Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Bryan Talbot and Fascists on Trains

Greetings, legions of fans.

It's been a bit of a busy one of late, but I did find time to pop down to Sunderland NGCA for the preview of Brayan Talbot's new graphic novel, Alice in Sunderland. Normally there'd be a link there, but you know how to work Google. The show was good fun, four excerpts from the book adorned the walls, accompanyed by Talbot's originals. Exhibitiong comic work in galleries is fraught with danger. Well, not bomb disposal danger, but it's up there. That said, the gallery have done a sterling job; the pages are unframed, in an unobtrusive environment, so the work can be read quite effortlessly. The excerpts are short, perfect duration for the gallery context, and the tendency to dip in and out. I suppose one benefit of the gallery over the book format, is that you can easily spend ten times the normal duration you would spend on a comics page in its normal context. Maybe it's the size, maybe it's the queue forming of tipsy Sunderland artworld intelligentsia, "I love this, it's soooo multi-media, isn't it?"

A wonderful time was had by all.

But not this morning. For those of you not in the know, my train journey into uni each morning is the most overcrowded journey in the country. Various TV reporters and individuals have been on board and at stations filming the congestion. It should be noted that the individuals filming arn't doing it for fun, it's in order to petition the train companies to do something about it.

That's the context. Here's the meat. There was a man photographing the crowds this morning. Fair enough, it's no longer new, and since the papers ran the congestion story, it's expected. This photographer than recieved a tirade of impolite comments, insults, verbal abuse and threats; all of which made the nearby passengers feel much more intimidated than a few documentary shots. As far as I'm aware, if someone is photographing in public, which is perfectly legal, and you're uncomfortable, you ask not to photographed. You don't start a witch hunt.

Sorry about the rant, but I was stunned by the scene. You don't need that at 8am.

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