Panel Show: exhibition report (and Leeds has a zine library)

Sunnybank Mills in Leeds, with Panel Show exhibition up

I did say I would report back from the Panel Show exhibition at Sunnybank Mills in Farsley, and here it is!

Thanks so much to Beth Dawson (whose work is also in the show, and whose comic is available to buy in the gallery shop) for taking me there. It’s a beautiful place — as you’d guess from the name, an old mill, so a huge space with vast windows and tons of light — and the exhibition is spot on. Kudos to Si Smith for all his hard work in curating and managing it.

Sunnybank Mills in Leeds, with Panel Show exhibition up(Click to see any of the images at a larger size)

The best thing about the show was its focus on ‘process’. Most artists had provided not just a finished piece of work, but one, two or three steps within the process of making it: sketches, inks, and then the final page, for example.

Joe Decie's comics at Panel Show exhibitionJoe Decie: three steps for each strip

As a comic artist myself I found it very interesting to see how different people work (and especially those working to ‘proper’ methods for the big comic publishers); I think even those who don’t draw themselves would also find it elucidating to understand what goes into a final page.

Dean Ormston Age of Doom for Dark Horse. Apologies for the terrible picture, but it’s interesting to see the paper this was drawn on with the printed lines to show the bleed area and the placement of the more important central content. In other words, no-one cares if a few snowflakes get cut off the edge of the page, but you don’t want to lose the actual cityscape.

Sara Varon bake saleI was thrilled to see this page from Sara Varon’s Bake Sale, not just because the book was a favourite when my daughter was small, but because this very image of the strip of bacon getting over-excited at a parade was a long-running source of mirth in our household. Well, you try reading a book out loud and then getting to that part, without at least cracking a smile.

You can buy prints of some of the artwork and I must say I was tempted by this one (but then remembered the limited amount of wallspace back home…)

Myfanwy Tristram and Zara Slattery at Panel Show in FarsleyOops, nearly forgot! Here’s my work, hung beside Zara Slattery’s images from her work in progress, Coma Comic.

There’s a big range of different types of comic at Panel Show, from self-published zines, to indie graphic novels, to the Beano and Tank Girl. Basically, you get to read comics for about an hour, and then buy comics in the gift shop, and you really can’t ask for much more than that.

Comics for sale at Sunnybank Mills

While I was in the Leeds area, I also visited their amazing art gallery. It’s free to get in, it has a great collection, contains several panels of a big a tapestry made by the community, and even has an art library in it. People of Leeds, I hope you know how lucky you are!

While poking around to find the tapestry, I also came across the best thing of all — their zine library.

Leeds zine library

I left some Draw The Line postcards there, which (of course) I hope will inspire zine-lovers to pledge for the book.

Draw The Line postcards in Leeds zine library

Well done Leeds, you were a very good city to visit.

 

Darryl Cunningham, Robin Ince and Draw The Line in Brighton

Wondering how to cope in an increasingly depressing world? Well, one thing you could do is come and see some people discussing comics which are all about that depressing world.

I’ll be talking about Draw The Line at an event in Brighton on November 3, run by Myriad. But I’m just the support act:  top of the bill is Darryl Cunningham, in conversation with Robin Ince about his newest book Billionaires.

In a nice contrast, once Darryl has thoroughly depressed everyone with his exposé of the super rich elite and the neoliberal capitalist/consumerist system, I’ll be explaining how you can fix things with the positive political actions outlined in the Draw The Line project.

Or, ok, fix things a bit. No guarantees that Draw The Line can make everything better.

An assurance we can make, though, is that this will be a pleasant way to spend a November Sunday afternoon, so book now – tickets are here.

 

Panel show at Sunnybank Mills in Leeds

Just a quick note to say that a page from my graphic memoir-in-progress, Satin and Tat, is on display in the Panel Show exhibition at Sunnybank Mills, Farsley, Leeds.

The show runs until November 10 and also includes work from Darryl Cunningham, Joe Decie, Kate Charlesworth, Katriona Chapman, Luke Pearson, Zara Slattery and many many others worth seeing.

There’s an emphasis on how comic art is created, so along with the other exhibitors, I’ve contributed both a finished page and the pencil drawing that was the first step in the process (click to see these at a larger size).

Page from Satin and Tat by Myfanwy Tristram, showing the audience at a gig
Line layout for a page of 'Satin and Tat' by Myfanwy Tristram

The gallery space looks wonderful, and there’s also a shop selling work from everyone. This includes several of my own comics, prints and cut-out dolls. If you’re at all local, Sunnybank Mills is probably the best place to get these at the moment, as I’ve sent them most of my stock.

If you’re the world’s biggest Myfanwy Tristram fan, you can even buy prints of the artwork. I am not sure this particular page is the most desirable thing to have on a wall though!

