Comics Anonymous


Sunday the 28th of October saw the Dundee Literary Festival with its regular Comic themed day but with a clear focus on one person in particular – Grant Morrison.

Having just been awarded his MBE in week running up to this event he was in his usual high spirits and very open to all the questions from both the organizers/interviewers and the comic loving crowd.  The Comics Anonymous gang have seen him at different events on several occasions this year already but unlike many other writers/artists we see, he seems to have a knack for keeping the discussions fresh and new….even if covering the same topics.  It could be that he’s held in such high regard by comic book fans but I tend to think he’s like that anyway.  A lot of fun and laughter rang throughout the hall as he reminisced about his time with DC Thomson in the early days and covered through the significant titles he’s written in his career already.  Giving us a little bit more info on his current projects like Multiversity with Frank Quitely and even letting us know of some of his research on feminism for a Wonder Woman project he has on the go – harking back to the roots of the character where the sexuality and power of the Amazons had a more significant feeling of realism.

He was there for the rest of the day too as some of his collaborators discussed the projects that they had worked on as well as some of their own experiences getting into comics and how they work now.  One by one we saw Cameron Stewart, Frank Quitely, Frazer Irving, Peter Doherty & Rian Hughes take to the stage and even a few technical difficulties couldn’t hold things up as they swapped things around quite smoothly.  We were given some interesting anecdotes on their own work with Morrison and also covered the move to digital for both comics themselves and their production – with a differing level of acceptance among them, in-line with the fans themselves.  It was interesting to see as each member took us through how their creative process works and with some pretty amazing artwork on show from them all as they talked.  Seeing these images develop from the basic pencils and then the gradual build up was impressive as a reminder of just how much effort goes into a single image let alone an entire issue.  Rian Hughes work on branding and logo design was also something I really hadn’t considered before and I think the blog itself has already helped me appreciate more than just the writing and artwork as the colouring and logo help play just as significant a role in bringing a story to life an emphasizing the story.

There was also a signing in-between some of the sessions and this allowed the usual frantic fans to get their favourite issues/graphic novels signed by the creators involved and giving us a chance to talk face to face with the very people responsible for keeping us interested in comics and entertained as fans.  There’s also the organization that takes place for these events and Chris Murray and the team from Dundee University have got this down to a T.  The sessions are just the right length, the breaks are in the right places and the whole day flowed like the well-oiled machine it has become.  The perfect end to the literary festival and a key way of retaining the impact Dundee has had in the comic book world through DC Thomson and events like these.

Another success and another instance where they’ve left me looking forward to next year’s….bring on 2013.


All the photos used in this post come from the wonderfully talented Fiona Watson – available for all events!

Check out her website here.



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