Last night veteran British artists Brian Bolland and Dave Gibbons took to the stage of London’s Century Club to talk with Tim Pilcher about their lives in comics and their new autobiographies in front of a sell-out audience.
Part of Comica’s twentieth anniversary monthlong season of events, last night’s talk was the fastest seller – and the venue tried its best to squeeze as many chairs into the room to accommodate.
Both the Gibbons and Bolland autobiographies take different approaches. Gibbons’ autobiography Confabulation (Dark Horse, out now) takes the form of an encyclopedia of anecdotes organised alphabetically by subject. Bolland’s autobiography It’s About Time (Book Palace, forthcoming) – intriguingly takes the form of a book-length fumetti photocomic.
Gibbons and Bolland talk about their early work: figuring out the craft, going to art school – or not – and the British fanzine movement of the 1970s that kickstarted their careers.
The pair spend time describing their childhoods immersed in the British and American comics of the early 1960s – and why their artistic sensibilities (and superhero preferences) lean toward the cleaner style of DC over the comparatively chaotic mid-’60s emergence of Marvel.
Bolland mentions that he no longer has much attachment to superhero stories, though.
After the talk…THE SIGNING. Every seated tush came with (or bought) some prized item to get a signature. That didn’t stop the books on sale – courtesy of London’s GOSH! Comics – from being completely cleaned out, though!
Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke and impressively preserved copies of early 2000 AD were brought forth for a prized signature.
No meeting of minds is ever complete without the obligatory
cringe press photo opportunity. Shake hands, lads!
Comica at London’s Century Club continues March 22 with They Shoot Comics Don’t They, a look behind the cross-media curtain where producers Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin), Michael Lake (Violent Cases), Tim Searle (Dennis & Gnasher) and Patrick Walters (Heartstopper) discuss the process and challenges of adapting comics to the big and small screen.