Filed under: comic artists, exhibitions | Tags: art, cartoons, comics, graphic novels, illustration
On Wednesday I attended the private view for the new Steve Bell exhibition: Bell Époque, at London’s Cartoon Museum which presented a retrospective of his work from throughout his career. It was a great exhibition which such a range of work. I didn’t realise Bell (who is the cartoonist and comic strip artist for the Guardian) was so skilled in so many different styles and media. Even though I found his style of humour alienating when I was younger, I’ve come to see him as a real master of the form. I also find his comics hilarious now, even though I’m never sure why! Despite the fact that he’s been in the industry for decades, his work is still so cutting edge; it feels like the work of a much younger, more rebellious and, indeed, angry cartoonist. Far from being an angry rebel, though, he seemed like a really friendly guy! I suppose he saves it for the cartoons.
I was also lucky enough to meet Bryan Talbot at the event. He’s the creator of Grandville and Alice in Sunderland and one of the great British cartoonists involved in creating novel-length works (the comics form I’m most attracted to). He told me about his beginnings in underground comics and his latest just-finished project, created with his wife. It’s great to talk to professional cartoonists who have been making comics for many years, just to see how they feel about their work, and get a glimpse into their wealth of knowledge on the subject.
Incidentally, I found out today that Myriad Editions will be holding a graphic novel competition for unpublished cartoonists, the first prize being the opportunity to publish your submitted work with them, and the panel of judges will include both Bryan Talbot and Steve Bell! They’re asking for 15-30 pages of art and a synopsis of the novel for consideration. This looks like it’ll be a great chance for aspiring cartoonists to get their ideas out there and it should give a lot of people the impetus to start working on that story idea that’s been in their heads. The Deadline is in October, which is perfect for me, as I’ve recently begun work on a new long story. I think I’ll be entering, and I’d encourage anyone who wants to make comics-novels to submit their work, as well.
[Photos via Fearnet and Varndean College]
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