Who is afraid of comics?

by Karolina Przeklas

Violent protests erupted last September when Charlie Hebdo’s French cartoon was published which “ridiculed” the prophet Mohammed. A talk this week investigated why comics and cartoons have been targeted by censorship and why they create moral panics worldwide.

London’s freelance journalist, Paul Gravett, curator and lecturer has been involved in comics publishing and promotion since 1981. His talk explained the unsurprising journey through the history of comics and the reasons why for these amazing works of art have been subjected to prosecution and in many cases destroyed.

Paul Gravett - Who is afraid of comics?

Who is afraid of comics?

“Who is Afraid of Comics”, held at the Central Library in Islington as part of a Word2013 Festival.

It’s not who is afraid

“It’s who uses that fear of comics, rather purposely because it’s a very good way to distant attention from other, probably much more serious things that are going on in the society, like unemployment or god knows what to have a focus on something like comics.” – said Gravett.

Check out children’s and young persons harmful publications act from 1955 – still in use today

Mohammed Cartoon

In September, French cartoon caused outrage in the Muslim community worldwide after Hebdo’s controversial intake on the life of the prophet Mohammed. Hebdo newspaper was calling itself a “defender of free speech and a denouncer of religious backwardness”.

 French magazine editor threatened over Mohammad cartoon


— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 22, 2012

1001 comics you must

read before you die

Check out Paul Gravett’s 1001 comics you must read before you die collection of comics from around the world.

1001 comics you must read before you die
Word2013 Festival takes place across the Islington borough for the whole month of May. With over 50 events to choose from you get a chance to celebrate reading, writing and freedom of expression. A range of events, exhibitions  and performances showcasing some of Islington writers, artists and organisation.

Word2013 Festival

The project has been developed in partnership with Islington Library and Heritage Service; Islington Arts Service; All Change and Free Word.

Islington Community Theatre – Word Festival – Flash Mob 2012 from Roman Sheppard Dawson on Vimeo.


Southbank Cheese and Wine Festival 2013

by Karolina Przeklas
For all the cheese and wine lovers looking to broaden their horizons and sample some of the best products from around the world, why not check the Southbank Cheese and Wine Festival? Based on Southbank Square, the event runs over three days at the end of April. Roam spoke to some of the exhibitors and here are our best recommendations.

Vintage Roots – Advertised as “organic wine people”, they offer a great selection of not only wines like Argentinian Malbec but also English ales and ciders.Well done for promoting English homemade brews.

Wines of Uruguay – Delicious dessert wines from small vineyards in Uruguay, those you are not able to find in any supermarkets.

La Fromagerie – Offers a huge selection of amazing cheeses, mainly French, but also British Cheddar. Originally set up in the founder’s garage, the company now has a shop in Highbury. “We were becoming bigger and bigger so we finally got our own shop,” says salesperson xxx xxxx. So go get some cheese in your life!

La Fromagerie

Teifi Cheese – Sells raw milk cheese made with unusual and interesting ingredients.

Flour Station – Serving amazing artisan breads and pastries. We tried the potato sourdough – well worth a recommendation.

tasty sourdough breads

tasty sourdough breads

Grays & Feather – Offers award-winning bubbly from around the world. Check out the smallest bubbly bottles.

Grays & feather     Grays & feather

The Snooty Fox’s Real Ale Festival


Real Ales available at the festival. (Daniel Kirkpatrick, 37 on left, Jonathan Tingle, 34 on the right) Image by Charlie Allen.

By Charlie Allen

Stoke Newington’s local pub, The Snooty Fox held It’s Brim Oop North Festival in February serving Real Ale from the North of England. The pub is part of the CAMRA campaign which supports locally brewed ale, and put on two festivals each year in February and October. 

What is ale?


Regular Real Ales at The Snooty Fox. Image by Charlie Allen

 Ale and lager are the two biggest categories of beer. Most people would find it hard to differentiate between the two, but ale is fermented at room temperature, whereas lager is made at colder temperatures. Ale is also made from a slightly different type of yeast.

The Real Ale Scene

“Real ale is really happening at the moment. We’ve been open since 3pm and it’s already nearly full so it’s a great start to the festival,” says Nicole Gale, the owner of the pub which was passed down from her parents in 2008.

The four day festival presents a wide variety of ales from Northern Ireland and this also ales from micro-breweries – breweries which produce a limited amount of beer. They vary from 3.5% to 6% alcohol strength, and have different colours and styles. The ale needed a lot of preparation and monitoring before it could be served.  Gale continued, “We tried to get at least four or five beers that are special, and that people can try for the first time.

“I love ale because you get so many different flavours. For example we have a cappuccino stout which has a coffee flavour.”

Real Ales at the festivals. Image by Charlie Allen

Real Ales at the festivals. Image by Charlie Allen

Water makes up 90% of beer, as well as other ingredients including yeast, hops and malt. Gale says, “American hops are a lot stronger and the New Zealand hops are similar. Brewers are being experimental with different hops from New Zealand and America. British hops are harder to come by because their crops are never as good.”

Alex Rutherford, 35, bar manager says, “Roughly 80 tickets have been sold so far, it’s been a roaring success. We always make sure we have local ale for example from a Hackney brewery or East London brewery.

“We’ve had a lot of support from CAMRA and lots of members have come down. We are giving a discount to CAMRA members, so it’s £1.90 for a half and £1.75 for members.”

Listen below for the full podcast: interviews with the owner, bar manager and CAMRA members who attended the event.

How to store ale

The Snooty Fox. Image by Charlie Allen.

The Snooty Fox. Image by Charlie Allen.

John Bratley, 61, unemployed, used to work at the Wenlock Arms pub, which was also part of the CAMRA campaign. “I used to look after the ale in the cellar. I would have to make sure it would go out at the right time and was kept at the right temperature because it is a live product.

“Conditioned beer has to be stored for a few days before opening it, and then needs to be monitored to see if it is ready. Sell by dates have to be looked at because it will go off. If it’s opened and it’s not all sold then you are left with vinegar which you can’t sell.”

A specific cooling system was set up for the festival. Jonathon Tingle, 34, CAMRA member, says, “I got up on Tuesday at 7am to get them ready for today. They went through a conditioning process and some were ready and some weren’t. There’s a lot of work involved in maintaining ale and it’s a long process.”

The Venus Project

Last February, fifteen female brewers created a collaborative beer called Venus Gold. This is the forth collaborative beer in their Venus Project, adding to Venus Jade, Venus Rouge and Venus Black. According to historians, beer has been around since 6000 BC and women used to brew it for the British household in the 1700’s. Beer brewing was taken over by men in monasteries and produced on a bigger scale.

See photos and tweet Project Venus here: https://twitter.com/ProjVenusUKEire


Click here to find out more about how to brew