I’m planning to see the show myself soon, as I am traveling up that way, and I’ll be sure to take some photos and report back.

Brighton Naked Bike Ride poster

We are nature Naked Bike Ride Brighton 2019 poster design by Myfanwy Tristram

I love drawing clothes and fashion, as evidenced by my work in progress Satin and Tat, and much of my previous work including Everything My Daughter Wore…

So it was quite a surprise to find myself working on an illustration where everyone had to be naked! All for a good cause though: the annual Brighton Naked Bike Ride poster.

And I was happy to oblige, given my love of bikes, my belief that we need to challenge car culture, and, clearly, a need for self-punishment given that bikes are notoriously hard to draw (fortunately I’d had a recent bit of practice since the principal character in Satin and Tat gets about by bike).

Here’s the finished design:

Myfanwy Tristram naked bike ride Brighton 2019 poster design

And here it is with a tight crop and the wording added:

Myfanwy Tristram naked bike ride Brighton 2019 poster design

I’m really looking forward to seeing it around town: people have already been sending me photos of where they’ve spotted it.

(Thanks Scotty H, BNBR and Inksplattery)

One challenging aspect of this commission is that the design had to work equally well for an A3 sized poster, and for the tiny business card sized flyers that the ride also creates each year (they’re easy to put onto parked bikes to help spread the word). My first, rational thought was that I should stick with bold shapes, nothing complex, and that if I could design it at the smaller size it would scale up well into the larger one.

As you can see, I then went on to completely ignore my own advice, coming up with a very intricate picture. The crazy thing is, I think it works, even at the tiny size.

It was a real honour to be asked, especially as I’ve had one of the previous artists, Mike Levy‘s own small cards framed and up on my wall for years (click the images to see them bigger).

Mike Levy Naked bike ride Mike Levy Naked bike ride

This might be the first year I actually take part in the Naked Bike Ride. I’ve been an appreciative spectator for many years, but it seems like the right time to take the plunge and actually join in.

I will be taking full advantage of the ‘bare as you dare’ maxim though. In my case, that’s… not very bare.

Draw The Line at Sunday Assembly Brighton

I had the great pleasure of talking about Draw The Line to the Brighton Sunday Assembly last weekend.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Sunday Assembly is a monthly meet up that encourages attendees to “Live better, help often, wonder more”. It’s a bit like a church service in format, only instead of hymns you have pop song karaoke, instead of prayers you have conversation and a few minutes’ silence, and instead of sermons you have people giving talks. People like me.

Also on the bill were Extinction Rebellion, who share many of our messages about going out there and getting things changed (in their case, acting on the climate emergency).

I thought I’d keep it relatively simple, so most of my talk consisted of going over some of the many and varied political actions depicted in the Draw The Line project, but it did seem to go down well and I got lots of invitations to speak at other places afterwards, which has to be some sort of endorsement.

I’m always happy to talk about Draw The Line, first to spread its message that anyone can take a small political action and make the world a better place, and secondly in the hope that people will pledge for the Draw The Line book, helping that message reach ever more folk, and especailly those who may never have thought of themselves as activists.

If you’re interested, you can see my slides here and the rough notes to what I said are here. You’re welcome to adapt them to use in a talk of your own, so long as you include all the links to our website etc… and of course, invite your audience to pledge!

Draw The Line: hooray for publicity

Like buses, they all come at once. I’ve had three excellent opportunities to speak about Draw The Line recently, and now you can choose whether to enjoy your update via the medium of print, podcast or in person.

What is Draw The Line, do you ask? Well, you can find out through any of the links below, but the short version is, it’s a project which brings together more than 100 comic artists, each showing a political action anyone can take if they want to make the world a better place. We are currently crowdfunding to publish it as a book.

On air

Panel Borders

Firstly, you can listen to this week’s episode of Panel Borders which broadcast on Resonance FM and is now available in podcast form, titled Comics Activism. It’s split into two parts: in the first section, I chat with presenter Alex Fitch all about Draw The Line, about the connections I made prior to this project with the Finnish comic scene, and about my own work in progress exploring my teen years as a goth down in the rural county of Devon.

In the second part, you can hear an interview with Joe Sacco, king of graphic reportage: it does feel slightly bizarre to be on the same show as such a lauded artist, but I am not complaining!

In print

Then A Place To Hang Your Cape, which as its name suggests, started as a place to discuss the superhero genre but now covers the whole comics scene, has published an interview which you can enjoy here. If you enjoy comics of any kind, there’s plenty more content to enjoy while you’re on the site.

In person

Finally, for those local to Brighton, I will be speaking at Sunday Assembly on March 24th as part of an event themed around Activism. Just five days before Brexit is scheduled to take place, it should be an interesting one!

