Comicsopolis – Launching Dundee’s new comics – Thursday 18th October

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Chronicle cover – art by Letty Wilson

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.

Review – ‘The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage’ by Sydney Padua

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When I finished my internship at DCCS in the summer holidays, Damon presented me with the perfect gift for an aspiring female mathematician with a newfound appreciation for comics – The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua. At first glance it is a humorous tale of two eccentrically brilliant characters, but as soon as you dive in, the sheer amount of research and information that Padua has packed into this densely illustrated and written book becomes clear.

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The novel starts by telling the true story of Ada Lovelace, imaginative mathematician and daughter of infamous poet Lord Byron, and her collaborations with Charles Babbage, a mechanical engineer / “supergenius inventor” who originated the concept of the computer. However Babbage’s invention the Analytical Engine – basically the first computer – was never completed, hence inspiring Padua’s imagination and compelling her to write the rest of the book set in a ‘Pocket Universe’; an alternate reality where Babbage and Lovelace did finish the Analytical Engine in 1840, and embarked on many a crime-fighting adventure with it. I found the book captivating through its humorous portrayal of two historical figures who played hugely influential roles in the development of maths and computing, yet who I knew next to nothing about; we learn that Ada was raised to be the exact opposite of her father and was conditioned from an early age towards science and against imagination, yet it was her imagination that helped her conceptualise advanced maths. We learn that Babbage was an under appreciated, misunderstood, eccentric inventor who sometimes needed Ada to keep him under control (in the Pocket Universe, she prevents him from offending Queen Victoria who pops up in need of assistance).

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The book also explores complicated concepts such as imaginary numbers and how the original Difference Engine worked, so anyone with an interest in maths would also be entertained! As a maths geek myself I was inspired by Ada’s story and though a lot of the engineering ideas went over my head, it was great to read about maths in a light hearted form. Because of the incredible amount of historical information contained in the book, it is quite a commitment to read, but you are also able to skim over the footnotes and purely appreciate Padua’s detailed yet light art style. It is definitely one to reread as I gained a lot more from it the second time around!

– Caitlin

Study Comics in Dundee!

Did you know that you can study comics at the University of Dundee and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design? DCCS was set up by the Comics Studies department in Dundee, and many of our artist/facilitators are graduates of the courses offered there. We are very proud and privileged to be part of the Comics Studies community in the city.

The Masters in Comics and Graphic Novels is the only course of its kind in the UK, and Dundee is one of only a handful of institutions in the world offering the opportunity to study comics at postgraduate level. Every year students from around the world come to Dundee to study comics. For more information about the course, including testimonials from former students and how to apply, click on the links above. We look forward to seeing you in Dundee!

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You may meet some of these characters if you decide to study comics in Dundee!