

Sunday 28th August, 2pm – 8pm

From Scotland to Japan – An Interview With Sean Michael Wilson

Sean Michael Wilson is a manga and comics writer who grew up in Edinburgh, and made the move to Japan where he has made it big in the manga world.  He is the writer of a number of successful manga including ‘Yakuza Moon’ and ‘Hagakure’.  He is the editor of the Harvey Award nominated anthology ‘AX: Alternative Manga’.  We got in touch to ask him about his experiences as an international writer and editor.  Here he discusses his work, and also announces a very exciting opportunity for Scotland based artists.  Read on!

What comics did you grow up reading, and what has influenced you work most?

Like most kids in Scotland and the rest of the UK I grew up reading comics as a matter of course. It was Whizzer and Chips and Victor, ones like that at the start. Then, like a whole generation, I got the 2000AD benders! It was 2000AD that plunged me into the deep well of comics that I am yet to crawl back out of. And I don’t want to, there are many great wonders in it. But I also quickly got into even more mature comics, like Warrior and Escape. Interest in Superheroes was only a short concern for me, because the more indie stuff seemed so much more vital and moving. Of course Alan Moore, and also Eddie Campbell, Grant Morrison, Harvey Pekar, Joe Sacco. This is nothing new but Moore has deeply influenced me, as with many others. Not so much that you can see it in my writing, but in the stance of wanting to do work that matters to you, that has a high level of sophistication. The love of the medium as an artistic form of expression and exploration. Cheers big Al!

What was the draw of Japan for a Scottish born comic creator?  How important is where you live and where you come from in making comics?

The draw of Japan is still a mystery to me in one way, although in another way it’s very simple: the lovely women! I came here with a Japanese girlfriend and settled. Apart from that I also thought it would be useful to be in Japan to make an effort to get into working in the manga industry. Which has proven to be the case, through giving it a good go in approaching editors and publishers here, and a bit of luck.  But I often need to make it clear that I’m not an expert in manga, or in fact such a big fan. That sounds odd coming from someone who lives in Japan, works with Japanese artists and publishers everyday, and is the editor of one of the most respected manga anthologies yet to come out (AX), but its true! I’m too busy actually getting on with MAKING my books to have time to become an expert about manga in general. Paul Gravett is an expert. Ryan Holmsberg (who did the Ax bio section for us) is an expert. The only area of manga I am knowledgable in is the gekiga type, the mature, indie style. And even that is mostly because the Ax Japan editor, Asakawa-san, has told me about it.

YAKUZA MOON manga edition, art by Michiru Morikawa

Continue reading From Scotland to Japan – An Interview With Sean Michael Wilson

War & Comics – An Interview With Rodge Glass.

Rodge Glass is the Glasgow based author of the critically acclaimed graphic novel Dougie’s War, which deals with a Scottish soldier returning from Afghanistan who faces his own very personal battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  With his upcoming Edinburgh Book Festival discussion about War and Comics, I thought I’d catch up with him and discuss the making of Dougie’s War.

The cover of Dougie's War

Dougie’s War’ is your first graphic novel.  How did the project come about, and why did you decide to use the comics form?

Adrian Searle approached me with the idea. He is Head of Freight, a really smart graphic design company who have moved into publishing recently with Freight Books. Adrian gave me my first publication in 2004 and he’s supported my work ever since. He was working with various charities to build awareness of issues to do with PTSD and noticed that in my second novel, Hope for Newborns, the main characters were three generations of an army family where there was a great deal of inner mental conflict. In that book there was an unclear sense of who the goodies and the baddies were. Also, a struggle which was really more about the war after the war, rather than the war itself. So he asked me to write Dougie. At the time I’d just finished a huge draining project, Alasdair Gray: A Secretary’s Biography and wanted a complete change. Also, I wanted an excuse to read comics and throw myself into another world. I’m glad I did.

Continue reading War & Comics – An Interview With Rodge Glass.

Lazy Sunday Comics

Edinburgh League of Comics is pleased to announce a comics drawing session at the Forest Cafe on Sunday the 28th of August.  It’ll be the last few days of the festival, and we’ve got planned a slothful, relaxed afternoon, aimed at hung-over adults and burned-out actors and comedians, and anyone else up for a carefree afternoon of drawing.  We’ll be occupying the front gallery of the Forest, drawing comics, creating weird characters, and reading comics all day.

We’ll be doing our usual drop in and draw activities – the fantastic ‘Character-O-Matic’ character creator, some Panel Scrabble remixing, and more.  Why not bring along some of your favourite comic books to share with everyone?

Inspired by the wonderful Calvin and Hobbes ‘Lazy Sunday Book’, Edinburgh League of Comics is hoping to bring that carefree Sunday feeling back to adults, perfectly placed at the end of the festival to offer the ideal recovery day.

Come along to Lazy Sunday Comics

@ The Forest Cafe (3 Bristo Place)

Sunday 28th August, 2pm – 8pm

(and onwards if we’re not feeling too lazy!)

Why not join our Facebook group for regular updates from the Edinburgh League of Comics!

War and Comics

There’s a couple of events coming up in Edinburgh and beyond regarding the interesting theme of war and comics, sparked off by the work of Pat Mills (Charley’s War) and Glasgow’s own Roger Glass (Dougie’s War).

I’d be interested to hear more about this.  Comics have had a long and complicated relationship with warfare, from the boy’s own propaganda that has been peddled around during most conflicts, through to more complex works like such as Alan’s War and the above mentioned graphic novels, which discuss themes of PTSD.

Pat Mills and Roger Glass will be discussing their work and the themes of war and comics at the Edinburgh Book Festival.  Dave Turbitt, illustrator of Dougie’s War, will take part in the Comics & Conflicts conference in London, discussing trauma and conflict alongside Adrian Searle and Mikkel Sommer (Obsolete).

Details follow:

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Join Pat Mills and award winning author of Dougie’s War, Rodge Glass, as they discuss the depiction of war and post-traumatic stress in comics and graphic novels at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Sunday, 28 August – 12:30pm-1:30 pm. Tickets: £10/£8

Website: www.edbookfest.co.uk Phone: 0845 373 5888

Comics & Conflicts Conference at the Imperial War Museum London: Pat Mills, Adrian Searle and David Turbitt

Adrian Searle (publisher) and Dave Turbitt (illustrator) will discuss their graphic novel about Afghanistan, Dougie’s War, at the Imperial War Museum’s event Comics & Conflicts Conference in August. They will be joined by Danish artist Mikkel Sommer writer and illustrator for Obsolete for a discussion on Trauma & Conflict. Paul Gravett chairs the event.

Saturday, 20 August- 11:30 am to 12:20 pm. Tickets: £6

Website: www.comicafestival.com