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Getting Medieval with Comics: How to be Human in the Middle Ages

The art and literature of the Middle Ages and modern comics may seem worlds apart, but what happens if they are brought into contact? 

This project asks comic creator  Karrie Fransman to interpret and respond to manuscripts, images, and literature of the medieval period, recreating the wonderful creatures of these stories in new and informative ways. Both medieval literature/art and modern comic books question what it means to be human, sharing a fascination with superheroes (the super-human), robotics and artificial intelligence (the non-human), and fantasy (human-like creatures that are familiar and yet uncomfortably ‘other’).

Image 2 - Marginal drawing from Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda aurea (The Golden Legend), c. 1300. British Library, Stowe MS 49, folio 122r. Public domain.PhD students and early career researchers from King's College London have composed literary prompts to inspire Karrie’s exploration of what it means to be human in the Middle Ages and today. These prompts consist of stories and imagery from medieval manuscripts, both poetry and prose. Karrie will create original artwork and facilitate three workshops for young people, supported by King's College London and hosted by the  British Library

Karrie’s and the workshop participants’ comics will be shared at a British Library event in March 2017, after which they will be displayed at  Orbital Comics in Soho as well as on the  Medieval Comics blog.

This project is a collaboration between King’s College London’s Centre For Late Antique & Medieval Studies and Comic Creator, Karrie Fransman. It is supported by the university's Culture team as part of the Early Career Researchers scheme.

* Header Image 1: Copyright  Karrie Fransman 2016 Comic Creator

** Body Image 2: Miniature cycle about the life and teachings of Ramon Lull (14th century). Karlsruhe, Badische LandesBibliothek, St Peter Perg. 92, folio 12r. Public domain.

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