Here is the final instalment of our collaborative web comic, produced by the incredibly talented Rebecca Horner!
Well, that’s my two week internship here at DCCS over! The time has flown by and it’s been an amazing experience. Over the past two weeks I’ve been introduced to the world of comics and in particular the busy world of Dundee Comics Creative Space. Thank you to everyone who has allowed me the chance to interview you, and especially thanks to the DCCS team and artists for never saying no to a photo shoot! I’ve worked with Rebecca Horner, an amazing artist, to produce this collaborative web comic detailing my time here – thanks Rebecca for never complaining about my lack of artistic input! I’ve also had the chance to sit in on some of the workshops that go on here at the Space – both the after school Comics Clubs with young people, and the workshops that are happening in partnership with a group from Advocating Together; the finished product of this project will be a comic about tackling disability hate crime, and I can’t wait to see it! No two workshops are ever the same and I’ve had the chance to see just how incredibly creative the Comics Clubbers are, and to enjoy some classic cheese jokes (what’s the best cheese to hide a small horse with? Mascarpone!). I’ve learnt some valuable life lessons from Damon – mainly to always always keep note of your passwords, and that a Snickers a day is a necessity – but I’ve also learnt about graphic design, and our finished products were the DCCS posters and leaflets that are now distributed throughout the libraries and community centres of Dundee! Keep an eye out for them folks! Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed my time here so thank you for having me – but you’re not escaping me and my incessant posting that easily! I’ll be back in the Space regularly to keep up to date with what’s happening and hopefully to keep broadcasting information about DCCS over social media. But for now, Caitlin Mitchell, signing out!
Before I began reading Persepolis, I didn’t know what to expect. This was my first comic in book form (or what some people call graphic novels) – I didn’t even know they existed! I think Persepolis was maybe marketed towards people like me, who don’t have a lot of experience with comics, as from the outside it looks like an ordinary prose book. This is a clever technique and it paid off as I was more confident about starting it!
The storyline grabbed me immediately; it is an autobiographical comic, memoirs about Marjane Satrapi’s childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. I also didn’t know anything about this topic prior to reading Persepolis, but I’m interested in politics and feminism so the first chapter, where a young Marji is forced to wear the veil at school, captured my attention. The book taught me a lot about the Islamic Revolution, from the severe laws that were put in place by the new regime (such as the banning of alcohol) to the consequences that it had for Iranian families like the Satrapis, who are ultimately separated by Marji’s parents’ desire to protect their daughter when she is sent from their home in Iran to Vienna by herself. Although there was lots of information in the book, it never felt like a task; I think that it was easier to read because it was a comic, rather than a prose book. Lots of the story was told through the images, along with Marji’s narration, but there wasn’t as much text as in a prose book which I think made it flow very well, and meant I could read a lot of it in one go without getting tired. I think that overall it being a comic added to the book; the gutter, the spaces between the panels in a comic, allowed parts of the story to be more implicit than they would be in a prose book – you make the links between the images automatically in your head, rather than being told explicitly what happens.
The pictures in Persepolis were in black and white, and were drawn in quite a simple style, which previously I could have thought of as boring, but which was actually really engaging. It meant that more emphasis was put on the characters and the storyline, as opposed to bright colours and really detailed images. As someone who has never read a comic like this before, I really enjoyed Persepolis and would definitely recommend it both to people like me, who don’t know a lot about comics, and to diehard comic fans! The story ends almost on a cliff hanger as the last panel is Marji about to board her flight to Vienna, so I am definitely going to read the next book – Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return – to see where Marjane Satrapi ended up!