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Sketching Society: the communicative power of the comic strip in a global age

LSE Global Governance Literary Festival discussion

In an interconnected world where culture can transcend borders, the impact of a single drawn image can reverberate around the globe. And yet the humble comic strip, unless making headlines, is frequently overlooked as a source of social commentary. Led by two of Britain¹s most lauded practitioners, this discussion will explore the role of the cartoonist and graphic novelist in the public sphere. Is the comic strip a powerful means of communication illuminating our global civil society, a tool of political satire and social commentary, or simply a story telling device for children?

Steve Bell was born in 1951 in Walthamstow in East London. His original strip cartoon Maggie’s Farm appeared in Time Out and City Limits magazines from 1979 until 1987 and, since 1981 he has written and drawn the daily If… strip in the Guardian. In addition, since 1990 he has produced four large free-standing cartoons a week on the leader pages. He has won numerous awards, including the Political Cartoon Society Cartoon of the Year Award in 2001 and 2008, Cartoonist of the Year in 2005 and 2007, the British Press Awards Cartoonist of the Year in 2002, and the Cartoon Arts Trust Award eight times. His work has been published and exhibited all over the world, and he has had several retrospective exhibitions of his artwork across the UK. He is a trustee of the Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury, which opened to the public in February 2006.

Bryan Talbot was born in 1952. His books include The Adventures of Luther Arkwright the first ever steampunk, The Tale of One Bad Rat (reissued by Cape in 2008), Heart of Empire, and Alice in Sunderland which was hailed by The Guardian as one of the ten best graphic novels ever and acclaimed by critics all over the world. His latest book Grandville Mon Amour was published in December 2010.

Dr Catherine Fieschi is the director of Counterpoint, the cultural think tank of the British Council.

This event is hosted by the Culture & Knowledge Programme at LSE Global Governance. LSE Global Governance is a leading research centre dedicated to the research, analysis and dissemination of global issues.


Steve Bell | talks
Bryan Talbot | talks | www
Chair: Dr Catherine Fieschi | talks


Date and Time:

18 February 2011 at 12:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Wolfson Theatre
New Academic Building
London School of Economics and Political Science

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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
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Event weblisting: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2011/20110218t1230vWT.aspx

Additional Information:

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