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.
People can register for the symposium here and to attend the launch of Close to the Hearthere.
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”.
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
There are blue skies and it is super hot outside – it must be the summer holidays in sunny Dundee! Last week was the last week of school and also the last week of Comics Club until after the summer holidays – Comics Club returns on Tuesday 14th August.
But fear not comics fans! DCCS will be on tour, bringing comics to you! First up, from 9th to 19th July on Monday to Thursday 10am-1pm, we will be running the Department of Arty Capers as part of the McManus, sorry, The McMenace Summer S’kool! If you would like to come along contact the McManus on 01382 307200.
Then on Friday July 13th we will be launching Volume 3 of our Comics Club anthology called Guardians of the Comics. Come along to the McManus from 1-2.30pm to pick up a copy!
Later, in August we will be doing workshops in libraries and community centres across Dundee, Fife, and Perth. See the flyer below for details and contact the venues if you would like to come along!
We were super excited to receive a parcel from Comic Swap this week. A few weeks ago we sent off some copies of Da Awesome Comic and in return we were sent 5 comics from other comics clubs around the country. The five amazing comics were:
This Friday come join us at DCCS for the launch of the very first Ink Pot comics anthology – the wonderfully titled INKTHOLOGY.
INKTHOLOGY is themed around the magical properties of ink and each artist and writer has contributed an original stand alone story. The collection features Ink Pot artists alongside guest spots from other artists closely associated with Ink Pot and DCCS.
From 7pm come along and meet the artists and purchase your very own copy of INKTHOLOGY. Special events on the night include DeeCAP comics performances with live music and a special Speech Bubble comics panel.There will also be the chance to see an exhibition of art from the comic curated by Zu Dominiak.