Ladyfest Comicbook Queens Exhibition
Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2003
By: Debra Boyask: SBC's International Geek of Mystery
Ladyfest Comicbook Queens Exhibition (Lovely Ladyfest poster, complete with ambiguously gendered pirate, designed by Lorna Miller) opened on Friday the 8th of August at Spike Island Art Space in Bristol with much excitement, rum  and the usual thing that accompanies rum but which I refuse to publicise here. So Claire and I each collected a glass of rum and thingy and went to see what there was to see.
The exhibition was put together by Ladyfest visual arts organiser Camilla, who has been frantically rushing around to gather together and display an impressive collection of comic art by women around the world. In fact, it would appear the majority of contributors are from places outside of the UK.
The space had been divided into three main areas: the gallery section in the middle; some sitting room furniture  arranged around a circular rug to the right with piles of comic books for reading ; to the left some tables set up as a workshop area with a photocopier where visitors are encouraged to make their own minis. Some great ideas here. I really liked the homely sitting room area, where I bumped into one of the famous Rubins sisters and her cheerful sidekick, Julia .
In the meantime, people were getting to work in the working area. This photo was taken relatively early in the evening . Later on, it was a squeeze to get table space. Everyone was having a go, including Mark Spidey Buckingham, who made a groovy little strip about himself and his pals making comics in the good old days.
On the sidelines, Camilla  and the Ladyfest crew sold comics and spectacular Ladyfest T-shirts , I think designed by Lorna Miller, so I bought my second cool geek shirt in a week.
The central gallery space had some impressive work in it
Unfortunately, while information about the artists and their work had been compiled in a programme, there was no way of linking this with the actual work on the walls, as it hadn't been labelled. It was a bit like a guessing game in many cases as much of the artwork was not signed. So some of us, including the multi-talented Kev Sutherland, got to work and made name cards to place beside each artist's work.
Contributors included women well known in small press comics internationally, such as Donna Barr, Roberta Gregory, Julie Doucet and Trina Robbins. Contributors closer to home included Lorna Miller, Lee Kennedy, Jeremy Dennis and Carol Swain. The full list of contributors is available on line at the Ladyfest Bristol website, and it's wonderful to see such a variety of work all together like this. There was heaps to look at and I could have spent ages doing so.
The exhibition will be travelling to Manchester for Manchester Ladyfest in September, and rumour has it there are enthusiastic groups keen to show it elsewhere too.
1. Lovely Ladyfest poster, complete with ambiguously gendered pirate, designed by Lorna Miller.
2. Booze and art go together like a horse and carriage.
3. Camilla, Comic Queen Bee.
4. It's silent reading time on the mat.
5. Exactly why wasn't school more like this?
6. On the couch, Anna and Julia.
7. A lone comic maker soon to be surrounded by more of them.
8. Mark Buckingham with Kev Sutherland, obviously very relaxed around people with cameras. Very foolish.
9. Camilla selling comics and modelling her new Ladyfest shirt.
10. One of the alternative girly girl shirts.
11-14. People viewing artwork in the gallery area.
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