Along with the exhibition, I also created four books that contain, and enact, the written portion of my PhD. Each book focuses on a particular facet of my research: Comics as a Synthetic Medium, Childhood Memoirs, Mapping Autobiography, and Media Specificity in Non-traditional Graphic Narratives. These books are, themselves pieces of practice, where the design is integral to the theories discussed therein. Derrida has said that deconstruction is something that happens within the text, where the manner in which we argue a theory works against the theory itself. This submission was created with that in mind, as I consciously performed deconstruction on form as well as content in my work.
I’m happy to finally be able to share some of the objects and outcomes from my PhD!
What I decided to exhibit for the examiners is, of course, a curated selection of the pieces I have created, and these images are a sample from that show. But as my narratives are built by accreating levels of meaning through iterations of memory, this collection of photographs adds another layer through my choice of grouping and framing, both in the room itself and in the representations you see before you.
I hope you enjoy, and more importantly, I hope they pique your curiosity. I urge the viewer to try to weave their own stories from the glimpses of moments and shards of thought you find before you.
Viva preparations are consuming most of my creative energy right now, but there are still gigs happening, and posters being made. In Early May I should be able to post some documentation of the work that has been such a huge part of my life this year. Until then, enjoy these two stylistically divergent posters.
Most of my PhD work has been building towards submitting the written portion of my thesis, which isn’t the flashiest of things to post about.
But I have also been gearing up for our annual Pop!South Weekender, which gives me some pretty things to show you. Feast your eyes on our line-up and find out all you need to know in our handy PDF!
This year we’re also having an Indie Disco on the Saturday night, so even if you can’t come to the whole weekend, you can shake your tailfeathers with us!
We’ve just got the one Indietracks-related gig this year, but it should be fabulous.
Bunnygrunt and Eureka California play energetic power-pop which is perfect for summer time funtimes. They’re both from America and on Happy Happy Birthday To Me records. We put on label-mates Tunabunny as one of our first ever gigs! Breakfast Muff have members of STROP (nee FROTH) and seem like tons of fun.
Then, not even two weeks later, we’ve got another belter of a line-up, with a few of our favourites.
You may have noticed we’ve put on the Spooks a few times before, and we adore the Middle Ones too. They’re going on a mini-tour with T-Shirt Weather, who are also a ton of fun, so we couldn’t say no to that!
While I very rarely post about my personal life, I think it’s pretty clear I love to travel. When I can, I travel with my husband, who has a bunch of food allergies, gluten-intolerance topping the list. Having just come back from two weeks in two very different countries, I wanted to post about some of the best gluten-free restaurants we encountered on our trips.
We also rented apartments when we were away, which allowed us to do a fair bit of cooking at home too, which is indispensable on those days when you just can’t be bothered to trek to the couple of places you know won’t make you ill and are too tired to attempt translating your various food needs.
We found a lot of advice online before we traveled, and it’s always a good idea to have a celiac travel card with you. David Lebovitz has lots of info about eating in Paris, and has highlighted some great GF places. We didn’t end up at any of the places recomended on the Celiac Chics blog, but the general info there was really good. We did end up at some of the places pictured on Gluten Free Mom.
The conference was held at the University of London Institute in Paris, which is amongst the consulates near the Army Museum. Because of its location, we ended up having dinner at Aux Ducs de Bourgogne twice. You do need to mention being gluten-free, but any of the galettes can be made sans-gluten. The owner was charming and very sweet.
We also popped into Saveurs Végét’Halles, which was AMAZING. I had the best seitan steak with mushroom sauce. They even had more gluten-free beers than normal ones. Their menue was very clearly marked, and the food was super-fresh. I can’t recommend them enough. I didn’t see them listed in as many places, so I definitely wanted to give them a shout out.
We did hear a lot about NoGlu, and were not disappointed. Thankfully, they take reservations by email, as I get stressed about speaking a language I’m not very good at on the phone, and they get super busy, so reservations are a must! Their menu changes daily, but they do seem to always have vegi-friendly options, and everything they sell is gluten-free. We sat at the bar and could see the chefs preparing everything. Personally, I loved all the details and little touches, like paper thin radish slices and drizzles of olive oil. Stoo loved just being able to fully relax and have a gourmet meal. We were beyond stuffed when we left, but it was worth it!
Most places in Iceland were at least aware of gluten and what it may be in. We were most nervous about attending the music festival, since we wouldn’t be allowed to bring in food. In the end, it was fine, as one of the sushi places that was recommended to us had a stall at the festival, and many of the other vendors were knowledgable as well. The Celiac Plate had a restaurant guide, which was really useful as a starting point.
Our first dinner out was at Sake Barinn, which also had a stall at ATP. Unsurprisingly, it was super fresh and had some great flavour combos.
