Karrie Fransman Mini-Interview

I e-mailed awesome sequential artist Karrie Fransman a few questions about comics in gallery spaces and what exactly is a comic anyway? She also has a book out, which you such read because it’s beautifully thought out and made.
So firstly, what got you interested in narrative art, rather than just pretty pictures?
Well… everyone loves a pretty picture! In fact I’m aware that whether a comic is visually appealing or not is often the first line we all need to cross before we commit ourselves to the context/story. But first and foremost I am a storyteller. I grew up on stories told at bedtime and round the kitchen table. Stories are how we make sense of this crazy life in all it’s complexities.
What materials do you find most interesting to work with? Why do you think most comic artists stick to ink and paper or digital?
I think I use materials as starters for brainstorming ideas. I.e. how would a story work if it was built in a dolls house or on an iPad? Then the ideas start to flow. (you can see more of my comic experiments).  So I like all kinds of materials… although it’s frustrating as changing methods a lot means it’s difficult to master each new material. I think the concept of comics as ‘visual stories’ has only just started to be explored, which is why people tend to keep to ink and paper or digital. But that said the boundaries of those mediums are also being explored- there is still much to discover about our art form. Comics is a relatively new medium and I think there will be leaps and bounds in the next ten years! 
What do you think the benefits of a gallery space are for comics or narrative artworks?
Comics-on-walls is a very different animal to comics-in-books. In galleries people have shorter attention spans and are more taken by striking images. In books comics become more personal and a different relationship is developed between reader and author/artist. But comics-in-galleries are changing too and becoming more interactive and personally engaging. Paul Gravett’s ‘Hypercomic’ exhibition showed that comics could be read by moving around 3D sculptures and looking through masks. Like-wise my dolls house comic asks readers to view it by peering through the windows of a dolls house.


And lastly, did you ever work out the answer to “what is a comic”?
I know how much comic scholars like to debate this question! I would simply stick to ‘sequential art’- sequential images across space to convey a message. The debate is a good thing though- it keeps artists thinking and challenging the boundaries of the medium!
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This entry was published on March 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm. It’s filed under Comics, Interviews, University, What I Learnt Today and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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