Throughout the week of 24th to 28th October, Winchester Gallery played host to an exciting five-day event, this included workshops and talks exploring the ever inspiring world of Small Press: Independent comics and Self Publishing.
Small Press: was run in tandem with an exhibition Co-curated by Alternative Press’s Dimitri Pieri, which brought together a body of international work generated through an open call for submissions. In addition to the work on the walls, event curators Tom Mortimer (ex fine arts student) and Kieron Baroutchi (Graphics Art Lecturer) provided a library of publications to show the variety of work from the ‘Small Press’ scene, produced over the past two decades.
The event was conceived to align itself with the growing popularity of Independent comic book publishing and was a celebration of the diversity and breadth of this subject. Highlights include an exhibition of the original lino prints and embroidered panels taken from ‘The Black Project’ an award winning graphic novel by Gareth Brookes / a symposium of women in comics by Laydeez Do Comics / ‘Insights from the Field’ with Dilraj Mann and Brigid Deacon, both of whom are creators to keep an eye on within the new wave of comics / an amazing Kickstarter crowd sourcing talk by Gareth Hopkins, and an array of critically acclaimed creators tabling as part of the small press marketplace including Danny Noble, Dirty Rotten Comics, and Henry and Stanley Miller.
Brigid Deacon demonstrated her approach to carving a sustainable niche in the indie scene / marketplace, through her unique process and a thought-provoking visual language, part non-sequitur, ‘part stream of consciousness, Deacon challenges her audience to do more then look / read’ her insights talk launched the series of talks held throughout the week, and set the bar high on the potential of what comics / small press can be.
Dilraj Mann’s insights talk explored what it takes to break into the comics, and his journey from self-published zines to his highly anticipated graphic novel DALSTON MONSTAZZ soon to be published by Nobrow, as well as his contribution to the Image Comics anthology series Island. Mann also reflected on how a background in the world of animation & games design has both informed his way of working and helped to define his style.
Rachael Ball and Wallis Eates of Laydeez Do Comics: held a symposium focused on their respective works and other females using sequential narrative as a device to explore semi/autobiographical stories, touching on how both the medium and the process can at times be therapeutic and cathartic, as a way to address issues of ones passed. The raw honesty of the conversation was a refreshing opportunity to reappraise the power of sequential narrative.
For those of you still wanting more, don’t forget that the first Thursday of the month throughout the academic year, Graphic Arts run The WSA Comic Club… AKA Thinking (too) Loudly or Oh! Wrong Club! Sorry!