Comic Craft: Nelson showcases Britain's best comic talent
Comic craft is possibly one of the most diverse craftforms out there running from your caped crusaders to the most astounding handmade indie comics. This weekend saw Leeds' Thought Bubble Art Festival host their annual comic convention, which has doubled in size since last year and was host to over 300 exhibitors from all corners of the comic and craft world.
Featuring all kinds of comic styles from 2000ad, DC, Marvel, Dark Horse to The Beano, Dandy and some of the brightest stars on the indie comics scene as well as everything in between, Nelson is billed as "an unprecedented experiment in creating an anthology that is part exquisite corpse, part relay race, and best of all, an all-consuming novel like nothing you've seen before." and what an utterly beautiful book it is.
The story began with a tweeted idea from Rob Davis (I wrote about the making of his recently published Quixote graphic novel earlier this year) who was joined by Woodrow Phoenix in creating an epic idea. The story of one person's life told by 54 individual comic creators showing a single day in each year. The idea became a reality when Blank Slate books agreed to publish the book and Nelson was released in the UK on November 18.
All profits from the sale of the first 4000 copies of Nelson go to the homeless charity Shelter and every single artist has contributed their hardwork for free, to support both the charity and the hope that comics are finally coming into their own in the UK (catching up with Europe at last).
After a successful buzz at Thought Bubble, London is lucky enough to be hosting three events up to the 27th November 2011, dubbed Nelson Week:
22nd November 6-7PM @ The Cartoon Museum: The Cartoon Museum is hosting a Nelson exhibition showcasing original Nelson artwork featuring contributors and invited guests. The exhibition will be up until late December so go and marvel at it!
24th November, 6-7PM @Forbidden Planet Megastore: Geek out at London's Forbidden Planet Megastore and meet Rob Davis, Woodrow Phoenix, Warren Pleece, Gary Northfield, Simone Lia and Tom Humberstone to get your copy signed. All profits from books bought on the night go to Shelter.
25th November, 6PM onwards @ Gosh! Comics: Gosh in Soho are throwing a huge public launch party (100% of book profits will go the Shelter - including the exclusive-to-Gosh! limited-to-200 Frank Quietly Bookplate Edition). There will be drinks, signings tons of Nelson creators (look out for the Nelson badges to help you spy them out and collect all 54 signutures), games, a mini-exhibition of original art and much more.
Nelson really is a wonder in the world of comics. The story of Nel, lovingly handmade by its many creators, sees her grow up through historic events (moon landings, the fall of the Berlin Wall and September 11th) as well as every day ones, in a compelling and stunningly drawn tale. I can confirm the book is well worth getting your hands on and if you've never read a graphic novel before, Nelson is a very good place to start. Not only is it a jaw-droppingly lovely graphic novel, but the inspiring team behind it have hopefully won an important battle in installing British comics in their rightful place in Brit Lit.
Crafty Crafty will be reporting back at the end of Nelson week with a gallery of Nelson pictures from the events.
Here's to a victory for Nelson and a hooray for comic craft. Go out and get your copy now. You're not having mine.
Nelson contributors: Paul Grist, Rob Davis, Woodrow Phoenix, Ellen Lindner, Jamie Smart, Gary Northfield, Sarah McIntyre, Suzy Varty, Sean Longcroft, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Luke Pearson, Paul Harrison-Davies, Katie Green, Paul Peart-Smith, Glyn Dillon, I.N.J.Culbard, John Allison, Philip Bond, D'Israeli, Simone Lia, Darryl Cunningham, Jonathan Edwards, Ade Salmon, Kate Charlesworth, Warren Pleece, Kristyna Baczynski, HarveyJames, Rian Hughes, Sean Phillips & Pete Doree, Kate Brown, Simon Gane, Jon McNaught, Adam Cadwell, Faz Choudhury, JAKe, Jeremy Day, Dan McDaid, Roger Langridge, Will Morris, Dave Shelton, Carol Swain, Hunt Emerson, Duncan Fegredo, Philippa Rice, Josceline Fenton, Garen Ewing, Tom Humberstone , Dan Berry,Alice Duke, Posy Simmonds, Laura Howell, Andi Watson, and Dave Taylor