As part of the Dave McKean exhibition, Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery is holding a series of events. Last night was a career panel titled ‘Getting into Graphic Art’ with the above (left to right), Ed Hammond, Editor at Panini UK; Matt C Stokes, Senior Designer at Gingermonkeys Creative UK Ltd;Tim Bones, MA PGCHE Cert.Ed FHEA Lecturer and Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Graphic Design at University of Kent (K College) (Thanks linkedin), and hosted by Jeremy Kimmel from the Museum.
There were many interesting questions from the audience about careers, such as copyright, portfolios, blogs and twitter. There were also questions relating to actual comic books and graphic novels, including the ‘Marvel method’ of constructing a comic strip (basic story line, images, and finally text). Tim talked about the growing importance of comic journalism as a way to show images that may not be suitable via photography and text, to hid faces or un-necessary gore, or show a view impossible to photograph, citing the work of Joe Sacco. (One example here The Great War)
One discussion, which we continued on the walk home, was about the difference between a ‘comic’ (indicating a child’s magazine), ‘graphic novels’ (indicating a novel told through images) and a Hollywood superhero movie. Is the Bayeux Tapestry a graphic novel? Or comic journalism? Should Batman, the comic character, be given a voice and scenery beyond paper and become a movie star? Because the final question that the Museum asks as you leave the Dave McKean exhibition is: ‘Are Comics Art?’
An interesting event coming up at Somerset House: Pick Me Up, ‘Now in its fifth year, the UK’s original contemporary graphic arts festival Pick Me Up showcases graphic art in its all its forms.’
We also talked about Tunbridge Wells, and how many people were ‘disgusted’ by the current images in their Art Gallery – and how many were pleased to see something a little bit different. Someone the other day told me to use a dictionary and not keep clicking on wikipedia, so, from the Oxford Paperback Dictionary of 1979: art (1) n. 1. the production of something beautiful, skill or ability in such work. So – ‘Are Comics Art?’