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The first Doonesbury cartoon, from October 26,...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure you’ve seen daily or weekly comic strips like Doonesbury in newspapers and many of you will have read graphic novels. (Just click on the image above to view.)

There are a huge number of comics on the Internet, but here’s some links mentioned in an article in ‘Totally Dublin’ to check out if you’d like to take a look: xkcd, A Softer World, Hark, a vagrant.

I really admire the artistry involved in combining image with narrative –  some comics are hand-drawn, some are drawn with computer programs, some use pictures. They’re often self-published and hosted on the artists’ own sites. The great thing about this is that it’s free from the control of publishers (same with self-publishing in other media), and competition for page size and it allows for all sorts of creative expression. They’re usually free to read too.

One of my students, who uses the name Sean Drawn, made an exciting announcement in class the other day. He’s about to launch his graphic novel, Cupid’s Last Arrows. We discussed earlier drafts of the novel in class over the last couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed it’s quirky, gentle humour and delightful illustrations.

Next week, on Valentine’s Day, 12pm – 10pm, at Exchange Dublin, a collective arts centre in Temple Bar’s Project Arts Centre, the novel will be launched alongside an art exhibition. The exhibition consists of original and print art from the graphic novel, which tells the story of Cupid’s journey through the streets of Dublin as the ancient Roman god of love attempts to fix his mismatches.

As advertised here, you can even be drawn by Drawn, who will be creating portraits and caricatures of visitors throughout the day.

Sean will also speak at the Exchange at 8pm at the ‘Milk and Cookies’ storytelling event. ‘Milk and Cookies Stories’ is a “Dublin-based, non-profit arts collective that hosts storytelling nights on the second Tuesday of every month. It transforms Exchange Dublin into a giant living room, complete with cosy cushions and duvets, fairy lights, hot tea and delicious cookies.” It’s free for everyone.

Congratulations to Sean and I hope the launch generates a lot of interest for his work.

Has anyone any webcomics or graphic novels to recommend? What do you think of the form?

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