If you’re a comics fan and in the vicinity of Dundee from 21st October until 25th October 2015, then an attempt needs to be made to attend the Dundee Literary Festival. Most of the events are aimed at the bibliophiles amongst us, but there are at several events that should interest the comic readers.
The first event, on Wednesday 21st October, is the presentation of the inaugural lecture at the Bonar Hall to celebrate the opening of Dundee Creative Comics Space by Comics Laureate Dave Gibbons, where he’ll reflect on his career, visual literacy and learning through creativity.
The second event is on Thursday with the Creating Comics workshop where Dave is leading a workshop for 14 to 17 year olds so that they can benefit from his experience to create their own comic art. (I think that I am a little bit outside the target audience range).
However, the third event is more within my range as it is a wine reception on Thursday evening to celebrate the opening of the Dundee Creative Comics Space. I was originally struggling to motivate myself to go to this until I saw the guest list.
Cam Kennedy? Ian Kennedy? And more! Now, for some strange reason, I just can’t wait to go.
On Friday afternoon, as if we did not have riches enough, we have comic creators Mike Collins and Tom Foster in conversation with Dr Chris Murray. Mike‘s current gig is storyboarding Doctor Who and Tom‘s wonderful “Storm Warning” has graced the pages of Judge Dredd Megazine. Now I wonder if anyone else has noticed the lovely little nod that has been given to Quatermass And The Pit in Tom’s art?
And in the early evening of Friday, we have comics writer and artist William Goldsmith in discussion with author Catherine Simpson as they talk about bringing their respective books The Bind and Truestory to publication in The Shock of the New in partnership with Scottish Book Trust.
To start the final day of comic delights, we have Adventures in Design on Saturday where comics artist Will Morris and designer and illustrator David Mackenzie discuss comics, graphic novels and the eternal hunt for inspiration. And they seem to be successful as they have created the wonderfully illustrated V&A Dundee hoardings that you see as you drive into Dundee when arriving from Fife.
And finally, we have Comics vs Freedom, with Iranian poet, translator and founder of Iranian Women’s Poetry Prize, Sepideh Jodeyri, and comic creator Karrie Fransman in conversation with writer Canan Marasligil, who also translates literature and comics, and curates artistic and literary programmes, discussing free speech, LGBTQ rights and the power of comics to transcend cultural boundaries. This is the final event and has the gravity to make us re-evaluate how comics can have an effect on real world issues.
This is the only comic event where a ticket needs to be paid for. All the other comic events are free but ticketed. Well, the wine reception requires neither ticket nor payment, but I am sure that is a burden this correspondent can bear.
Even if these are not to your taste, there are still plenty of events that form the Dundee Literary Festival that will be of interest. Do check out the programme online.
• The Dundee Comics Creative Space is provided by the University of Dundee in partnership with The Rank Foundation and the Dundee Place Partnership Scheme. More about the Dundee Comics Creative Space on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @dundeecomicscs
• Here’s a jamboree of photos of the hoardings across the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, construction site from Will Morris