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Comics Club is now on it’s well earned Christmas break. What a year it has been! Over 100 comics workshops for young people, a summer school at The McManus, and library workshops in Dundee, Perth, and Fife, as well as schools workshops in Fife, Brechin, and Dundee. We also partnered with The Circle to run a workshop programme outside the city centre. We produced three anthologies of comics by our young Comics Clubbers, as well as several zine style comics.
Ink Pot artists continued to produce some amazing work, including the INKTHOLOGY, as well as working with the University of Dundee to produce comics raising awareness of suicide, organ donation, the University archives, and the history of The Brittle Bone Society among others. The was even a short comic explaining the Dundee City Council participatory budgeting initiative!
So time for a break and this time it will be a little longer than usual. There are a few changes happening behind the scenes at DCCS including a move to new premises so we need a little longer to prepare. Don’t fear though we are not moving far – just to another unit in the Vision Building! Workshops are scheduled to start up again the first week of February in Unit 10 just across the landing from our current space, Unit 7. Keep an eye on our website and sign up to our newsletter if you want to keep up to date with the changes.
Have a great holiday and see you next year!
Each Thursday for the last three months we have been running one of our popular after school Comics Clubs at The Circle in Staffa Place. The Circle is a hub for charities, social enterprises, community groups and socially aware businesses in Dundee. They provide affordable offices, co-working and community space. By bringing organisations together, they are promoting collaboration and fostering innovation that does social good in the city.
It has been a pleasure working with The Circle to help make our Comics Clubs accessible to more young people across Dundee. We are proud to be able to launch a new Comics Club Anthology at The Circle featuring comics by the young people who attended the workshops there.
On Sunday November 25th The Circle is partnering with their tenants to host a Yuletide Fair. It will be an afternoon of festive fun, including food and drinks, local business stalls, Santa’s grotto and much more! And DCCS will be there! Come along between 12-4pm to pick up a copy of the comic and see what else The Circle has to offer.
2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, who lived in Dundee briefly as a teenager, partly inspiring her in writing her best known Gothic novel. On Thursday November 22nd at DCCS we are hosting the launch of Frankenstein Returns – the comic produced during the Being Human Festival celebrating the legacy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The comic features stories by Professor Chris Murray with artwork by Norrie Millar, Elliot Balson, and Ashling Larkin as well as a comic by David Robertson, and illustrations by Cam Kennedy and Dan McDaid. The comic also contains the winning entries from the Dundee Comics Prize 2018 and stories by young artists from DCCS’s weekly Comics Clubs. Chris Murray will open the event with an illustrated talk on a history of Frankenstein comics.
Part of the University of Dundee’s Being Human 2018 series “Frankenstein Returns“.
Suitable for all ages. The event runs from 6-8pm.
Inspired by the memory of her beloved father, University of Dundee PhD student Megan Sinclair has created a new comic that explores bereavement while raising both awareness of heart disease and funds for vital medical research.
Close to the Heart will be launched at a symposium at Dundee Comics Creative Space on Wednesday 21st November. The publication centres on the sudden death of Megan’s father, George, who suffered a fatal heart attack in his sleep at the age of 53 in April 2014. She says the event turned her family and life upside down but her determination to do her father proud helped drive Megan towards First Class Honours and a Masters degree with distinction before embarking on her PhD in Comics and Education.
Despite its origins in tragedy, Megan says the overall message of Close to the Heart, which explores the importance of communication in helping people cope with grief, is one of hope.
Wednesday’s symposium focuses on public information comics produced by the Comics Studies team at the University in collaboration with academic and non-academic partners and aims to explore the impact of comics as a mode of public engagement as well as a research methodology.
The event begins at 10am with guest speaker Nicola Streeten, an illustrator, graphic novelist and author of Billy, Me and You, discussing her own experience of comics and grief. Other talks centred on graphic health will follow, along with a workshop, and roundtable discussion.
