Saturday, 3 April 2010
Graphic passions: the beginning
At the Tate St Ives (see 25 March 2010) I found the Bookshop. Or rather I gave up and asked the way: up, down, through and around. And in the Bookshop - I found a graphic novel: "Logicomix" by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitrou. Although this isn't a novel - it's a history of logic and the foundation of mathematics through the eyes and voice of Bertrand Russell. And in a visual style that reminds me of Herge's "Tin Tin". (The style is no coincidence. The artists involved, Alecos Papadatos & Annie Di Donna, previously worked in animation; Annie Di Donna working on Tin Tin.)
And what can I say? I would not pick up a straight text book on the subject. My brain would reel and I would be snoring. But I'm gripped by this book. It fair romps along. Dummy-me, I need the pictures. But let me be clear. This book works because it is a successful graphic project in its own right - not just "logic for kiddies" in cartoon form.
And I realise I liked cartoons and comix as a child. I didn't actually do the Beano kind of thing, although The Dandy's "Desperate Dan" is tribally familiar. But I went the American route. An Aunty living in Canada sent us magazines and things during my 1950s childhood, and I became engrossed in Al Capp's "Li'l Abner" comic strip. At the same time, back in the world of British daily papers, I loved Tove Jansson's "Moomin" strips.
So, understandably, I came over all emotional when I swooped down on "Moomin: the complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip: Book 4" while looking around the brilliant little "Here and Now" Gallery & Shop in Falmouth, a while ago. I took the book home and ate it all up like a box of chocolates - reserving the very last strip because I didn't want to finish the book. Well it's finished now. Time to backtrack to Books 1 -3. Never underestimate the magic of childhood.