Well, I saw this, too. Looks worth keeping an eye on, 'wanky' or not...
COMICA – a look at international comic art and literature
ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH, Thursday June 26th till Sunday July 6th.
This will be the first of an annual event looking at the burgeoning area of comics, internationally. Comics have long been known for their genre-bending subversion of culture and artistic forms, and the Comica programme will reflect this. There will be various strands of the festival – talks with the likes of Charles Burns (Who has done album covers for Iggy Pop, amongst other key works) in conversation with Nick Hornby (to be confirmed) and Chris Ware (creator of Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid in the World, Guardian First book Award winner) in conversation with Alex Garland (to be confirmed), as well as the new wave of comic talent emerging from the UK.
The performing arts strand will illustrate the closeness of the underground music and comics scenes – comic artist and musician Daniel Johnston (featured in this month’s Dazed, as well as on the cover of Careless Talk Costs Lives) will play at the ICA, as will Dame Darcy (to be confirmed). Johnston became something of a cause celebre in the 90’s, with Kurt Cobain wearing a T-Shirt to the MTV awards circa Nevermind in order to raise public awareness about this fellow troubled genius. His work has also been championed by the likes of Beck, Harmony Corine, David Bowie and Johnny Depp. His fiercely individual comics and music are in a league of their own. Dame Darcy was also at the centre of the Seattle scene, and was one of the early artists signed to Fantagraphics books, publishers of Dan Clowes (Ghost World) and Chris Ware. Apart from her comic work, she has displayed an abiding interest in performance, and has toured internationally with her band and theatre troupe over the last few years. She has a close relationship with K-Records (both Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, a vocal Darcy fan, tatooed K’s onto themselves in order to state their early allegiance to the label) who still distribute her material.
There will also be film, exhibition and digital strands of the festival. The digital strand will showcase the increasingly popular phenomenon of ‘web comics’. Examples of these will be on display, as well as talks and workshops with their creators. Other guests still to be confirmed are Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean and Sophie Crumb.