Close to the Heart will be officially launched at 7pm that evening and members of the public are welcome to attend both the symposium and the launch event. The comic is free but donations, which will be given to the British Heart Foundation, are welcome.
Dundee is the city of comics – The Comicsopolis!
Join Professor Christopher Murray and his colleagues on Thursday 18th October 2018 5-7pm at DCCS to discuss the surprising history of comics in Dundee, and learn about the future of comics in Dundee, with a look at the new comics being produced by the University.
These include Chronicle, a comic conceived and edited by PhD student Hailey Austin in conjunction with the University of Dundee’s Archive and Museum Services which explores the University’s collection of comics related archival holdings and original artwork.
Chris Murray will be launching Superhuman Futures, a science fiction superhero comic that examines the superhuman as a metaphor for scientific advancement. Created for the Humanities module Human Futures, it demonstrates the innovative link between research, creative work and teaching that is being developed at the University of Dundee. Hailey and Chris will each give a brief presentation on the fascinating process of creating their comics.
Join us in the Dundee Creative Comics Space in the Vision Building, where we will have free comics, an exhibition, and a wine reception!
Under 18s to be accompanied by an adult.
This event is free but must be booked in advance. More details here.
The comic will be launched to the public on Wednesday 5th September at Dundee Comics Creative Space, Unit 7 in the Vision Building at 7pm.
For more information on the project please see the University of Dundee press release beleow:
A new comic created by the NHS and the University of Dundee aims to get high-school age children and the wider public thinking about the gift of Organ Donation. The comic book, entitled ‘The Gift’ is being launched to coincide with the NHS Organ Donation Week in Scotland on Monday 3rd September.
‘The Gift’ was written by recipients of organ donation, the families of donors and University of Dundee and NHS staff. The 32 page book, inspired by the tragic death of a University lecturer’s son seven years ago, shares the heartfelt stories and life experiences of individual patients and their families those affected by organ and tissue donation.
Mayra Crowe, a University of Dundee lecturer, said it was a pleasure to see her son Andrew’s story feature in ‘The Gift’.
She said, “Over the last seven years, I have had the honour of being an ambassador for the NHS Organ Donation campaign. During this time I have meet courageous and selfless people. But a hard part of this is trying to explain to kids that unfortunately sometimes children die. My own son Andrew died suddenly from a brain aneurism and our family were faced with a challenging decision. We never knew what Andrew’s thought about organ donation were but we did know what kind of loving person he was. Thanks to Andrew’s organ donation, nine people now enjoy a renewed quality of life. For me, being an organ and tissue donation ambassador has provided a platform to tell my son’s story. Now, I hope this comic will do the same.”
Lynne Malley, Specialist Nurse Organ Donation with NHS Tayside, said, “Almost 600 people are waiting for an organ transplant in Scotland at the moment but there are not enough organs to meet these needs and sadly someone dies every day whilst waiting for an organ.
“We hope that this new comic will raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and prompt honest conversations amongst loved ones. Lots of people think they would be unsuitable to donate organs and tissues because of medical history or lifestyle choices, but each potential donor is individually assessed and we need people from all ethnicities and backgrounds to register.”
‘The Gift’ was published by UniVerse, at the University of Dundee, coordinated by Laura Findlay and produced by Rebecca Horner of Ink Pot Studio. The artists and writers involved in the comic include Mayra Crowe, Damon Herd, Rebecca Horner, Laura Findlay, Chris Murray, Golnar Nabizadeh, Ashling Larkin, Elliot Balson, Catriona Laird, Letty Wilson, Helen Robinson, Megan Sinclair, Philip Vaughan and Norrie Millar.
‘The Gift’ is the latest in a series of educational comics designed by the University of Dundee’s Scottish Centre for Comics Studies, and produced by Ink Pot Studios, which is based in Dundee Comics Creative Space. It follows on the success of ‘Fibromyalgia and Us’ (2017), which was downloaded over 12,000 times. Future projects from the University of Dundee’s comics department include comics on heart disease, Coeliac disease, suicide awareness, and disability rights.
