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comica 2008 and cormorants

If you're anywhere near London, don't miss your chance to book tickets for Comica 2008, an amazing line-up of comics speakers, including Dave McKean, Art Spiegelman, Posy Simmonds and Alan Moore. London Underground Comics are doing something on 22 Nov, and be sure to book tickets for the 23rd to see the DFC crew - Adam Brockbank, John Aggs and Patrice Aggs, Gary Northfield and me - with three guys who know a whole lot about comics: David Ashford, Steve Holland and David Roach. Maybe Derek the Sheep and Vern can go canoodle in the corner while we're talking.

Yesterday everyone in my rowing club came down to paint the boathouse and get ready for the clubhouse grand reopening next weekend. (We haven't even had a loo, we've had to pop next door to the pub for a pint if we wanted to use the facilities. The Globe, London's greatest but least posh rowing club.)

We were supposed to go to the Tate & Lyle sugar factory to pick up some of the furniture they've been storing for us, but the Blackwall tunnel under the Thames was blocked both ways, so all but one of us abandoned the car and ran back for our training session in the gym. On the way, we saw these cormorants sunning themselves along the river. I love cormorants (otherwise known as common shags.) We remarked on how they look sort of prehistoric, I need to do some sketches of them at some point.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 12th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
There probably aren't many people for whom Posy Simmonds is the most exciting name on that list, but I think I'm one of them...
Oct. 12th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Comica 2008

Is Comica 2008 just for adults? My boys Ben and Alex would love to meet you (and the other DFC writers) but we've just moved house / area and been too busy to make Bath and the other London DFC things. Are there any more DFC events planned? The Childrens Literary Festival in Feb, London?

The boys are still enjoying the DFC, in fact they fight over it as soon as they get home from school. Mezalith has some incredible art which is inspiring Ben. Sausage & Carrots is also now a perennial fav. vern & lettuce also one the bits my boys turn to first. The bunny's hiding in the tuba is creatings ome laughs and we're now getting our niece hooked.

How is the DFC doing? I do hope its going OK. My boys love it and its really helped Alex to get into reading.

Oct. 13th, 2008 08:08 am (UTC)
Re: Comica 2008
Hi Patrick! Glad to hear Ben and Alex are having such a good time with the DFC! Where are you based now, after your move?

I don't think Comica is aimed at children, but I think Ben and Alex could come along for the DFC talk if they wanted to. I think I'm going to be doing something for the London MCM Expo at the Excel Centre, with Emma Vieceli and John Aggs, but I still don't know if I'm going to be there on 25 or 26 Oct. I'll try to get back about that one. (I've never been to the Expo, so I don't know what it'll be like, but I'm looking forward to it.) Let me check with the DFC people about who's doing what and when.

I love Sausage & Carrots, too. I just had dinner with Simone Lia last night and we had a great time comparing comics notes.
Oct. 13th, 2008 07:57 am (UTC)
I'll join you, there! Posy Simmonds rocks. I had a real turn-around in my understanding of comics when I read 'Gemma Bovary' and also 'Fluffy' by Simone Lia. Very cool comics chicks.
Oct. 12th, 2008 09:10 pm (UTC)
Just between you and me (and all the people reading the comments to this post), my first name is "Morvan", which, according to some, comes from the Breton "Mor Vran" : "Sea Raven", which means "Cormorant".
Oct. 13th, 2008 08:11 am (UTC)
That's a great name! Is 'Morvern' a variation on that (as in Morvern Callar)?

Hey, I'm curious about you, are you French or English or something else, and if not French, how did you end up in Brittany?
Oct. 13th, 2008 09:01 am (UTC)
My father was born in Belgium, but his family moved to Brest (where I live now) when he was 1 year old and acquired French nationality. My mother was born in Normandy, the youngest of 10 siblings. Both her parents died before she was 6, and she was raised first by her grandmother in Normandy and then by an aunt in Lorraine (eastern France, once part of Germany).

My parents met and got married in Marseilles (You know where that is, right ?) where they both worked at the time, and my brother was born over there. Then they moved to Brittany just before my birth, so I was the first truly breton chil in the family, that's why I ended up with a breton name.

It's not such a great name if you live in France where "Morve" means "Snot"... I'm just sayin'. Children are cruel and merciless.

As to "Morvern"... I don't know ? It's a scottish name, and Breton is also a celtic language, so I assume "Mor" also means "sea" in Scottish ? Breton is more closely related to Welsh, that's all I know...

There was a "king Morvan" (who was more a war-chief than an actual king) in the dark ages, and also a Saint Morvan who was a Bishop around Vannes (although historians are not sure wether he really existed).

There is also a part of France called "Le Morvan", but there is no relation at all.
Oct. 13th, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's so interesting! (Very sorry about the snot thing, though.) Where did you study English, then? You write like a native speaker! I can't believe you just picked it up in school like that.

