Gatecrashing The Comics Unmasked Party At The British Library Last Night

Last night I gatecrashed the British Library launch party for Comics Unmasked: Art And Anarchy In The UK.

I didn't mean to, I'd been there in the morning for the press launch before having to dash out for a hospital appointment twenty minutes in. And I hadn't had time to pick up the Comics Unmasked accompanying book (although, you know, maybe I could have considered other options).

But I ended up gatecrashing a party to celebrate the opening that I hadn't known was going on. So, professional blagger that I am, I bluffed my way in, grabbed a glass of white and a sausage on a stick and listened to the last half of Jonathan Ross' speech, recorded from the back of the hall… it's a bit echoey but you might be able to hear…


It also gave me an opportunity to catch up with the likes of Bryan Talbot, Hunt Emerson, Pat Mills, Dave Gibbons, Mike Richardson, get the Amazon glitch story from Paul Gravett and see the exhibition again. With more photos of the event and the exhibition below.

I discovered from Pat Mills that Charley's War discouraged a number of people from military families from joining the armed forces, of which he was proud. And that it influenced someone to start a tank museum, of which he was perplexed.

I discovered that Mike Richardson gets really freaked out when realising he is reading one of John Dee's actual magical manuscripts, exhibited next to those of Alistair Crowley's. Oh and he is going to announce something very big from Dark Horse and challenged me to get it out of Dark Horse's PR guys.

And I learnt, from the exhibition, that not only was the bland, establishment British comedian and gameshow host Bob Monkhouse a professional comic book artist in the forties (I knew he was a fan, that's all) but that in one of his comics, he had a superhero character attacking a bunch of monsters shaped like penises. It makes for a complete reappraisal of his character from me.

I'm going again tonight for the launch of the Talbot's new graphic novel (which I'll be talking about later).

What a night…. I then went to the pub. More of that to come later as well…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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