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Panel Borders: …there is Joost Swarte

Joost Swarte Art


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.


RAW cover by Joost Swarte
RAW cover by Joost Swarte


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 / podcast after broadcast at

John Freeman View All

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative", currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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