Starting a month of shows about the work of comic book creators who mix together different cultures and mediums in their work, on Panel Borders this week Alex Fitch talks to acclaimed Dutch cartoonist and graphic designer Joost Swarte about his career so far.
Fitch and Swarte discuss the latter’s covers for The New Yorker and RAW magazine (also reprinted as the front of the Tate coffee table book Comics Art by Paul Gravett), the Fantagraphics collection of his strip work “Is That All There Is?” and the artist’s work in designing children’s books, theatrical architecture and stained glass windows.
Joost Swarte is a maestro, a pioneer and a true promoter of comics. From publishing his comics in the first issue of the seminal RAW (by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly) in 1979, he’s never stood still moving from drawing comics to illustration and graphic art, designing posters, stamps, logos and typefaces, furniture, objects and even buildings.
He is the co-founder of the publishing house Oog&Blik, worked on scenarios for the Herge Museum in Belgium and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. “Is That All There Is?”, his collective comics, was published in 2012 by Fantagraphics.
(Recorded in front of an audience at The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, October 2014)
• Panel Borders: …there is Joost Swarte airs at 11.00am Thursday 6th November, repeated 7.00am Saturday 8th November 2014, Resonance 104.4 FM (London) / streamed at www.resonancefm.com / podcast after broadcast at www.panelborders.wordpress.com | Listen to the interview here
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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.