Professor Christopher Murray, director of the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies notes that comics are a powerful medium for communicating such stories, “comics present a visual narrative, and through the arrangement of sequential panels on a page, and the interaction of words and images, a compelling and engaging narrative can spring to life. The medium of comics relies on a combination of play and problem solving to engage the reader and are an excellent way to communicate complex information and subjective experiences in a relatively straightforward way”.
In recent years autobiographical comics, many of them dealing with health and disability, have been critically acclaimed, and there is now a research network, Graphic Medicine, that is devoted to comics about health and medical issues. The University of Dundee hosted the annual Graphic Medicine conference in 2016, and this helped to prompt researchers in Comics Studies and various partners, including colleagues from Education and Social Work, Law, Nursing and Health Sciences, Life Sciences, and the Leverhulme Centre for Forensic Science, to work together to produce a series of comics that address important issues. The Scottish Centre for Comics Studies has also recently worked with The Brittle Bone Society, Sistema Scotland/Big Noise Douglas, and various other partners, to produce public information comics.
As Dr Laura Findlay, a researcher within the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies, and coordinator of this project adds “we hope that ‘The Gift’ helps promote the NHS Organ Donation week, and we extend our thanks and appreciation to all those who consulted on the project and helped create this comic”.
Those interested in organ donation can register to be a donor at www.weneedeverybody.org
Good news everyone! A new term means a new season of our regular after school Comics Clubs! This year we are keeping the venue, days and times the same:
TUESDAYS 4.30-6.30pm for 10-13 year olds
WEDNESDAYS 4.30-6.30pm for 14-17 year olds
The workshops take place at DCCS HQ in The Vision Building, follow the link for details.
In addition to the regular clubs we have teamed up with The Circle in Staffa Place to run a 10 week programme of workshops beginning THURSDAY September 6th from 4.30pm. The Circle is a hub for charities, social enterprises, community groups and socially aware businesses in Dundee, and working with them helps make our workshops accessible for more people across Dundee. See the flyer below for more details, places can be booked here.
We have updated the timings of the Fife Libraries workshops next week, see the poster below for the new information. Remaining workshops this summer are:
3rd August Central Library Dundee 2-4pm
6th August Kirkcaldy Galleries 10-11am
6th August Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries 12.30-1.30pm
6th August Dalgety Bay Library 3-4pm
7th August Rothes Hall Library 10-11am
7th August Cupar Library 12.30-1.30pm
7th August St Andrews Library 3-4pm
8th August AK Bell Library Perth 2-4pm
9th August Ardler Complex Dundee 1.30-3.30pm
Our weekly Comics Clubs start again on Tuesday 14th August 4.30pm at DCCS
Check it out – fresh from the printers, Comics Club Volume 3: Guardians of the Comics with a cover by Comics Clubber Darcey Maltman. The comic will be launched this Friday (July 13th) between 1-2.30pm at The McManus Galleries. Come along to the learning centre on the first floor to pick up a copy and take part in a drop-in comics session!
2018 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. She lived in Dundee as a teenager, which partly inspired her in writing the novel. This was recounted in 2015’s Frankenstein Begins comic. The sequel, to be published in October 2018, is entitled Frankenstein Returns. University of Dundee’s Comics Creative Space and the Being Human Festival will team-up to celebrate Shelley’s novel, and its afterlife and legacy. There will be a series of events in Dundee, including talks, workshops, an exhibition, the publication of a Dundee edition of the book, and the launch of the new comic. Contributions to the comic, on the theme of “Frankenstein Returns” are now invited.
Entries to the Frankenstein Returns/Dundee Comics Prize competition should be in the form of at least 5 pages of completed comic art. The prize is £300, plus publication of the story. Runners-up may also be published. The deadline for submissions is 1st October 2018.
For more details please see the flyer below. All queries and submissions should be sent to Professor Christopher Murray at: firstname.lastname@example.org