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Wordless! with Art Spiegelman

How do you tell a story without words?

In partnership with Nobrow’s East London Comics & Arts Festival (ELCAF), we asked artists, graphic designers and illustrators to submit a wordless comic around the theme of ‘Jazz’, to celebrate Wordless! with Art Spiegelman at EFG London Jazz Festival.

Pulitzer Prize winning artist, Art Spiegelman led the panel to choose our winner and four runners up:
‘The shortlisted entries showed very sophisticated graphic design skills—playful, a bit difficult to ‘decode’, but ultimately rewarding to engage with. I was especially impressed with the winning piece’s challenging and ambitious narrative complexity. Bravo’


Our winner was London based artist and designer, Peter Cline, with his comic, International Sweethearts of Rhythm.

Peter Cline, International Sweethearts of Rhythm
‘My comic looks at how the music history needed feminist writers in the 1970s to provide a push in the right direction and recognise the contribution of the 1940s band, International Sweethearts of Rhythm, who toured the country encountering the prevalent hostility and division of that era.’

Notable mention went to illustrator and zine maker, Emile Holmewood

Emile Holmewood, Jazz Salad

‘I wanted to break Jazz down into a few basics: Instruments, ingredients/notes, recipe/song and repetition. Then in a synesthesia type way create abstract compositions that try to create a feeling of music that correlates to making salad.’

With runners up:

Marta Cubeddu Sotto le stelle del Jazz
‘If I think about the word “jazz” I immediately think about Paolo Conte’s song Sotto le stelle del Jazz and this is what I imagine when I listen to it’

Marc Toussain
‘It is about something i recently dreamt about and that happens to be true’

Ben Connors
‘I like to play with simple shapes and monochrome, keeping an organic feel to my drawing style. I was reflecting on the experience of listening to jazz music and the things I imagine. I was also thinking of a quote by Wynton Marsalis that ‘jazz music is existence music’

Wordless! takes place on Friday 11 November as part of EFG London Jazz Festival.

We talk to Art Spiegelman and saxophonist Philip Johnston on our latest podcast