Monday, 17 August 2009

The Pirates of East Oxford Community Centre

I had a very pleasant time this weekend at Caption 2009 - met lots of lovely people, talked about comics and doodled me some pirates and dinosaurs. The first talk I went to was Karen Rubins talking about her current residency at the V&A - which sounds great, and I hope to pop along for a visit on one of her upcoming open days.

I had a vague idea that I would sketch people at Caption during the talks, but decided against it in Kaz's talk as I thought it might be offputting and am never sure about the etiquette of drawing people without asking. So I drew a pirate and a dinosaur instead. (I quite like drawing pirates and dinosaurs, as regular readers of this blog may have realised).

Anyway, afterwards Kaz proceeded to draw me without asking - an uncanny likeness, she really captured my Mr. Potato-Head-With-Glasses quality - so apparently that's okay. She also said that if I'd drawn her as a pirate that would have been fine. Which gave me an idea for the rest of the talks.
Here is comics creator Garen Ewing, as a pirate, with a dinosaur. Garen was talking about his book the Rainbow Orchid, which I have been telling anyone who'll listen about since, ooh, 2003, and Vol. 1 of which has recently been published to great acclaim by Egmont. It was fantastic to see some of Garen's sketches, character designs and pencils / inks during the talk - although the real highlight was getting a sneak peek of the cover to Vol. 2, which was just absolutely jaw-droppingly beautiful.

The next thing I went to was Sarah McIntyre's talk about picture books, comics and the cross-fertilisation therebetween, and it was utterly fascinating - I spent the whole thing gawping at incredible work by artists I'd never heard of and trying to write down all their names, which kept me so busy I never even managed to finish my picture of Sarah as a pirate.

Next up was Asia Alfasi talking about her work and her upcoming autobiographical book, which I can't wait to check out. Her story back in vol. 1 of Best New Manga was great, and a short story she had in Manga Jiman that dealt with her upbringing and moving from Libya to Glasgow was really interesting, so I can't wait to see a full-length book. Anyway, it was another really fascinating talk (hosted / interviewed by Caption organiser Jenni Scott) - but I somehow managed to find the time to draw Asia as a dinosaur pirate, anyway.

As I say, a great weekend, and huge thanks to Jenni, Jay, Selina and the rest of the team for organising it. I think this was possibly my favourite Caption I've attended so far, maybe just because I didn't have anything to do this year but listen to the talks, catch up with friends and meet nice people.

Or, maybe, because there was cake.


  1. Ha ha! I love that pic of Asia on the dinosaur, brilliant!

    Great to see you! xx

  2. I really like the "attendees as pirates" idea! Both the ones of Garen and Asia are fab - yay!