‘The Gift’ comic launch September 5th

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.

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The Gift cover by Norrie Millar and Rebecca Horner

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

The Dundee Comics Prize 2017

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Jonathan Swift, the world’s greatest satirist and author of Gulliver’s Travels, A Tale of a Tub, and A Modest Proposal, turns 350 in November 2017. The University of Dundee’s Comics Creative Space and the Being Human Festival will team-up to celebrate Swift’s life and legacy. There will be a series of events in Dundee, including talks, workshops, a pantomime, and the launch of a new comic.

You are invited to contribute a story to the comic based on or inspired by Swift’s satire. This follows on the success of previous Dundee Comics Prize publications, Frankenstein Begins: Mary Shelley’s Dundee (2015) and Time and Space (2016), a graphic anthology of comics inspired by the works of H.G. Wells.

Entries to the Swift comic competition should come in the form of 4 – 6 pages of completed comic art. The story may be an adaptation of a story by Swift, or a satire that is inspired by his work. The prize is £300, plus publication of the story. Runners-up may also be published. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 19th November 2017.

The work will be judged by a panel consisting of comic creators and scholars, with the announcement being made at the launch of the comic on Saturday 25th November 2017 in Dundee Comics Creative Space at 6pm. The comic will be produced by Ink Pot Studios. The aim of the Dundee Comics Prize is to nurture talent in comics and to help new creators gain recognition. Anyone can enter the competition, and the submission can be in any style, in black and white or colour, but the work must be finished to a high standard (lettered, inked, etc), and it must be a complete story. The work must be original, and it must not have been published already or be currently offered for publication elsewhere.

When submitting final copy good quality electronic copies are requested in the first instance. The prize is awarded to the creator or team who produce the work. If the comic is collaborative the members of the team will share the prize money equally. All winners (including runners-up) will be asked to provide a short account of how the comic was created, along with any relevant photos and sketches. These will be used on the DCCS website. The decision of the judging panel is final.

All queries and submissions should be sent to Professor Christopher Murray at: c.murray@dundee.ac.uk
Please send large files via wetransfer
More information is available here: www.dundeecomicscreativespace.com/
and here: http://beinghumanfestival.org/

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University of Dundee 50th anniversary mural

For the University of Dundee’s 50th anniversary we were asked to create a mural showcasing events from those 50 years. Many of our Ink Pot artists designed different elements, including Norrie Millar, Rebecca Horner, Elliot Balson, Anna Coughlan, Catriona Laird, David Robertson, Andy Strachan, and Damon Herd. We captured it all on video before it gets washed away by the rain – what events do you recognise?