Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What it is? Bernard Caleo and Alex McDermott. Readings June

"Comics can do more with history and history can do more with comics." Bernard Caleo

This was the thrust of What it is? No 3 at Readings Bookshop in Carlton where the artform of comics is provoked and smashed up against other artforms.

In this episode Alex McDermott's Australian History for Dummies was launched and then smashed (in a creative collision-y way) into ... well ... comics.

Alex made the point that he believes history is doing a bad job of selling itself on the open market of ideas. A shame really as an understanding of history gives our national community a sense of who we are - its real and tells us how we came to be who we are today.

Bernard spoke about how a comic is read with the whole body, a kind of immersion takes place, the reader has to actively fill in the gaps.

Having set out the idea, Alex and Bernard then proceeded to teach us a little history using pictures and dialogue. The stories of William Blandowski and Redmond Barry were woven together in a way far to complicated to describe her but suffice to say, the tale was moving, funny, informative, provocative, engaging. Melbourne circa 1850 was brought to life before our eyes.

"I'm giving it 5 stars David. What about you?"
"Well Margaret, I loved it too but you know how I feel about hand held work - so I'm giving it 4 and a half."
"Oh David (snort) ...."

The next What it is?:

Musician Martin Martini and comic book artist

Bernard Caleo collaborate on a performance in which comics become music and music becomes comic books.

Details: Readings Monday July 25 8.00pm

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