Jenny in Stringtown
in Stringtown by
Jenny in Stringtown - Exhibition at Royal Arcade, Boscombe,
Bournemouth UK, 24 Oct - 1 Nov 2020.
Part of the Bournemouth
Emerging Arts Fringe 2020
took an I-Ching reading
yesterday. This reading indicated a change from a time of Waiting to
a time of Limitation.
appropriate for Jenny
you might think - the story of a young girl who feels trapped by her
life in a small town. A character who is especially Limited. But
Chris would suggest that this should not be the main understanding of
his I-Ching reading.
in Stringtown was
conceived in exactly the
same way as Chris’ more well-known Mauretania
over the years since all
these stories were created,*
Chris has arrived at an understanding of why he had created them.
intended to provide a strong sense of place and environment,
Mauretania had this
aim in a comic, Jenny
had this aim in a putative newspaper strip. The Limitation in this
case was to transfer this type of story, with its special sense of
atmosphere, from the broad, almost unlimited, spaces of a comic, to a
newspaper strip with a continuing main character, where the strips
are constrained in small, rigid single-page episodes. Some things had
to go - the wry humour of Mauretania
is missing - but the atmosphere remains.
newspaper ever took up Jenny
in Stringtown although there was a brief flurry of interest
from an agent in New
Zealand, and then the strip was briefly a mainstay of 90’s US
internet startup ebook publisher JamBooks
the stories are here (Forthcoming
exhibition - above!) - in the form of their original
artwork - along
with their mysterious sense of place, for you to enjoy!
Mauretania Comics, Bournemouth, 3 March 2020
is still an active cartoonist but his original Mauretania
Jenny in Stringtown strips were written and
drawn in the 1980’s
and 1990’s !
pages of Jenny in
represent a young girl’s attempts to escape the enervating small
town where she grew up. Numerous forces conspire to keep Jenny in
Stringtown - notoriously her aunt and her stepmother and then, later,
her boyfriend. The only reliable impetus which comes to Jenny’s aid
seems to be an internal one, yet this is often stifled and
diverted by Jenny’s own self-doubts and by circumstances. Jenny is
truly trapped in Stringtown. Sometimes we cannot break free.
Sometimes the ties - the strings - which bind us are simply too
strong. We must then go around again.
Reynolds lives in Poole. He is one of the leading international
experimental graphic novelists. His books have been published by
Penguin and most recently New York Review Books. His work has been
reviewed by newspapers internationally, including The Guardian, TLS,
New Statesman, Boston Globe, and most recently on the release of an
Italian edition of his work, in La Stampa, Il Manifesto and La
Repubblica. Chris has recently concluded an exhibition of his work
running in Bologna in conjunction with the Bilbolbul international
comics festival there. He has lectured at Leeds, Bologna and Turin.
Chris’ most-recently published book is The
(Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) Festival Commission 2020
about it! -
© Chris Reynolds 2020