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Coming Home

November 19 @ 11:00 - December 10 @ 16:00

Free

Coming Home is a new anthology comic sharing powerful true stories of UK military veterans’ mental health experiences.

From Northern Ireland to Afghanistan, the stories are written by veterans working with Wales-based Arts in Health charity Re-Live. During 2021-22, working on Zoom, the veterans were able to explore the mental health story they most wanted to share, and how best to adapt it into a story for comics.

Coming Home is illustrated by a mix of classic and digital British cartoonists:
– Keith Page (Commando)
– Emma Vieceli (Life is Strange/Breaks)
– Mike Donaldson (The Dandy/The Broons)
– Clark Bint (Heavy Metal/Killtopia)
– Casey Raymond (Zine maker)
– Robbie (Veteran artist)

Legendary artist Ian Kennedy painted Coming Home’s spread cover as his final work before he passed away in February 2022, aged 89. Ian worked with Re-Live’s veterans comic group, developing his cover through several versions to make sure it reflected the veterans’ experiences of mental health issues.
A limited edition print of Ian Kennedy’s cover is available from www.re-live.org.uk
Veterans Stan and Claire reflect on the experience of telling their story for the first edition of Coming Home:
“To make the comic, I had to confront a story I had kept hidden for 48 years. My memories that plagued me in the past, including nightmares and flashbacks, had to be examined again in great detail, almost minute by minute, in order to shape them into a visual story. Holding a printed copy of Coming Home and reading all four of our stories provokes a great sense of achievement in me, and I feel the shame I have lived with for so long is lifting” Stan, Veteran, Stretcher-Bearer Stan
“When I first saw Emma Vieceli’s artwork, I immediately cried. I felt she had captured ‘me’ so perfectly. Each frame mirrored my experience so realistically. I felt as though she had watched the ‘movie’ of my memory and had been able to recreate that into her artwork. Seeing my story in Coming Home has been such a proud and therapeutic moment for me. It highlights the abuse and harassment that both men and women in the Armed Forces are subjected to, and the damage it causes which goes largely unexpressed. I now feel strong enough to encourage other women to share their experiences and reach out for support” Claire, Veteran, A Healthy Fighting Force.

The artwork for this exhibition shows the skill and commitment of these talented artists. Each of them worked sensitively with a real person’s true story and brought it to life through comics in a style that suited each story.

In many cases, the artwork in the exhibition is presented without captions, balloons and bubbles. The art of course speaks for itself, but part of the full meaning of the veterans’ story is not heard without the words.

We invite you to purchase a copy of Coming Home #1 in order to read the full stories, as the veterans intended them to be told.

Every copy sold supports Re-Live to extend the benefits of comics making to veterans living with mental health issues through making future editions of Coming Home.

You can buy Coming Home from this exhibition and from Close Encounters.

Details

Start:
November 19 @ 11:00
End:
December 10 @ 16:00
Cost:
Free
Event Tags:
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Venue

Panel Gallery
3 Abington Square
Northampton, Northamptonshire NN14AE United Kingdom
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Phone:
01604 470100
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Organiser

Panel Gallery
Phone:
01604470100
Email:
enquiries@thepanelgallery.com
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