I am a huge fan of graphic novels and comic books. I used to read The Beano when I was knee high or slightly bigger, and now I see my son enjoying Lego comics in the same way. For children, they encourage a love for imagery, reading, and memorable characters with merits they can aspire to. It's good to see role models portrayed in superhero status, or in strange settings, combining the imagination with true to life experiences makes a great work of art. Now the classics with big names earn big money at auction, for example Spider-Man page originals often go for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each! Even the vintage comics on eBay are fetching a fair few.
Celebrating the medium of graphic story telling, which has its roots in tapestry like the one at Bayeux, draws in as many crowds today as it has always done. Many! There's something about the combination of iconic imagery with brief literary descriptions that attracts people. Perhaps it's the two forms of information in one medium combined that makes them easy to interpret and understand. We perhaps feel more involved with the plot and the story when we can see it, read it and imagine it all at once.
An Exhibit run by The Society Of Illustrators in NYC now holds the largest collection to date of classic artwork from the comic books of past and present. We can see for ourselves the almost sacred pages of Spider-Man, Thor, and Captain America editions from when they began. These characters have entered the psyche of millions if not billions of children over the years. Their ethic of struggle against evil, good friends, and strong personality has served to inspire countless real life versions.
The exhibit, called “Art of the Avengers and Others” sits on the Upper East Side of the city. Ask for directions if like me you might get lost. It's on the corner of 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue at the Museum of Illustration. I'm sure locals know exactly where that is. Spider-Man's co-creator Steve Ditko who recently passed away, has several originals in the show. Old methods of comic book production required artists to completely make the page original from blank paper with inks painted by hand. The scribes would then write in the neat little letters to incorporate the story. It took hours of work with several artists working all at once to produce the final images. These would then be replicated, stapled together, and sold to eager children and adults all over the place.
Several collectors have banded together to produce the display, in order to produce an exhibit of truly superheroic proportions, collating pieces from everyone's stash has been the ultimate answer. We can all admire the work involved, the continual evolution, and the brilliant characters that we all grew up to love. If you can, fly over to the Museum of Illustration and witness the fabled pages of lore for yourself. The exhibit runs until the 20th October.
Click the costume to buy one.
Australia hosts the global phenomenon that is world body painting this week, with members of cultures from around the globe meeting in one place to show off their colourful nakedness. From clowns and performers, to warriors and priests, we've been using body paint since time immemorial. As our diversity and technology has increased in magnitude, so has the ways we adorn our bodies with pigment. From looking scary to looking seductive, dressing ourselves in vibrancy and pattern has all manner of creative reactions. Showing off their flesh alongside multidisciplined DJs and event hosts, the festival is a great party for all. Check out this selection of photos from the festival.
Photos via SFGate
The Eric Edwards Collection is a private hoard of African art owned by the illustrious African American. From Today, July 12th, until September 28th, you can visit an exhibit of some of the pieces in person. Opening a private collection is always big news, many people feel that things like this should always be public however when they're personal property of individuals, who are we to say what they do with it? We can be grateful to Eric Edwards for giving us all the opportunity to enrich their minds in this way.
Centred at the Weeksville Heritage Centre, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the exhibit will contain around fifty masterpieces from seventeen African nations; a sample of the immense library of heritage Eric has painstakingly collated over the years. Named “From Africa To Weeksville”, latching the deep cultural history of Africa with a local vicinity can help residents to feel connected and part of the story through this showing.
One particular highlight is a granite bust from the 4000 year old Nubian Empire. There are also pieces taken from shrines, drums, and antique slave chains. Telling the story of the African people in America perhaps has never been so tangible, when the symbols of foreign fascism sit alongside items crafted by Empire.
It's in no question that the African influence on America has been a good one, from hours worked to people born, taught, and encouraged, the ideas, symbolisms, and lessons from the mother of humanity remain golden to this day.
