Thursday, 22 April 2010

Graphic Passions 2: The Return

I don't know what it is that I like so much about comics and graphic novels. In "Graphic Passions: the Beginning" , I mentioned my childhood favourites.
When I was at art College I still must have been comic-conscious. I was aware of Robert Crumb with his lustful, big-legged ladies. Come to think of it, my mate Woodsy drew comic strips about life in the art college. I still have one somewhere. In pen and ink, he portrayed all those strutting, fallible, art lecturers and our consequent student life. (So it wasn't just me that needed to get me own back, then?)

Comics returned properly into my life in my middle age. When friends and The Old Man brought them into the house and I got wrapped up in Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series. Later I discovered my own territory with Los Bros Hernandez' "Love and Rockets" series: latin passions, street life and Frieda Kahlo moments. I also took to Shannon Wheeler's anti-Superhero "Too Much Coffee Man". His costume involves a giant coffee cup headpiece and his life style verges on the hyper and paranoid not to mention surreal.

I became so itchy fingered about comics that I joined a couple of workshops, run by Pete Ketley and Dave McNamara. They specialised in small press indie comics and were publishing their own "Downside" at the time.
So picture me - laying out my pens and pencils - a lone middle-aged woman in a sea of teenaged boys. But I discovered that I loved the physical process of drawing comics. I mean really loved it. One time, as I was inking my drawings, I became aware that I was feeling all light-headed. Then I also realised that I had stopped breathing. Maybe the two things were connected?

Look at me - at the "end of workshop" exhibition. There I am, standing in front of my artwork, whilst all around me teenage boys and their parents talk about their comics.
I was a late ... lone ... Tomboy.

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