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Jenny in Stringtown

Jenny in Stringtown, a BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) Festival Commission 2020

Jenny in Stringtown by Chris Reynolds

Jenny in Stringtown - Exhibition at Royal Arcade, Boscombe, Bournemouth UK, 24 Oct - 1 Nov 2020.
Part of the Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe 2020

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Chris Reynolds took an I-Ching reading yesterday. This reading indicated a change from a time of Waiting to a time of Limitation.
How appropriate for
Jenny in Stringtown 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.
Jenny in Stringtown
was conceived in exactly the same way as Chris’ more well-known Mauretania Comics. Because, over the years since all these stories were created,* Chris has arrived at an understanding of why he had created them.
Both
Jenny and Mauretania were intended to provide a strong sense of place and environment, Mauretania had this aim in a comic, Jenny in Stringtown 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 Comics is missing - but the atmosphere remains.
No 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
But now 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

*Chris is still an active cartoonist but his original Mauretania Comics and Jenny in Stringtown strips were written and drawn in the 1980’s and 1990’s !


A BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) Festival Commission 2020
The twenty pages of Jenny in Stringtown 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.

Chris 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 New World.

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eBook

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A BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) Festival Commission 2020
A BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) Festival Commission 2020
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VIDEOS & PODCASTS - COMICS TO BUY

SETH'S APPRECIATION - PAINTINGS

SEEFESTUNG - AFTER DAS

AN EXHIBITION - JENNY

REVIEWS - OTHER THINGS...

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 Chris Reynolds 2020