14 February 2011

SFX Weekender: Beyond the US - The wider world of comics

The final session I saw at SFX Weekender looked beyond superhero comics at how the medium can be much more than that and took examples from beyond the UK and USA to show that.

Bryan Talbot was on the panel again (no problem with that) where we was joined by Pat Mills (not pictured) and two others who's names I did not catch as I had rushed upstairs to but Heart of Empire for Bryan to sign (which he did!).

All of the panellists told stories of how comics flourish in other countries which was both encouraging as it showed that the is some really good stuff out there but also dispiriting in that it can be hard to find even if you start looking for it in a comic shop.

Indeed comic shops came in for a fair deal of criticism for sticking unintelligently to the USA format and not learning about and promoting other material.

There are some exceptions and nice things were said about Page 45 in Nottingham, OK Comics in Leeds and Gosh in London.

We were also given some tips on where to start our own comics adventures and I'll be trying out Persepolis, Blacksad, Maus, Phonogram, Laika and Mouse Guard before too long.

Interestingly most of these are anthropomorphic (ok, so Laika was a real dog) but it was not just Bryan that was recommending them.

Another interesting panel discussion and this time one with real value as were given tantalising glimpses of the rich world of comics and shown the first steps to take to get there.

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