Book Week Scotland

Edinburgh Comic Art Festival 2017

December 4th, 2017 by Chenchen Li | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Edinburgh Comic Art Festival 2017
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The Edinburgh Comic Art Festival (ECAF), organised by BHP comics, was held at The Out of the Blue Drill Hall in 02 December. ECAF was full of exhibiting authors and artists, plenty of workshops, talks and events for comic book fans of all ages. In the festival,  40 illustrators, independent comic publishers, exhibiting artists and writers were involved.

It is easy to walk the whole field. I was attracted by some amazing paintings and attractive graphic novels. Most of comics were self-published, the illustrators displayed their work on the comic market. Some comic online advertised the web though printed comic. The special comic artist who impressed me was MJ Wallace. The comics she created showed different styles. And she designed her cards in 5 different illustrations. The card itself is creative thing. The comic artist Steven Ingram introduced me his series Left. He has been putting comics on the web for years, but comic was not the only way for him to get income. He also worked as a graphic designer.

There were 1 exhibition, 5 workshops and 5 presentations in the whole day. On the presentation “BOAT: Indy Film to Indy Comic”, the short film was played. After the short film, the creators of the Boat graphic novel series talked about the progress from the film to the comic books. They talked about how they put the film into comic type, then they chose the self-publishing way to publish the comic books. The series won SICBA awards continuously. ECAF also invited the Rachael Stott – the Best Newcomer at the British Comics Awards in 2015.Rachel Stott discussed her work on books such as Doctor Who (published by Titan Comics) with BHP publisher Sha Nazir. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a ticket for Rachael Stott’s talk so I didn’t have the chance to join it.

This is my first time joining a comic event in UK. When I talked to the man who introduced me the Capital Sci-Fi Con, he suggested me to explore more comic events in UK. He said that the comic events here were more focus on different type fans. Compared with the Asia comic events, there were more chances for different fans community to set their own events but the scales were not large.

Chenchen Li

Secret Identity: Community Comics and Cultural Identity

November 29th, 2016 by katharina_dittmann | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Secret Identity: Community Comics and Cultural Identity
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facebook_hashtag-ecaf_logoAs part of Book Week Scotland 2016, the Edinburgh Comic Art Festival took place on 26 and 27 November. Infected by several comic book enthusiasts in our class, I jumped at the opportunity and immersed myself in the glorious world that is comic art. The festival, which was situated in Summerhall, offered free talks and workshops as well as a comic book fair where local artists presented their works. In short, it had everything a comic book lover’s heart desires.

For this blog, I chose Paul Bristow’s talk on Secret Identity, which explored the link between community comics and cultural identity. Paul is part of Magic Torch Comics, an arts and heritage group from Inverclyde, who have made it their mission to work with communities and schools to reconnect people with their local heritage. According to Paul, restoring community heritage can reshape the view of a community and strengthen its identity by winning back its self-esteem. Involving the members of a community in the research means recognizing their authority and insider knowledge that “can be just as valid as academic research” (quote Bristow). As a result, Magic Torch approach their project with a “dig-where-you-stand” mentality, which means that they let students and/or other members of the community look for traces of history and folklore in their immediate surroundings.

img_20161128_145426-minAs an example Paul chose his collaboration with the community of Greenock, a historic industrial town once well-known for its shipyards. Although the area can look back on a rich cultural history, the community’s heritage was overlooked in favour of progress and future development. Magic Torch brought their project to local schools and asked students to research historical events that had happened near them. The team then helped them to create the characters and develop their stories. The result was 4,000 copies of a 64 pages full-colour graphic novel that, thanks to funding, could be distributed for free to schools and other places in Greenock.

Apart from the focus on heritage, Magic Torch’s collaboration serves another purpose: improving students’ literacy and language skills. This has resulted in comic books about a Space Princess written in French (Le Mystère de la Princesse Sorcière) and the comic adaptation of a Gaelic song about a shinty match back in 1877 (Camanachd Ghrianaig). All of these works are available for download on Magic Torch’s website.

by Katharina Dittmann

Glasgow’s Historic Literary Societies- Book Week Scotland 2016

November 29th, 2016 by Kanika Praharaj | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Glasgow’s Historic Literary Societies- Book Week Scotland 2016
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For Book Week Scotland, Katharina Dittmann and I decided to nerd our little hearts out. And where did we decide to go, you ask? To the library, of course! Specifically, the beautiful Mitchell Library in Glasgow, where we attended a talk given by Lauren Weiss, a PhD student at our very own University of Stirling.

21-11-2016 quiz

The talk started off with a quiz. Needless to say, we now have ample proof that we would not fit into the nineteenth-century literary crowd.

According to Lauren, Glasgow has always been a city of readers and writers. In the 19th century men (and later women) got together to talk about books and reading. A ‘typical’ nineteenth-century literary group would meet up once a week. Reasons for joining a literary group usually had less to do with a love for literature and more to do with networking — networking isn’t just for us publishing students! Becoming a member of one of these groups would enable a young man to meet other people in a new place, people who could help him find a job and a place to live. This does not mean that there wasn’t an emphasis on the act of reading. Members were required to read for at least half an hour every day.

