Panel Borders: Barbara Nessim – a (comics) artful life

Panel Borders: Barbara Nessim – a (comics) artful life

Continuing a month of shows about the connections between fine art and comic books, Alex Fitch talks to acclaimed artist and illustrator Barbara Nessim about her work and the many connections it has with sequential art, as its influence and subject. A selection of Nessim’s work is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, with her Wonder Woman analogue “Star Girl Banded with Blue Wave” (1966) being used as the focus for the marketing of the show; Alex talks to her about this work, the use of panel based sequential images in her Flag series and others, and her unlikely appearance in a anti-drugs fumetti, facilitated by Gloria Steinem and published in Warren Magazines’ Help! periodical in the 1960s.
Barbara Nessim – an artful life is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum until 19th May 2013
(Orignially broadcast Monday 13th May 2013 on Resonance 104.4 FM)

Superman carrying girl with green shoes, Star Girl banded with blue wave, Fumetti from Help! magazine, Chopin a la moog, Swedish Lives, A / B, The Night is Silent by Barbara Nessim

Superman carrying girl with green shoes, Star Girl banded with blue wave, Fumetti from Help! magazine, Chopin a la moog, Swedish Lives, A / B, The Night is Silent by Barbara Nessim

For more info and a variety of different formats you can stream or download, please visit the home of this podcast at

Links: Barbara Nessim’s website
Info about the Barbara Nessim exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Article about Nessim’s installation at Centria Building

Recommended events:

When is a graphic novel not a comic? When it’s a…

A panel debate at the Brighton Festival exploring the dimensions of narrative art, in association with Myriad Editions, and featuring Myriad authors Woodrow Phoenix and Nye Wright, with Hannah Berry and Tim Pilcher.

‘The graphic novel as a literary form is really coming into its own at the moment, and we’re very lucky that we have one of the best graphic novel publishers here in Brighton – Myriad – so we’re putting on an event with them that I’m very excited about’ – Mathew Clayton, Literary Programmer, Brighton Festival

Woodrow Phoenix produced a giant comic for his MA at Brighton University, exploring – literally – the dimensions of what a comic is. Co-winner of Best Book in the British Comics Awards, he and fellow graphic novelists Nye Wright and Hannah Berry debate the different ways of creating narratives: whether pen and paper, ceramics, embroidery or sculpture. Art schools are now hot-beds of new cartoonists, and the traditional US comic is giving way to a more modern, domestic graphic memoir. How did this sea-change come about? What makes a comic, when does it become a graphic novel, is it all just marketing? A panel debate at the Brighton Festival, chaired by comics guru Tim Pilcher and in association with Myriad Editions.

Location: Studio Theatre, Brighton Dome, New Road, Brighton
8 – 9pm, Wednesday 15th May, 2013

More info / tickets:

Laydeez Do Comics at Brighton Festival

A free event in the Studio Bar, in association with Myriad Editions, and featuring the artists, authors and organisers of Laydeez Do Comics, Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman, with guests: illustrator and manga artist Chie Kutsuwada and artist curator Kim Pace

After the panel event in the Studio Theatre, the audience is invited to join the legendary Laydeez Do Comics in the Studio Bar. The UK’s first women led graphic novel forum will be presenting a series of invited speakers from 9-10.30pm. This is a non-ticketed event and is open to all members of the public, so please come along and have your eyes opened to some of the amazing work going on in the comics world.

Laydeez Do Comics regularly attracts more than 100 guests at its monthly meetings in London, and groups have now set up in Chicago, San Francisco, Bristol and Leeds with pop-ups in New York – and now, for the very first time, Brighton!

Nicola Streeten’s first graphic book, Billy, Me & You, was published by Myriad in October 2011. It first appeared in serialised form in Liquorice Magazine.

Location: Studio Theatre Bar, Brighton Dome, New Road, Brighton

9 – 10.30pm, Wednesday 15th May, 2013

More info / tickets:

Tripwire Launch with Michael Moorcock, Peter Milligan, Mike Carey, Roger Langridge & Christopher Fowler

Since its launch back in 1992, TRIPWIRE has been the UK’s leading features-driven comics and genre publication. Its emphasis on British comics and creators and left of centre mainstream has garnered it fans around the world. In 2013, to commemorate its 21st birthday, TRIPWIRE will be publishing TRIPWIRE 21, a must-own celebration of 21 years of the magazine. To mark this, Foyles and TRIPWIRE present a panel that includes Michael Moorcock (Mother London), Peter Milligan (Hellblazer), Mike Carey (The Unwritten, X-Men), Roger Langridge (The Muppets, Fred The Clown) and Christopher Fowler, creator of the popular Bryant & May book series in discussion with TRIPWIRE editor-in-chief Joel Meadows.

Venue: the Gallery at Foyles

Thursday 16th May 2013 6:30pm – 8:30pm Charing Cross Road Literary Event, Chargeable Event
More info / tickets:

Image Duplicator at Orbital Comics

Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein currently has a show on at the Tate Modern. While the public is intimately familiar with his work, what they may be unaware of is that many of his images were directly “appropriated” from comic artists like Irv Novick, Russ Heath, Jack Kirby, John Romita and Joe Kubert, who received no fee or credit.

Is this an act of brilliant recontexturalisation? The elevation of commercial “low” art to “high” art? Art world snobbery? Artistic licence? Gallery shortsightedness? Cultural annexation? Or something else entirely? This show brings together real comic-book artists and other “commercial artists” – illustrators, designers, cartoonists – to ask these kinds of questions and share their views, via their work.

Each artist was asked to “re-reappropriate” one of the comic images Lichtenstein used: to go back to the source material and twist it into something interesting and original, and in the process to comment on the act of appropriation.

Money raised from selling prints and originals will be donated to the Hero Initiative, which helps down-on-their-luck comic book veterans.

Take Back the Art!

16th May – 31st May 2013, Orbital Comics, 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JA

More info:

Help launch The Black Cloud

Support Charles Cutting’s new graphic short story compilation… If you think it’s the kind of thing you would be cool with posting about, liking and sharing on Facespace and Twitter, Charlie would be most grateful…

Over the last year and a half Charles has produced three short stories in graphic form for three different authors.

‘After The End’ is penned by Tauriq Moosa and deals with a secret scientific experiment.

‘Two Little Boys’ concerns an intriguing coincidence linking the lives of Adolf Hitler and Ludwig Wittgenstein and is written by Christian David. It first appeared in Issue 29 of The Illustrated Ape.

The final story ‘The Bleeding Horse’ is an adaptation of a macabre story by Brian J Showers about a haunted Irish pub.

Charlie needs $2000 to cover the printing and shipping costs. By pre-ordering a copy of Black Cloud via Indiegogo you will be entitled to various perks depending on how much you wish to chip in to the campaign. These cost between $15 and $200 and include sketches, advertising space and original artwork.