Comic artist and illustrator Dave Crane is one of the guests at this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival in October (14th – 16th), with an exhibition, a workshop for grown-ups and Family Zone activities.
The official Electricomics team will be there too, and Dave tells us he’ll collecting a few of his unpublished strips into a small anthology delivered exclusively as an electricomic, just to generate a bit of extra buzz for the project.
“If you don’t know what Electricomics is, go and have a look at their site, download their app and see what people are making using the tools,” says Dave. “I think it’s an interesting and important part of the future for comics, and explain why here.”
Dave makes and publishes short improvised/experimental comics (mostly aimed at grown ups) in collaboration with theatre groups, charities and festivals. He is a founding member of the Lines of Enquiry collective of experimental comic creators and is also a professional software developer, and is active in the Electricomics community as both an artist and coder.
“The anthology was going to be just a few random strips that I hadn’t done anything with yet, some stuff from the second phase of my What Is Home? exhibition,” says Dave, “and work made at the Saturday afternoon workshop that I’m running. I’ll publish to the web on the Saturday night, after collating the stuff made in the afternoon workshop.”
Now though, he’s expanding the anthology and would like to include comics from other creators on a non-exclusive deal to publish work in that specific electronic format as part of that specific collection.
“I’ve decided to open it up a bit,” he explains. “If you make comics with an indie flavour, strange charm, or just anything downright good, and fancy seeing it in electricomic form, then get in touch with me, and I’ll add it to the anthology.
“A connection to the Kendal festival would be nice, but by no means mandatory.”
The anthology will be presented in a straightforward “flipbook” style. There will be no fancy effects or infinite canvases or whatever (just down to constraints of time). Dave will need you to send him a .png or. jpg of your work at “high-ish resolution” (at least 300 DPI), and he’ll stitch them together.
“Everything will be fully credited,” he insists. “I like putting lengthy credits pages in my albums, just like those movie things you see at the cinema!”
This will be a free anthology – there’s no monetisation mechanisms in the Electricomics system yet, so that’s not subject to change.
“I might try to link it to some charitable cause with a link to a Justgiving page or similar at the end – “What is Home?” is supporting Kendal YWCA again this year, but that’s to be decided,” Dave says.
In addition to this electricomic project, Dave’s current projects include Dis Aster, a long-form comic book/graphic novel that started life in 2014 with his work with Kendal Community theatre group and combines the life stories of several people in an unidentified war-torn country with an account of the creation of the universe (which, while scientifically accurate, isn’t told in a scientific/documentary voice). Several sections are completed already, and he’s still working at it in between shorter projects.
His What is Home? exhibition was first staged in Kendal at the 2015 Lakes International Comic Art Festival, and will be returning in expanded form in 2016. Taking answers to questions about home from the staff, care workers, residents and other users of a community resource centre and accommodation for young homeless people, Dave constructed a series of interlinked “crossword puzzle” short comic strips, mounted on the windows of the building, which could be read from the inside or outside.
His other work has been collected in three volumes: Myths of this World (2013),Voices of the Other Day (2015) and One Thing and Another (2016).
• For more information on this year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival visit www.comicartfestival.com