Many such societies had their own manuscript magazines. However, membership to a society wasn’t always needed to contribute to its magazine. These magazines weren’t quite as ‘literary’ as one might imagine. There were a variety of topics that people chose to write about. For example, a more traditional piece of literature like a sonnet could be followed by an essay entitled ‘Ants and Their Ways of Life’. Members weren’t always sticklers when it came to deadlines, making the editor’s job the hardest of all. In fact, the editor would quite often have to include last-minute contributions just as they were. Magazines would21-11-2016 then be passed on from member to member, who would all critique their fellow members’ works.

Between 1800 and 1914 Glasgow had at least 140 literary societies — less than ten of those are still running. A dismal figure until one thinks of all the reading groups (read: with wine) that people are a part of in today’s Glasgow. Reading is still a big part of the culture there, just in slightly different forms.

At the end of the talk, Dr Irene O Brien, Senior Archivist, and Patricia Grant, Library Collections Manager, spoke to us about the Mitchell’s unique collections. Fascinated by the wonders that the Mitchell holds within itself, we completely forgot what time it was and almost missed our train!

by Kanika Praharaj

Publication Studio Book Binding Induction

November 23rd, 2016 by jo_ripoll | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Publication Studio Book Binding Induction
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book-binding-almost-finished_resizedAs part of Book Week Scotland, Publication Studio opened a new office in Glasgow at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA). Just a little background on Publication Studio: Founded in 2009 in Portland, Oregon in the United States, it prints and binds books individually and on-demand. Publication’s Studio’s goal is to provide the means for writers to produce their creations. Since its inception, Publication Studio has expanded internationally. In conjunction with Good Press, a bookshop and art gallery in Glasgow, and the CCA, Publication Studio opened its newest addition in Glasgow this week. Now, this particular office is more like a room within the CCA’s office space and is run by four people, who own other book-related businesses in Glasgow; they are not at CCA on a day-to-day basis.

Everyone who uses Publication Studio’s facilities has to go through an induction, so they can safely use the machinery. Both Isabella Pioli and I decided to attend the book binding workshop to see what they could teach usthe-binder_resized about this aspect of the production process. As we walked into the small, back-room office that contains the binding machine—henceforth called the binder—and the guillotine (the paper cutter), you could smell the glue—a very similar smell to the one our class experienced on our trip to Bell & Bain.

As indicated by the glue, Publication Studio focuses on perfect binding. For those who don’t know what that means, perfect binding is usually used on paperback or soft cover books; it glues the separate sections of the book and the cover (usually a slightly thicker material) together at the spine. Much to our surprise, it was a very simplified printing and binding process. It’s literally the DIY level of production. Their printing is inexpensive and not as high-quality as a professional printer. As our inductors put it: “It’s a high-quality photocopier.” You would come for your scheduled time with a prepared PDF and your own paper to print what you plan to bind. They are able to print in black and white or colour at extremely discounthe-guillotine_resizedted prices and on all types of paper, within reason. (You can’t print on sand-paper or tin foil, for those artists out there.)

Interestingly, unlike a printing and binding company like Bell & Bain, you bind (glue together) the pieces of paper you’ve printed rather than the folded together sections of a traditional book printer. At least, the sample product we produced today was individual pieces. Depending on the creator, the size of the paper, and how he/she printed the product, that has the potential to change. The binder itself, though smells and looks intimidating, was actually pretty easy to use. Surprisingly, the guillotine turned out to be the most difficult, simply because you had to get your paper measurements exactly right so abook-binding-collage_resizeds not to cut off more than you mean to. (I learned this the hard way!)

Overall, our book binding induction was interesting and very hands-on. Although it’s not practical for printing and binding lots of books, Publication Studio is a good place to produce individual works. No one besides the author/creator has ownership over anything produced through Publication Studio. This company just provides the facilities and the means for people to produce their own content for a much lower rate than if it was self-produced elsewhere. For self-publishers who are looking to have a few hard copies of their books or for writers looking to send finished products to traditional publishers, Publication Studio offers them a space to let their creations come to life.

by Jo Ripoll

Pick up a Penguin! for Book Week Scotland

November 20th, 2012 by | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Pick up a Penguin! for Book Week Scotland
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Thursday 29 November 2012, 11am-1pm

During Book Week Scotland, we bring you a rare opportunity to pick up a Penguin from the University of Stirling’s impressive collection of the famous publishing house’s books.

Professor Claire Squires, Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication and an expert on 20th and 21st century publishing history, will lead the hands-on session. From the very first set of 10 books from 1935, to some of the earliest Puffins, Penguin Classics, Penguin Specials and Pevsner’s Architectural Guides, and books on yoga, car maintenance and vegetarian cookery, the collection demonstrates just how diverse a publisher Penguin has been – and why its recent merger with Random House is causing such consternation to the publishing industry.

The collection was donated by Dr Angus Mitchell, formerly Chair of the University Court and an avid Penguin collector.

Places are free, but must be booked in advance via the macrobert box office. The event is organised in collaboration with macrobert, who are also hosting a number of other events during Book Week Scotland.