Friday, December 30, 2011
The dark side of 2011
The two books that I was most proud to be asked to contribute to in 2011 were the two that I wish hadn't had cause to be published.
That may sound contradictory but you'll understand when I say I'm talking about two charity books that only existed because of terrible circumstances that inspired them. Firstly, Spirit of Hope, launched in the summer to raise funds for the victims of the New Zealand earthquake and the Japanese tsunami. The 116 page trade paperback brought together a diverse range of comic creators such as Jimmy Broxton (cover), Jon Haward, David Leach, Si Spencer, Jason Atomic, Leonie O'Moore, Michael Allred (variant cover), and many more. (Available here: http://www.comicbook.org.uk/spirit-of-hope/ )
The other book was 22.07 which came about not because of natural disasters but because of the actions of a deranged piece of inhuman filth who carried out a bombing in Oslo and a massacre of children in Norway on July 22nd. (The name of the scumbag will not sully this blog.)
Angered and devastated by the event Raptus Comic Festival organizer Arild Wearnes asked comic creators he knew to contribute their feelings to a book that would be sold at the September Raptus event in Bergen to raise money for the families and survivors of the atrocities. 22.07 features material by Lise Myhre, Mike Collins, Dave Windett, Charlie Abbø (cover), Siri Petterson, Mike Carey, Kim Holm and many others.
Much as I was keen to contribute I knew that my usual humour style would be completely inappropriate of course. However from viewing the news reports, and from what I knew of the Norwegian people from my several visits to Bergen over the years, I was touched by their dignity and maturity in the face of such tragedy. I decided to produce a symbolic page, showing how evil can crumble when faced with the power of positive emotions and unitity. Subtle it's not, but I hope it conveyed the right spirit...
You can read more about the book 22.7 here (although you'll need to run it through a translator if you're not fluent in Norwegian):
As I said, two books I was privileged to contribute my services to, but in an ideal world would never have had cause to be published. Let's hope that 2012 brings brighter days for everyone.