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.

 

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.

The Inking Woman

The Inking Woman

Go Cross Country by Myfanwy Tristram

It’s quite an odd feeling to package a picture up and hope that it arrives at its destination safely, but I’m delighted to have been asked to loan a drawing to the forthcoming exhibition ‘The Inking Woman’, at the Cartoon Museum in London. Not least because of its excellent name: extra biscuits to whoever thought that up!

The exhibition will show cartoon and comics work by women artists from the 19th and 20th centuries to the present day: I haven’t seen the full list of exhibitors yet, but I know that it will feature lots of my comics friends and associates including the brilliant Zara Slattery, Karrie Fransman, Kate Evans, Paula Knight and Hannah Eaton. It looks like it will also travel briefly, as I’ve loaned my work until the end of 2018.

I’m pleased, because this bright drawing didn’t scan brilliantly and so the version I show on screen isn’t as satisfactory as the original. Those who encounter it in the real world will also be able to see where I stuck paper over messy bits of wording, for a second attempt!

(And yes yes, I’m also pleased because it’s an exhibition that celebrates women in comics! More of this sort of thing).

Illustrated Women In History exhibition

Kathrine Switzer by Myfanwy Tristram banner

I’m really pleased to say that I have a small illustration in the Illustrated Women in History exhibition and the accompanying zine.

The exhibition is up in Swindon Central Library now, and runs until the end of April. You can buy the zine here.

Its maker, Julie Gough, has for some time now been doing a great job of collecting pictures and short biographies of women from a variety of artists — this is the third issue of Illustrated Women in History. She herself is on a mission to draw a woman a week: the project was prompted by the scandalous story of a London museum which gained planning permission on the grounds that it would celebrate the lives of women. When it opened, it had somehow transformed into a Jack the Ripper ‘attraction’.

Julie’s exhibition and zine profile women as diverse as Tove Jansson, Banana Yoshimoto, Boudicca and Grace Jones. For my own submission, I chose to draw Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. I could identify with her a little, as I enjoy running myself — albeit on a much less ambitious scale — and I found her story interesting (and, it should be noted, not entirely without controversy).

In reading up on Switzer, I discovered that running, like so many other areas of life (and even those which seem so obviously gender neutral in the present day), was once a far more male-dominated pursuit. Suffice to say that the sports bra wasn’t even invented until 1975.

This is my illustration (along with genuine quotes from other runners, journalists and race officials of the time); it takes some liberties with colour and clothing, as I wanted her to stand out. It was in fact raining on the day, and in Switzer’s own account she notes that she was annoyed at having to wear a grey full-length sweat suit, the only weatherproof running gear available in those days. Again, rather different to today’s picture when the sports shops are bursting with lycra running gear with a different colour for each season.

If you’d like to see the accompanying biography, and many more pictures of interesting women by lots of talented artists, you’ll have to swing by Swindon library, or grab a copy of the zine for yourself. Thanks to Julie for bringing so many women, some obscure and forgotten, back to light.

Kathrine Switzer by Myfanwy Tristram

Nice timing, Comix Creatrix

(Image by the House of Illustration)

I know it’s already been said by everyone, but the opening of the Comix Creatrix exhibition, featuring cartoons by 100 women, could hardly have been better timed, given the controversial (and plain wrong) statement from Franck Bondoux, executive officer of the Angouleme International Comics Festival:

“Unfortunately, there are few women in the history of comics”

To which, you can either stare open-mouthed, or you can point to some robust evidence. Like, hmm, I don’t know, let me see, an exhibition which highlights the work of one hundred talented female cartoonists (past and present) in one big, stunning bundle.

Obviously, this exhibition has been some time in the making, so it’s not a deliberate riposte, but it is a delicious one.

Has anyone invited Franck over to take a look? That’d be a great GoFundMe, wouldn’t it?

Comics Creatrix poster by Laura Callaghan
Comics Creatrix poster by Laura Callaghan

I managed to visit yesterday, on the first day of the exhibition, and enjoyed a good long couple of hours poring over every exhibit.

It’s a very encouraging exhibition for any comics artist, because it presents such a massive diversity of styles, materials and subject matter. Clearly, there’s no ‘wrong’.

It was also fascinating to see what a variety of size paper people use for their originals, from tiny sketchbook pages to vast A1 sheets. And it’s particularly reassuring to see the amount of tippex and paper cover-ups some of the artists use if they are unsatisfied with their original work:

Cluster Bombs by Leila Abdelrazaq
Cluster Bombs by Leila Abdelrazaq

Apologies for the not very high-quality phone snaps: here are some other pieces of work I enjoyed, in no particular order:

Fay Dalton Reaper Files: Buddy Holiday
Fay Dalton’s Reaper Files: Buddy Holiday

 

Barbara Yelin: Irmina
Barbara Yelin: Irmina

 

From Girl In Dior by Annie Goetzinger
From Girl In Dior by Annie Goetzinger

Frame from Returning Home by Cat O'Neil
From Returning Home by Cat O’Neil

There were many, many more I could have highlighted, including some old favourites that took me right back to my earliest interest in zines and comics.

My only criticism is that there’s no (physical) catalogue. There’s an app, for which you need to have an iPad, but boy, I would have loved to buy a big volume and see all these strips reproduced to examine again at my leisure.