Modern Times aims to be for graphic publications what This American Life is to radio- stories from everyday people and stories of everyday people told by today’s most exciting artists, designers, writers and journalists. We are told that this comic is an innovative, cutting-edge new publication, featuring social commentary through graphic journalism, photography and writing, launched by a team of three women. Modern Times will feature contributors from across the career spectrum- from established artists such as Peter Kennard and Olivier Kugler to 2011 Observer/Jonathan Cape winning graphic novelist Isabel Greenberg and current MA students in illustration, journalism and photography.
Each issue will take on a different social theme and feature a range of stories and images relating to that theme. They aim to promote graphic reportage as a valid form of journalism and to give a voice to social groups who are underrepresented in the mainstream media. Think From Our Own Correspondent crashing full tilt into RAW.
The first issue will focus exclusively on housing, with articles including:
- The systematic discrimination in public housing in Northern Ireland in the 1960s,
- 2014 takes on Depression-era propaganda
- An illustrated guide to the John Soane Museum
- Personal recollections of family houses now lost and gone.
To get this book off the ground, though, the publishers need to get issue one out-and this is where Kickstarter and your help come in.
With just £1,000 they can get the first edition of Modern Times off to the printers and then into the hands of every major journalist covering comics, art and publishing in the U.K. They’re already in contact with Paul Gravett, curator of the British Library’s current exhibition Comics Unmasked, and a copy will be in his hands as soon as its off the presses. Similarly, they’ve got Creative Review, The Guardian, The Independent, and Time Out in their sights.
Although they’re based in London, their graphic journalists come from across the U.K., Europe and the USA.
Contributors to the first issue include: Peter Kennard, Olivier Kugler, Isabel Greenberg, Tom Humberstone, Alice Leora Briggs, Jess Ruliffson, Jacob Perlmutter, Tom Cordell, Gary Embury, Madeline Swift, Katherine Hearst, Fionnuala Doran, Kathryn Martin, Ray McGahan, Nicholas Hearst and Jonathan Cozzo. Director Tom Cordell will be discussing his film, Utopia London, which is a journey through the history of social housing in London and the story of the architects that engineered it. Isabel Greenberg gives us an illustrated tour of the John Soane house.
They’ve already confirmed the content of and contributors to their first issue. The main challenge facing Modern Times is producing a finished publication that reflects the quality of the work it contains. Publishing in London can be a tricky proposition; although they have access to some of the biggest print houses in the UK, that doesn’t come cheap. They’re currently sourcing printers, paper and printing methods to get the right balance between price and high quality printing. This Kickstarter is to secure their first edition; if it is received well (and they’re pretty certain it will be) then they’ll have to secure funds for a second printing.
Needless to say they are exceedingly confident in the quality of Modern Times, and once it’s out there and in the hands of every major independent bookshop, comic, zine and art store in London they’ll have a much stronger base from which to secure funding for round two.
This project will only be funded if at least £1,000 is pledged by Friday, June 13, 2014.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comic book articles and reviews.