For those who don’t know, Sunday Assembly is a non-religious monthly gathering which gives you all the community side of church – fellowship, interesting talks, music, charity, cake and tea – but without any religion. The Brighton chapter’s website is here, and you can also follow them on Facebook to be alerted of events before they happen.

I’ll be sharing a number of the Draw The Line images to show some of the more unusual ways you can make political change.

I hope one or more of these updates takes your fancy.

Spreading the word about the project like this helps us attract more pledgers so I’m always keen to hear of any other opportunities. If you know a journalist, publication or event that might be interested, please do let us know on drawthelinecomics@gmail.com. Thanks!

Draw The Line update: catch us at the Lakes festival

Ask me about Draw the Line

Who remembers the Draw The Line project?

For those who need their memories refreshing, Draw The Line brings together more than 100 comic artists, each depicting positive actions that anyone can take to make the world a better place. It started as a website, and now we’re crowdfunding to make it into the most unusual and inspiring book you’ll ever have on your bedside table (pledge from as little as £10 to be part of it, folks!).

All profits go to the charity Help Refugees.

OK, so now we’re all up to speed.

Here’s the latest news about Draw The Line.

A load of the Draw The Line artists will be at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival on October 13 and 14.

Not through any prior organisation of our own, you understand, but more because the Lakes is such a fun, friendly, enjoyable event, with so much going on, that it just seems several of us will be in the same place at the same time.

SO: come to the Lakes for a chance to have a chat with Steven Appleby, Rachael Ball, Hunt Emerson, Kripa Joshi, Simon Russell, Michi Mathias, Karen Rubins, Zara Slattery, and me.

Some of us will be wearing big embarrassing badges

So you’ll know we’re available to answer questions or explain more about Draw The Line, we’re putting sartorial concerns to one side. Just look for these whopping beauties on our lapels:

Ask me about Draw The Line

We’ll likely have leaflets too, so you can get the lowdown even if you don’t fancy a natter.

And some of us will be drawing pictures or selling goodies in support of Draw The Line

If pledging for the actual book is out of your budget, you can still come along and pay a little bit less and get something really unique.

At 3 – 4pm on the Saturday, come by our table to meet Steven Appleby and get an original drawing.

At 2.30- 3.30 on the Sunday, come and get a fat cat drawn by Simon Russell – you make an ink blot and Simon will do the rest!
fat cat by Simon Russell

At pretty much any time (‘cos it’s our table), Zara Slattery and I will be there. Zara’s going to be drawing her Alice character from her ‘Radical Roots’ Draw The Line contribution (click to see it at a larger size), and I’ll have notebooks featuring the hopeful cyclist from my ‘travel cross country’ strip.

Zara Slattery Radical RootsTravel Hopefully by Myfanwy Tristram

Here’s a hastily-scrawled indication as to where we’ll be: basically the room on the left on the ground floor as you go into the Clocktower, same position as always:

Check out the windows

As if that’s not exciting enough, several Draw The Line artists will also be having their strips displayed on the windows trail — so look out for them in the shop displays as you walk through lovely Kendal.

Buy an excellent comic

It feels wrong to be putting this last on the list, because it’s so cool, but this is more to do with the Thought Bubble festival, running in Leeds this weekend as I write.

Aneurin Wright, one of Draw The Line’s artists, raced against time to bring out a comic he could sell at Thought Bubble, with proceeds going to Draw The Line.

He’s taken all the nuggets of wisdom he’s gleaned from comic artists speaking at various events, and put them together with illustrations drawn on the spot, so it’s a great way to enjoy the pictures while also learning more about the art of cartooning.

You can read more about it here, and the only reason I’m putting it right at the end like this is that I don’t know if he’ll have any copies left once Thought Bubble is over. The person to ask about that would be Nye himself. and you can buy it online here!

So… wow, that was a lot of information, wasn’t it? I hope I’ll see some of you in Kendal next month!

 

 

Talking about Draw The Line: Laydeez Do Comics, 9 April

Herding Cats by Myfanwy Tristram

Nothing planned this Monday? Then come and hear about the Draw The Line project! I’ll be one of two speakers at the regular Laydeez Do Comics meet-up in Vauxhall, London.

My talk is an extended version of the short one I gave at Caption last year: I’ll be offering practical tips for anyone else who’s thinking of running a big comics project like Draw The Line. Come and find out how to get 100+ artists to submit their work on time, to brief, and in the right format, a process that has been likened to the art of herding cats.

Also speaking will be the French comic book artist Camille Aubry. All are welcome — and in case you’re not familiar with Laydeez Do Comics, it’s important to note that you don’t have to be any kind of lady to attend. Free tickets can be reserved on Eventbrite.