What is Brest like, are there lots of comics people and illustartors who meet up there? Or does it feel kind of remote? I love the name Finistère, it conjures up such a rugged, windswept kind of place. I was so sad when the BBC Shipping Forecast started saying 'FitzRoy' instead.
Oct. 13th, 2008 03:43 pm (UTC)
Like a native speaker ? Wow, thanks ! My spoken english needs some improvements, though.

I studied English in high school, and learned the rest by reading lots of comics, I think, and through the internet.

There also is a place called "cape Finisterre" in Spain.

There are a few cartoonists in Brest (I don't know them personally), including Obion. But yes, it feels kinda remote. It's one of these places that are at the end of the road. You don't pass there on your way to somewhere else, you have to go there. Also, it's not a very beautiful city, honestly. The coast and countryside around are pretty nice, though.

About the name "Finistère" : it comes from the latin "Finis Terrae" - "The end of the land" or "the end of the world". But in Breton it's called "Penn ar Bed", which means "Head of the world". The beginning, not the end.
Oct. 13th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
I like that, Land's Beginning. I'm playing a CD mix with a great song about two guys, Harbo and Samuelson, who rowed the Atlantic to France. They landed in Le Havre, not Brest, but there's something wonderful about somewhere being the first place after so much water.


Thanks for the Obion link, his work looks amazing! I so wish my French was better so I could read it properly. I've been reading French comics and I tried to speak as much French as I could while we were there a couple weeks ago, but it's slow going for me. Your English is remarkable, it's not just correct, you know how to throw slang into all the right places, without it sounding forced. (I somehow assumed you were an expat Brit, silly me. No one speaks languages as poorly as the Brits except maybe the Americans and I have a foot in both those camps.) :-P

Are you going to Angoulême this year? I wish I could go (especially with Dupuy and Berberian being featured) but I think with deadlines I might have to wait until next year.
Oct. 13th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure about Angoulême. I'm taking a 4-weeks vacation in february, during which I'm going to travel in the US, so I might skip the Festival this year...
Oct. 13th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
Not going to Seattle, by any chance?
Oct. 13th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
Maaaaybe ? My plans so far include New York, San Francisco and Portland... But I haven't booked anything yet. Do you have any recommendations ?
Oct. 13th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
Those sound like great plans. Ooh, Portland, that's the place to be right now. I only got to visit it for a day when I was last in Seattle, but there's a lot happening there. And the Oregon coastline is beautiful. Our family used to go to Cannon Beach every year. The town's a lot bigger than it used to be, but I think it's still probably just as pretty.

Seattle's a great place but bad transport makes it a slightly annoying place to visit. Try to stay somewhere central if you can so you can walk everywhere and get buses. If you're there, go have a drink at the Blue Moon Tavern in the University District, where my sister, Mary, works. (It's a dive, but a loveable place all the same.)
Oct. 13th, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, except Mary might be in Cuba then, I'd have to check her dates.
Oct. 13th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Hello Sarah,

I won't drag the boys to Comica then if its mainly for adults. I think we'll wait and hope the DFC do something Oxford/London/Birmingham/Cambridge based. Bath was very tempting as my cousin lives there (and we do the family fun run every year) but it was two weeks after we moved up to ............ Stamford, Lincs.

Stamford is really a a lovely place. iIts bit like a Midland's tiny compact version on Bath wih the same kind of stone but without the Georgian squares.


We're in exploration mode at the moment, getting to learn about our new home. We've fallen in love with Burghley house already ,which is this amazing 15th/16th Century house visited by Queen Elizabeth 1st etc.


My Dad has brought us a family season ticket for an early Chrimbo present (what a cool dad!) Burghley has featured in a lot of films recently. Its got some incredible art works and the boys were a bit awestruck by the most amazing Italian fresco's (Heaven and Hell is a bit graphic!). The Garden of Surprises is great and we also love the scupture garden. Just a great setting. I go running around the park on a Sunday morning now.

Try and pursuade The DFC do a children's event in Stamford and you can stay at The George, which is one of England's oldest coaching inns!!!


Anyway send our best to Vern & Lettuce

Oct. 14th, 2008 09:30 am (UTC)
Hi, Patrick! Last night I asked my husband, where's Stamford?, and he said, 'oh, that's a very pretty place, really nice market town'. Thanks for including those links, I'll look forward to exploring them. That's a part of the country I'd really love to explore, only ever been to Lincoln and surrounds. (Stayed on farm with two Dutch brothers who had farms right next to them and got to help their near-toddler bring in the sheep!)

I'll keep an eye out for a DFC schedule, just been harassing the publicity team for a list of events.

Vern and Lettuce send their best, although Vern is slightly inconvenienced as he just got his head stuck in the washing machine. I'd better go see what they're up to.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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