This month sees the launch of the new Cardiff Comics Storytelling Network (CCSN), with an appearance at the Launch Event in Cardiff by Featuring Welsh-based comics artist Carol Swain, author of the graphic novel Gast, Giraffes in My Hair and Foodboy.
“The comics medium is increasingly recognised as a highly effective and engaging way of telling all kinds of stories,” says CCSN’s Lisa El Refaie, “ranging from novels, history and autobiography, to adventure, crime and science fiction. This new network wants to put Cardiff on the map as a centre of comics production and scholarship, by bringing together regional comics artists and students and staff from all three universities in Cardiff and surrounding schools and colleges.”
The three main aims of CCSN are to encourage the exchange of ideas, promote the creation and study of comics and to carry out joint research and/or public engagement projects
CCSN welcome people from all backgrounds, practitioners, scholars and fans. The launch event is designed to open dialogue and enable the planning of future events and activities.
Described as “The Raymond Carver of British comics” by Time Out, Carol Swain was born in London but brought up in Wales, the population of the village being an uneasy mix of mean Baptist hysteric (© Hunter S Thompson) and drop-out hippie… a place deemed so evil by travelling evangelist missionaries, they condemned it as a modern Sodom and Gomorrah.
Carol left Sodom and Gomorrah to go to art school where she studied painting. She began self-publishing her comic Way Out Strips in 1989, which was later picked up by Fantagraphics Books. Since then, she has completed several graphic novels and has contributed numerous comics stories to anthologies worldwide.
Many of Carol Swain’s stories are set in Wales, and are grounded in autobiography. Absurdity, loss, alienation, belief, disbelief and revelation are common themes. She sees her characters as map readers searching for latitude and longitude in an attempt to fix their position in the world, their plight emphasised through her use of unusual perspectives that give her work a filmic quality.
Canapés will be served at the launch event. All are welcome but please book your place on Eventbrite now!
• Cardiff Comics Storytelling Network (CCSN) Launch 7.00 – 9.00pm Monday 21st October 2019, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff | Book tickets on Eventbrite
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. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 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.