Monster! The Plymouth Illustration Event 2019
  • Jill Craigie Lecture Theatre, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, PL4 8AA

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The Plymouth Illustration Event 2019 is a symposium organised by the BA and MA Illustration courses at the University of Plymouth featuring talks from a renowned panel of comic book and graphic novel artists and publishers. The speakers will be reflecting on the theme of ‘Monster’ and how ideas relating to this manifest and take shape within their practice. Alongside the artists talks there will be an exhibition of student work, artist led workshops and a group of illustrators working round the clock attempting to master a monstrous 24-hour comic challenge! The event is sponsored by Writers & Artists, Origin Coffee and Blackwater Studios.

Katriona Chapman
Emil Ferris (Skype)
Ben Newman
Dan Franklin (Q&A)

Exhibition and book fair
Preceding the talks there will be a mini book fair featuring a range of monstrous comics. There will also be an exhibition of artwork from University of Plymouth students and local school children.
10.00 – 13.00, Roland Levinsky Building

Standard: £10
Students: £5
University of Plymouth students and staff: free

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Today's events

Speaker biographies

Katriona Chapman

Katriona Chapman is an illustrator and comic artist/writer living in London. She’s also head of marketing for Avery Hill Publishing. She started out as a children’s book illustrator and has worked with publishers all over the world. She’s been publishing small-press books and zines for many years, and in 2013 she co-created the graphite anthology ‘Tiny Pencil’ alongside Amber Hsu.

In 2015, she created a personal zine called ‘Katzine’ and has published eight issues. In 2018, her first graphic novel ‘Follow Me In’ came out with Avery Hill Publishing, and in the same year it won best graphic non-fiction in the Broken Frontier awards.

Ben Newman

Ben Newman has developed a distinct aesthetic over the years; a contemporary fusion of bold shapes, bright colours and playful characters which has been described as ‘Bauhaus fuzzy felt’ He has produced work for a large range of clients, including the Tate Modern, New York Times, BBC Radio 4, Google and The New Yorker. His practice extends outside of commercial work into worldwide exhibitions, paintings and three dimensional collaborations. Nowadays, he spends the majority of his time collaborating on the Professor Astro Cat children’s books with his longtime friend and scientist, Dr Dominic Walliman, which are published by Flying Eye Books and have been translated into 18 other languages. 

Concurrent to working as a freelance illustrator, Newman lectures on illustration at various universities and conferences in the UK and Europe.

Dan Franklin

Dan Franklin was born in 1949. He read English and American Literature and History at UEA, graduating in 1970. His publishing career began at Peter Owen Ltd. From there he moved to the Harvill Press, then Collins, then Heinemann, where he was Editorial Director for non-fiction. He then became Publishing Director of Secker & Warburg, where he published Roddy Doyle, Bill Bryson, Louis de Bernieres and Irvine Welsh. In 1993 he was appointed Publishing Director of Jonathan Cape, a position he held until January 2016, when he went part-time as Associate Publisher. He retired fully in October 2019. His authors at Cape included Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, David Szalay, Howard Jacobson, Roddy Doyle, Helen Macdonald and Julia Blackburn. In 1998 he started the Cape Graphic list, which has the best list of literary graphic novels in the UK. His authors include Posy Simmonds, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes, Alison Bechdel, Joe Sacco, Marjane Satrapi, Stephen Collins, Joff Winterhart, Guy de Lisle, Bryan Talbot and Raymond Briggs.

Emil Ferris

Emil Ferris grew up in Chicago during the turbulent 1960s, and is consequently a devotee of all things monstrous and horrific. She has an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. In a previous life, Ferris was an illustrator and toy sculptor for a diverse range of clients. In 2010, Ferris was made a Toby Devan Lewis Fellow in the Visual Arts. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (Fantagraphics 2017), Emil’s first, but not last, graphic novel is a revelatory work of striking originality rendered in a kaleidoscopically and breathtakingly virtuosic visual style that combines panel sequences and montage.

24-hour comic event

The 24-hour comic challenge will pit a group of courageous artists against the clock in a race to finish a full 24-page comic with only 24 hours to do it in! We are currently looking for artists crazy enough to take part.

The challenge will start at 10.00 Friday 22 November 2019. The challenge will pause between 13.00 and 18.00 allowing the participants to attend the Plymouth Illustration Event symposium (free entry for all participants). The challenge will resume at 17.00 and continue through the night until 15.00 on Saturday 23 November.

What is provided?

  • A desk to work on
  • A light to see by
  • Paper to draw on
  • Tea, coffee and light refreshments
  • Free entry to Plymouth Illustration Event symposium
  • A microwave and fridge are available for your use.

What is not provided?

  • Food and drink other than light refreshments.
  • Please bring your own materials to draw with.
  • You may want to bring warm clothes or a blanket for the witching hours.

How to apply
If you are interested in taking part please email with a short letter of introduction and a sample of your narrative artwork (or a link to your website/social media). Unfortunately, spaces are limited so we may not be able to accept everyone.

Deadline for applications
17.00, Wednesday 23 October 2019.

Event photography and video
Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events may be attended by University photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If for whatever reason, you or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed, please make yourself known to staff working at the event on arrival or to the photographer.