There are two events in the UK this month with at least a partial focus on the financial and economic aspects of comics.
Jon Lock is organizing an event this weekend in the University of Gloucestershire, ‘Comic Summit’ including a focus on:
“How do you balance the demands of life and art? What do we mean by ‘success’ outside of the bigger publishers? And how can we address the challenges we face as a community?”
And Myriad Editions, who I am with now via their partnership with New Internationalist, are doing this on the 28th of July in the Cartoon Museum in London, with various interesting creators and organisers :
Sustaining Comics: What the Future Holds?
“Join Myriad’s Creative Director Corinne Pearlman as she enjoys an afternoon chatting about the comics profession with fellow publishers, organisers and artists: voices include Rachael Ball (Laydeez do Comics; Wolf Man), Hannah Berry (LIVESTOCK; Vox Pop), Karrie Fransman (The House that Groaned; Over, Under, Sidways, Down), Sha Nazir (BHP Comics; Laptop Guy), and Andy Oliver (Broken Frontier).”
There is also the collection Draw the Line organized by Myfanwy Tristram:
“Draw the Line is a project that collects illustrated examples and ideas of political actions that can be taken by anyone who wants to make a difference within the current social climate of fear an confusion. Over 100 comics artists across several countries have contributed to the project, including Karrie Fransman, Hannah Berry, Steven Appleby, Lucy Knisley, Danny Noble and more.” Also including my Japanese with a Scottish connection nakama, Fumio Obata, who did this image for it (and whom im meeting here in Japan next week!).
And, this week INK magazine, for which I wrote an article last year about the the wider economic aspects of comics, has an interview with Karrie Fransman:
“one of the artists featured in Draw the Line, has also answered our questions about the project, reminding us that many of today's dominant political issues directly affect the comics industry.”
And indeed they do, so we need to affect them back again. I’ve written 3 or 4 articles on how we comic book folk need to take the wider economic system into account during such talks and books (rather than focus ONLY on the smaller scale elements of marketing, social media, etc) - as the economic system is the basic cause of the money troubles we face. So it should be mentioned, at least once!
My own next contribution to this type of comics on social issues is the book ‘The Many Not the Few’, which is coming out a few months later via New Internationalist and Myriad, with lovely art by Robert Brown:
"With a mix of serious research and family jokes old union rep, Joe, and his granddaughter, Arushi, go into the complicated history, the ideological battles, the class conflict, a consideration of what unions are for, and what the future of unions may be. Starting way back with the 14th-century Peasants' Revolt, taking in the Levellers and the Luddites, the expansion of the unions in the 19th century, the height of their power in the '70s, the great conflicts and decline of the '80s, and considering the future positive role for unions."