Starting a month of shows about the work of comic book creators who mix together different cultures and mediums in their work, on Panel Borders this week Alex Fitch talks to acclaimed Dutch cartoonist and graphic designer Joost Swarte about his career so far. Fitch and Swarte discuss the latter’s covers for The New Yorker and RAW magazine (also reprinted as the front of the Tate coffee table book Comic Art), the Fantagraphics collection of his strip work “Is That All There Is?” and the artist’s work in designing children’s books, theatrical architecture and stained glass windows.
Joost Swarte is a maestro, a pioneer and a true promoter of comics. From publishing his comics in the first issue of the seminal RAW (by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly) in 1979, he’s never stood still moving from drawing comics to illustration and graphic art, designing posters, stamps, logos and typefaces, furniture, objects and even buildings.
He is the co-founder of the publishing house Oog&Blik, worked on scenarios for the Herge Museum in Belgium and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. “Is That All There Is?”, his collective comics, was published in 2012 by Fantagraphics.
(Recorded in front of an audience at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, October 2014)
• Panel Borders: …there is Joost Swarte airs at 11.00am Thursday 6th November, repeated 7.00am Saturday 8th November 2014, Resonance 104.4 FM (London) / streamed at www.resonancefm.com / podcast after broadcast at www.panelborders.wordpress.com