Friday, 5 October 2012

Sneak peek the next : Myfanwy's cycle helmet

I first became aware of the work Myfanwy Nixon - then Miffy Tristram, Tristram Puppy, or other names and alternative names and pseudonyms of which I am unaware (it was an age of made up names; comics artists collected them and wore them like jewellery) back in the 90s sometime, when the Oxford-Brighton train service and a handy friend with a Kemptown flat (long since moved to America) meant that regular visits to the Brighton small-press comics scene were desirable, possible... inevitable? Miffy was one of the artists in Erica Smith's beautiful, boisterous, Brighton-based underground grrrl zine Girlfrenzy. I wasn't best suited to fitting in with either the hardcore undergrounders or the artschool revolutionaries who made up the bulk of the comics parties in town at that time, and maybe Myf wasn't either, as when we came to discussing it later, I don't think we ever met; but we have met since, though, because she (like me) is a comics artist that was distracted by the internet. We've known each other for ages online, but only met recently when the company she works for now used a cafe in Oxford as a meetspace. When she blogged about doing art duties for someone else's comic, I remembered how much I had enjoyed reading her own stories, and asked her if she would do us one. To my great delight, she agreed.

For such a continuity-based medium, comics often seem to forget their ancestors; I see so many anthologies or titles billed as the only this or the first that, or the ultimate the other. This obsession with firsting and landgrabbing and forgetting your past is risky. When we deny our own predecessors, that bit of history is lost, and in its place another history is substituted, which is typically a simpler story, more ordinary, less diverse, and containing many fewer people, most of whom are men. The Strumpet proudly and humbly salutes those all-female anthologies that have come before us, and those which are yet to come. You are our past and our future. You are our continuity.

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