The No Bounds Festival of Sheffield went down in history as one of the greatest people parties of 2017 with intellectual discussion meeting brand new cutting edge sounds and art for a handful of days in a sleepy industrial suburb. This October, the whole thing is happening again, only with even more quality than before? How can this be done, you may ask? It's no short order for sure, however with Hope Works behind the wheel and the kind of minds that run the underground and intellectual dance floors of the modern era, it seems that anything is within reach. Of course, when the people of Sheffield and their friendly neighbours get into something, they do it properly and show their worth. Team spirit has always been a key feature in this one time giant of manufacturing. Now as a city of commerce, information, and communication, with a handful of factories still flying the flag, this congregation can pack a punch.
To a selective soundtrack administered by the likes of Aisha Devi (live), Errorsmith (live), rRoxymore (live), Machine Woman (live), Daniel Avery, Volvox, Paula Temple, DJ Storm, Demdike Stare, Sounds of Sisso (live) and coucou chloe (live) plus many more in the pipeline, a festival of conversation, education, and inspiration will ensue. Make a date in the diary for the 12th - 14th of October this year and bring your thinking cap along with you. This is going to be an exciting hyper-local debate session involving politics, club-culture and gender equality. On demonstration are the talents and techniques of the industry, with have-a-go heroes more than welcome to join in the experience.
To garnish the whole weekend, many local artists are showing off their wares in various examples of commissioned and self-governed projects. Screenings of independent film will take place, enriching the souls and spirits of all who care to spend their time among new friends. Poetry readings and two all night raves just make the whole thing unmissable. If you have the opportunity to go to this event, then you really need to find a way.
If you want to read about the kind of artists that will be performing at No Bounds 2018, head on over to The Electro Review!
Get Tickets for No Bounds from Here
Want a taste of Sheffield Poetry? Visit my poetry blog.
If you thought blogging was a new thing, based on the idea of websites and links, then you're missing the point. Okay, it means web log, and in truth a blog can only be one once it's online however the art of making magazines is rooted deep in our history. Ever since the printing press, people have been making copies of writing to distribute around. Business soon caught on and the world of literary marketing was born. Once information and commerce came together in one document, a viable business model was formed. The magazine was born. Now we have a huge choice, and rightly so, the idea is to saturate humanity with quality and creativity. Garbage in, garbage out, so they say- so let's make sure that we consume as much nutritious media as possible.
Big name brands make headway in their field of course, however it doesn't stop there. Only if we're not really paying attention do we funnel through to the regular names that invest so much in every way to be the first one in mind. We of course pay more for these types of media, if we see an advert for it then they have paid for that advert. The bigger the ad, the bigger the budget. Grabbing the attention of the casual browser is big money and always will be. To stand out from those who can afford to be seen, we have to invest in other ways. Finding a unique edge, a voice that sounds different, a point of view that is under-represented, something that will attract people for the right reasons.
I've written at length on the ins and outs of alternative media. After burying myself in books for months, and living a lifestyle completely enveloped by alternative media for many years, I was able to create Subway Scene. It goes into real sociological depth as to how, why, and when art and culture grows. The 'zine, or a magazine made by start-up media companies (like my own), has been around for generations. After finding my way in writing books, I went on and joined Now Then here in Sheffield and worked as a music journalist for a few years. Once I had built a web-following I moved on and concentrated on my own journals. That's where we are now.
With Alternative Fruit, the aim is to bring people's attention to all the wonderful world of culture and art that's ready to be explored. With all this talk of 'zines, it's only right to share with you an archive of decades worth of varied zines from many angles. Open Culture wrote “While examples from recent years show that alternative print publications haven’t disappeared, the richest, most historically resonant examples tend to come from the 60s and 70s” which to me suggests that by the 1980s, too many cooks were spoiling the pot. It can be like this with blogging, as I know full well, when you do something well many others (who you had hoped would help you grow) refuse to do this and then begin to work on their own little empire. You'd think this was okay, but when they're untrained and ignorant we just find a lot of copycat work out there which has no real point to it. I guess it requires a critical eye when deciding whether a journal is worth bookmarking or not. I hope we all have many in our list, and of course Alternative Fruit is read by all the really cool people.
Go and explore the archive.
Choose Love on Alternative Fruit is reader supported. Because of you, more people get to discover creativity and art for themselves. Thank you so much!
Follow the editor on Twitter