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.
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.
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”.
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!
Come along on Saturday to find out the winners of this year’s Dundee Comics Prize!
We are delighted to invite you the launch ofSwift at 350, a comic that responds to the work of the world’s greatest satirist. The event takes place this Saturday (25th November), and promises to be a lot of fun! Part of the Being Human Festival of the Arts 2017, the occasion is inspired by Jonathan Swift’s satirical novel, Gulliver’s Travels.
Saturday 25th November 2017 6.00 – 8.00pm Dundee Comics Creative Space
Professor Chris Murray will give a brief overview of some of the wonderful adaptations of Swift’s work in comics, and the winner of the Dundee Comics Prize will be announced. The creators of the stories that appear in Swift at 350 will discuss their contribution, and every attendee will be able to pick up a free copy of the comic. Come meet the creators and learn more about the process of bringing ideas to life in the comics form. There will also be a wine reception.
Tickets are free, and can be booked through this link.
Follow the Dundee hub of the Being Human Festival on Twitter @HumanDundee and on Facebook for the latest updates. In addition to University and local news outlets, we recently featured on a special edition about Gulliver’s Travels for Free Thinkingon BBC Radio 3.
Please share this event with anyone who may be interested, and bring along friends and family on the day.
Saturday 8th July is Small Press Day 2017. This is a celebration of self-publishing, DIY culture, and grassroots comics across the U.K and Ireland.
DCCS is taking part by hosting a comic and zine fair from 12-3pm. We will be launching Volume 2 of our Comics Club Comic Strips anthology, with lots of great stories from the young people who attend our after school clubs. You will also have the chance to pick up some individual zine-style comics made by our Comics Clubbers. Come along and meet the next generation of superstar comic creators – we are putting the small into small press! We look forward to seeing you there!
Sneak preview of Dundee Comics Creative Space with Dave Gibbons, Tanya Roberts, Letty Wilson and Norrie Millar. DCCS is hosting an informal open day for anyone interested in trying their hand at comic production on Wednesday 21st October and industry stars Dave Gibbons, Tanya Roberts, Norrie Millar and Letty Wilson will be on hand at 2pm to pass on advice or just speak about comics. They, along with other big names from the comics world, will also take part in talks, workshops and other events as part of the Literary Festival. Look out for our extra special guest, a legendary comics figure from Dundee who will be on hand to greet you.
Includes the opening of Dundee Comics Creative Space and events at Dundee Literary Festival. There is a ton of stuff happening in the next two weeks! See our Events page for listings and watch out for more posts about the events here.