British comic creator Karrie Fransman among the winners of first Comic Art Europe “Open Call” for “Visions of Tomorrow”

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Five talented comics artists have been announced as the winners of the first Comic Art Europe “Open Call”, launched last year, selected among 200 applicants.

Comic Art Europe is an international pilot project bringing together four European organisations promoting and championing the power of Comics and Graphic Novels – Lyon BD, the Lakes International Comic Art FestivalEscola Joso, Centre de Còmic i Arts Visuals and Centre Belge de la Bande-Dessinée (the Belgium Comic Strip Centre) – with the support of the European Union program “Creative Europe”.

The project aims to strengthen the comic book sector in Europe by experimenting with collaborative working methods. It promotes the transnational mobility of artworks, workers and creators and prefigures a European comics community capable of positioning creators and organisations at a European level, challenging the historical dominance of the American and Japanese giants.

Comic Art Europe will include professional training (summer camps and residencies), creative assistance (grants), dissemination of results in Europe and outside Europe (European comic book catalogue, large-scale dissemination channels) and research about the transformational power of comics (in particular through literacy workshops with comics).

The announced winners of the first Comic Art Europe Open Call, who win packages which all include a 5,000€ grant and a two-week artist residency, include British comic creator Karrie Fransman. Karrie’s previous work includes the graphic novels The House That Groaned, and the award winning Death of the Artist. Her latest illustrated book, Gender Swapped Fairy Tales, was co-created with her husband Jonathan Plackett and was published by Faber & Faber in 2020),

Also selected are are Barcelona-based comic artist and illustrator Filipa Beleza, from Portugal, Marine des Mazery, from France, whose first graphic novel, Le Roi Jéhan, is released in April, in French, Berlin-based German creator Mathias Meikel and Maria Surducan, an illustrator and comics book author from Romania.

Each presented an exciting project based on the theme “Visions of Tomorrow“, which they will develop during an artist residency.

The Comic Art Europe project, supported by the European Commission, runs until 31st December 2023, and its reach includes UK creators. The second part of the Comic Art Europe (CAE) project, a Summer Camp for aspiring comic creators in Barcelona, Spain, was recently announced – and applications are open to young new creatives across Europe.

• Comic Art Europe is online at | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

• To apply for the Comic Art Europe Summer Camp, visit the website:

Applications are open until 30th March 2021 and it’s completely free to apply – only a digitalised portfolio is required. The 20 successful participants will be contacted around mid-April 2021. (Please note, applications will not be considered from industry professionals)

Applications are open to residents from European Union’s 27 countries members, Great Britain, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Georgia, Moldavia, Ukraine, Tunisia, Armenia, Kosovo and Lichtenstein

All costs for the summer camp (travel, accommodation, food) will be taken care of by the Comic Art Europe project, with the exception of an administrative fee of 120€.

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.

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