|What I brought home from Wonderlands
||[Jun. 2nd, 2015|06:50 pm]
We spent Saturday at the Wonderlands Graphic Novels Expo in Sunderland. I had a great time, and durham_rambler enjoyed it too: having retained the option of leaving when he'd had enough, he stayed until the end, when they were closing the venue around us. There was a full - maybe even overfull! - programme of talks: I didn't want to miss any of them, but I did also want to visit all the exhibitors, and simply take a breather. I had some great conversations - as I'd suspected, wearing my very old Swamp Thing t-shirt was a good icebreaker (my excuse is that it was our first day home from holiday, and I'd barely started on the laundry, but yes, there may have been a touch of showing off, too).
I was very restrained about buying things, and came away with just three purchases: Bryan Talbot's Grandville Noël, which I had been waiting to buy where Bryan could sign it for me; Darryl Cunningham's Supercrash, because I asked durham_rambler which of the graphic novels recommended by Paul Gravett he would be most likely to read (thinking there was a good chance he'd choose something that I already had, and if I didn't have it, samarcand probably would) and this is what he chose, without hestitating; and an animal print by Jenn Begley just because.
I didn't take a notebook: I didn't expect to need one. Instead, I scribbled all over the back of the page on which I had printed out instructions for finding the event:
- Paul Gravett, having trouble timing his talk: "Is someone going to stop me? I am the Ken Dodd of comics..."
- and on the first graphic novel, Rodolphe Töpffer's Histoire de M. Vieux Bois published, as a book, in 1837 (meaning that the very first comic was actually a graphic novel): "We should celebrate Comics Day on his birthday" (it's January 31st). Goethe wrote him a fan letter, which makes him the first fanboy.
- Dylan Horrocks: "Comics is always a collaboration, even when you're doing it by yourself."
- SHE LIVES: Woodrow Phoenix and his impossible giant book.
- Posy Simmonds on the joys of overheard dialogue: "I love queues - In fact, I often join queues..." (which reminds me of Ann Cleeves talking about what she overhears on trains).
- on receiving letters pointing out errors: "I am never going to draw a train again."
- and "What I like about comics is, they're so democratic."
- Al Davison on an unexpected connection with Sally Heathcote Suffragette: "Emily Wilding Davison was my great-aunt."
- on the meaning of the title Spiral Cage, a phrase he had used to describe the way society limits the disabled person with shifting restrictions: you overcome one aspect, and the cage changes, so that you are still trapped. But once Alan Moore pointed out, in his introduction, that DNA is a spiral cage, how could this not be the true meaning?
- and on the difficulties of explainig to bookshops that although this was a comic, it was also an autobiography. Turning up to a signing in Waterstones, he found himself directed to the SF section.
- The last event of the schedule, a panel of publishers discussing the current state of graphic novels - and the future! - was the most cheerful view of publishing I have seen in a long time. Then again, it didn't have too much to say about the future...
- The best selling graphic novel in Japan which is not manga: Möbius and Jodorovsky's L'Incal.
Wonderlands was part of the 'Alice is 150' celebrations - but I hope they do it again next year, when Alice is 151!
ETA the final two points, discovered on a separate piece of paper!