A “call to arms”.

I’m Andrew Edwards, the Assistant Director for Great Britain for ICS. Pete has kindly let me loose on the Comic Link blog. You’ll be hearing from me here from now on.

Here’s some information about me: my work background is in education and libraries, and I’ve worked as a high school teacher for a few years before becoming a librarian. I’ve also been writing about comics for a little while now, with work appearing mainly on the Sequart website. I’m currently at work on a critical study of the Alan Moore scripted issues of Swamp Thing for Sequart Books. I’m also working on other bits and pieces of comics related criticism, which I’ll tell you more about as and when they happen.

I’m passionate about comics and I want to see them continue to reach their potential as a medium and become wholly accepted by mainstream society in the same way as, say, TV and film. As such, I was pleased to read Charles Hatfield’s blog recently, where he discussed what he saw  to be the steps needed to ensure that Comics Studies as an academic discipline would continue to thrive. You can read it at http://www.thoughtballoonists.com/2009/09/the-state-of-comics-studies.html

 The main point I would add is that I think more still needs to be done to ensure that comics remain in the public eye. Academia, although important, is only a part of the landscape in terms of how we all can promote the study, understanding, recognition and cultural legitimacy of comics. So this is a “call to arms”, if you like. Along with the academics, I want to see more teachers using comics, more librarians buying comics and graphic novels for their collections, more critics writing about comics, more people talking about comics, more blogs and podcasts focusing on comics, more TV and radio programmes about comics, more magazines about comics…

Basically, I want to see anything and everything that may help to ensure that our beloved medium remains vital, energized, healthy and intact for future generations.

Please contact us at ICS with your thoughts and ideas for helping comics survive and thrive in this new millennium. Any UK based readers of this blog are free to contact me with any UK specific ideas to help boost the profile and awareness of the medium. I can be reached on icsactivity@gmail.com

Gaining mainstream acceptance will only the first step. Maintaining a consistent presence in the public eye will be an ongoing mission, and it’s one that I’m proud to be a part of.

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