THE KIRKNEWTON STORY COMIC ART EXHIBITION AND COMIC CON
Art from The Kirknewton Story, the history of Kirknewton and West Lothian told in a comic book format, is to be exhibited at the Howden Park Centre in Livingston from 3rd February to 9th April. Some of the artists involved will also attend a ComicCon on Saturday 11th March to sell comics, do signings and draw sketches.
The comic, supported by Heritage Lottery Scotland, has been made up from memories and stories from members of the Kirknewton community. It is written by Colin Maxwell (Commando), features work of 23 artists, lettered by Rob Jones and edited by Tony Foster.
The exhibition and comic also features work from Kirknewton Primary School children who researched the history of the area, shared stories with multigenerational workshops and produced their own comics with artist Kev F Sutherland.
Tony Foster, who has co-ordinated the exhibition, explains, “Comic reading inspires creativity and literacy for children and adults. The Kirknewton Story is a good example of how the medium can inform all ages on any subject, in this case making history come alive.”
The project follows in the footsteps of Kenneth Roy and T L Hardie who wrote the book ‘The Kirknewton Story’ 50 years ago. It covers some of Kirknewton and West Lothian history until the present day. Stories include Dr William Cullen the first mail order medic, Dalmahoy Castle, Highwaymen, Burke and Hare, Waterloo Tower, Shale Mining, the Oakbank Disaster, the Secret Bunker, the Forth Raid, Spooky Stories, UFO alien abduction, the connection to the JFK Assassination, the Charles Jencks artwork A Stone Progress, the School Unexploded Bomb and the Kirknewton community campaign against an illegal landfill.
Colin Maxwell, writer, explains his involvement, “Tony just contacted me one day and asked if I’d like to research and write it. He knew my background in historical comics, so it was a good fit for me. The book tells the story of the village based around the basalt rocks that can be found on nearby hills. It starts in prehistoric times with the formation of the rocks and ends with a piece of public art made of basalt that you can visit in the village by Charles Jencks. Everything from Romans to flying saucers are covered in the intervening years. Obviously, it will be of great interest to locals who perhaps don’t know much about the history of their home, but to outsiders, the wealth of artistic talent that has been involved makes the comic quite unique. We have the cover by the late Ian Kennedy, then pages within by artists who’ve worked on 2000AD, Marvel and DC comics.”
Everyone in Kirknewton got a free copy of the book as part of the project. You can buy a copy at the exhibition and enjoy the artwork, the original script, audio visual presentations and modern comics by some of the artists from across Scotland and the UK. You can get a copy of the Kirknewton Story by post at theshiftstore/products/the-kirknewton-story
Written by Colin Maxwell, with a cover by Ian Kennedy, creators involved include Martin Baines, Rachel Ball, Gary Burley, Gary Erskine, Tony Foster, Ade Hughes, Steve Ingram, Staz Johnson, Rob Jones, Calum Laird, Steve McGarry, Sarah Millman, Stewart Kenneth Moore, Monty Nero, Russell Mark Olson, Tanya Roberts, Andrew Sawyer, Neil Slorance, Bruno Stahl, Lew Stringer, Kev Sutherland, Gustaffo Vargas, Steve White, and Jim Wilkins.
The Kirknewton Story Comic Art Exhibition takes place at the Howden Park Centre, Livingston further details can be found at the website here.