At Pumphouse Gallery London, today Wednesday 11 August, informal guided tour with curator Paul Gravett (please call gallery to confirm times). 

With many thanks to Andrea Pitzer. 

This has been out there for a while now. It’s still interesting to watch/listen to. It’s annoying, though, they would call graphic novels “a visual language.” The visual language is comics. Graphic novels are long-form comics published as stand-alone volumes. But the language is comics. Comics. Graphic Narrative.

With humble thanks to Andrea Pitzer. 

As you probably know I’m a big fan of Robert Darnton’s work. Harvard’s Nieman Storyboard has posted this incredible interview Andrea Pitzer conducted with the author of The Case for Books (2009). Please read it. 


On a related note, Andrea Pitzer will participate in a panel about the implications of the transition to digital media for storytelling at the IJF on Sunday April 25th.

I am currently writing about this amazing project. Take some time to explore the site, as well as that of the company behind it, Zeroes 2 Heroes. Let me just say now that this project stands out for several reasons, some of which are

  1. It seeks to celebrate the relationship between Japan and Canada over the last 80 years. It is the result of a continuous open call for submissions from regular people of Japanese/Canadian descent. The best stories are commented by readers and participants of the community and chosen by a committee.
  2. It combines online digital tools with the publication of a printed book anthology featuring the winning submissions.
  3. It is based on user-generated content but reciprocates by stimulating comics creation, reflection on multicultural identities and the active participation in a social networking site composed by people with shared backgrounds and interests.
  4. It offers insight of what the future of publishing will be like by combining successfully print and digital tools, “opening up” the publishing platform to regular people. It is a social enterprise whose performance is collective, not unidirectional or vertical.
  5. Even though the first anthology has already been published on print they keep receiving submissions, and allow the publication of comments, reviews, blogs and new related work.
  6. The digital comics platform/reader allows the user/reader to learn about the creative/production process behind each story, including script, drafts, reference images, information about characters and creators, etc.
  7. This is definitely an example to learn from and follow. It needs serious consideration!
"Si en lugar de dibujar tebeos, Giménez escribiese libros no ilustrados tendría ya el premio Cervantes."
[“If instead of drawing comics Giménez wrote non-illustrated books, he would have already received the Cervantes prize.”]

It is always a nice surprise to see the name of Carlos Giménez in the Spanish press/net. I met him in Mexico City in two different times. The second one we talked in a panel chaired by Ana Merino (who was in the country at the time as well) at the National University. Paracuellos remians one of the most compelling testimonies of life under the dictatorship in any medium. If “drawn literature” or “graphic storytelling” in Spain has a great living master it has to be Giménez.