I’m getting ready for a bunch of talks and taking photos of books, and books are spread out everywhere in my flat and it is a real disaster zone. (Poor Stuart.) For my Laydeez Do Comics talk on Monday (Do come! Ladies and gents both welcome!), I’m going to highlight some comics by other women, show some of my own stuff, then start off a discussion on Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. It’s such an amazing book, it could be the source of a hundred doctoral dissertations, but I’m trying to figure out how much research I have time to do on it. I’m reading some interviews and reviews, including Shaun Tan’s writing about the book on his own website. Have a peek at that if you like, he includes lots of images from the book as well.
I’m not going to try to sabotage the comics talk by showing only picture books, but I will pull some out, because I think they get overlooked by the comics crowd. Perhaps this is because people just don’t realise the books are comics, Or maybe it’s because so much of the comics scene is male-led, that possibly the guys find them too ‘girly’ or ‘mumsy’, write off books of that genre, never go into children’s sections of the bookshops, and therefore miss out on a whole load of interesting material.
I guess I’m saying, c’mon guys, look beyond the marketing; just because something’s in the children’s section doesn’t mean it’s simplistic. There’s a lot of pulp in children’s books, just as in comics, but there are some remarkable gems to be found. And picture book creators would learn a lot by foraging into comics, it’s a two-way thing.