We also had some of the Lobster Hut‘s amazing lobster soup at ATP, but I have no photos of this.
I also have no photos of the marvelous tapas we had at Tapas Barinn, but I have one of the mojitos we started with! We got the lobster tails, salmon, Icelandic foal with chorizo sauce, patatas bravas, steak teriyaki skewer, beef bourguignon, and mushrooms with warm goat cream and burnt leak sauce. So. Damn. Good.
Enough about food though. Back to your regularly scheduled posters and comics!
On Saturday I leave for a week in Paris, mostly to attend the Sixth International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference / Ninth International Bande Dessinée Society Conference being held at the University of London Institute in Paris, but I’m sure there will be some sightseeing as well. Don’t be surprised if my Instagram blows up.
My talk is called ‘Mapping the Journey: The Cartography of Autobiography’. I’ll be giving it on Tuesday morning, at 9:30am in the Auto/Biography panel. If you’re attending the conference, I hope to see you there!
It’s been a while! Here are a few posters for things I’ve been up to. The first two posters were supposed to look like a set, as the gigs were so close together. I wanted the third to fit in as well, but look distinct. Hopefully they bring some summer feels, even if the weather doesn’t co-operate!
As I’m nearing completion deadlines on the PhD, hopefully there will be more visuals to share on that front in a few months as well!
I really liked the idea of bringing together a diverse group of comics makers, comics lovers and comics academics to discuss the topics that interest us. We had about 30 attendees, which is pretty good for our first run out. I’d love it if next time we got more makers involved, but this is all a learning process for everyone!
The first session of the day consisted of collating everyone’s ideas for topics and voting on the day’s remaining sessions.
From the feedback we got, it seemed to go really well. There are definitely some things we now know to do differently next time, but overall, the participants enjoyed it and we think there will be a next time!
Here’s a shot of us all at the end of the day.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to try to collate some lists of links to topics covered, websites mentioned, webcomics and comics the participants make. Hopefully this will serve as a jumping off forum for more critical comics discussions in the coming months!
In the meantime, here are a few of the participant’s thoughts on the event:
I am currently recovering from our (Pop!South‘s) second foray into putting on a mini-festival. This year’s event included a Friday night gig with four bands, a full day on Sat and an acoustic Sunday.
I made another guide to the southside, which got a bunch of good feedback!
(photographic evidence of our event banner on the telly!)
Everyone seemed to have a lovely time, including the bands and us. My vegan korma on Sunday seemed to go down especially well with the bands. The Felt Tips and Duglas of BMX Bandits even had some nice things to say afterwards.
I took a bunch of photos (on instagram), although trying to make that many pics of the same stage look different became increasingly hard as the weekend progressed!
It’s always hard work pulling off a gig like this, but seeing so many smiling faces and hearing how much everyone enjoyed makes it so very much worth it!
[Now to gear up for next weekend’s Scottish Comics Unconference Meet-up!]
Last night was the Bookmarks artist’s book and zine fair at the ECA, organized by Lucy Roscoe. It went really well and was pretty consistently busy for at least three and a half of the four hours it was on. Got a chance to chat with lots of nice folks, and I hope some of them get involved in the cool comics and zine projects happening in Scotland right now. I had TGC comics, a bunch of TYCI zines, and a few copies of Don’t Make a Scene, a new zine that’s just come out about DIY music production.
Here’s a quick before and after of the zines I had one the table. Everyone sold something, I think at least half the huge pile of TYCI zines I had were picked up, and there was quite a bit of interest in the Unconference coming up in Feb. Not bad going!
As well as chatting to folks about zines in general, and some of the great self-published stuff coming out of Scotland, I was manning the table displaying the work the illustration masters students created from the workshop I gave over the past ten days. First off, I want to say a huge thank you to Bev Hood, Michael Windle and all the students.
After giving an introduction to zines and zine culture, as it has progressed over the decades, I then got to meet with all the students one-on-one to help them create a zine of their own to show at Bookmarks. On Monday, one week from my original introductory talk, we got back together for a group crit to show everyone each others projects, get feedback, share the snags we ran into along the way and discuss practicalities such as pricing, materials and editioning of work.
I was impressed at the work everyone produced in such a short amount of time. For some, the pieces are continuations of their overall practice, while others used the short turn-around time as an excuse to experiment with different formats and content.
Last night we collected everyone’s zines together to display, while many of the individual zines were for sale on the student’s own tables. This photo doesn’t do the work justice, but gives you some idea of how varied the output was. There’s linocut, screen printing, postcards, hand-sewn books, concertinas, scrolls, photocopied zines, and spinning paper wheels involved.
I had a really wonderful time working with the students and hope they got as much out of the process and I did. And I’m looking forward to doing a slightly different version of this zine workshop with the graphic design students in 2015.