Tag Archive: comics

The art of Cooperation

The coop’s new comic book – image from the Cooperative, via The Guardian

I’ve always been a big supporter of the cooperative ideal – and I’ve been a member of various cooperatives since I was a kid. Nowadays, you can shop in a cooperative supermarket and bank with a cooperative bank – but did you know you could watch a match played by a cooperative football team? (Barcelona FC, apparently – as well as the Green Bay Packers American Football team in the US) Or drink cooperative-produced cranberry juice? (Ocean Spray) In fact, did you know that more people work for cooperatives than for multinationals?

There’s a lot I don’t know about the cooperative movement (I didn’t know there was a Co-Operative political party, for example) and I’m clearly not the only one. To help raise awareness of all that they do, the cooperative movement have turned to art: releasing a comic book and a film about the movement, its history, its ideals and its potential.

2012 is the 168th anniversary for Britain’s Cooperative stores, and there have, over the years, always been plenty of art-based events that celebrate its principles. Back in May, the FutureEverything¬†festival celebrated the “extraordinary artistic and political possibilities” of advances in technology, explicitly linking together art and the political radicalism of the cooperative movement. And Young Cooperatives have been using art competitions to raise awareness of Fair Trade and other cooperative enterprises.

We have a number of small independent shops in Oswestry which stock Fair Trade and other goods produced by cooperatives – Rowanthorn, Honeysuckle, The Gates, and I’m sure there are others. Is there any way we could, under the Art Works banner, help use our art to celebrate and promote awareness in Oswestry?

Comix in Oswestry

Anyone else out there interested in comics?

Are there any illustrators, writers or artists out there interested in getting together to share skills on comics?

As most people know, I’ve become very interested in comics following publication of the comic book I wrote with Kirsti Evans about Asperger Syndrome – “Something Different About Dad“. Since then I’ve become involved in the use of comics in medicine and medical education through a series of international conferences organised through Graphic Medicine. I’m also now working on the use of comics in archaeology through the Visualisation in Archaeology workshop and conference project at Southampton University.

I think comics are a much underrated medium, and bring together image and text in really exciting ways – I think they have great potential for educators in all fields as well as those interested more generally in story-telling and narrative.

Is anyone out there also working on comics or comics-related stuff in and around Oswestry? Are you interested in getting together to share ideas, etc.? If so, leave a comment and I’ll get in touch.

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