How do cartoonists choose the words for their speech bubbles? And – although we call them “speech” bubbles or balloons – how close are they to real speech?
The language of cartoons, comics and graphic novels was the subject of BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth this week, and the ever entertaining writer and poet Michael Rosen began his journey in Bloomsbury, central London with a visit to the Cartoon Museum. From there, he covered the comics form from James Gillray to Steve Bell via Punch and the Beano, joined along the way by the Museum’s curator, Anita O’Brien, and Guardian cartoonist and graphic novelist, Martin Rowson.
Also in the programme are the creator of Gemma Bovery and Tamara Drewe, Posy Simmonds, and some of the next generation of cartoonists now pushing their wares at Camden Market with the help of London Underground comics: Oli Smith, Alex Fitch (of resonance FM) and David Baillie.
• The episode will be available to “Listen Again” for the next few days.
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.
Categories: British Comics