'From the Fun Factory to the Treehouse: Dundee Comics - past, present & future'

The history and future of comics in Dundee will be explored at a public event at the University of Dundee next week.
Dr Chris Murray, a senior lecturer in English and Film Studies and Director of the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies, will be talking about the local industry and painting a picture of how it might look in years to come at the Dalhousie Building at 5.30pm on Thursday, 27th March.
The comics produced by DC Thomson, long known as the ‘Fun Factory’, have commanded worldwide audiences for decades, with characters such as Dennis the Menace and Desperate Dan known and loved by millions. However, there is a wider history of comics production in Dundee, from the long lost art studios, to the new focus on comics at the University.
Today, Dundee is home to comics professionals such as Monynero and Dan McDaid as well as several publications, including those produced by the University and the new independent anthology, The Treehouse.
"Comics are one of Scotland's most important cultural and artistic exports, a success story that the city of Dundee has been at the heart of," said Dr Murray. "I will be looking at the origins and significance of some of DC Thomson's best-loved comic titles alongside the current state of comics publication in the city, and its future as the industry continues to evolve in the face of the digital revolution."
Far from being the preserve of children, modern comics and graphic novels are increasingly sophisticated texts which comment on culture, politics and values, and cross over into areas such as television, film, computer games and the internet.
Strong local traditions and expertise means Dundee can lay claim to being the spiritual home of the British comics industry, and the University helps to maintain this status through pioneering undergraduate modules and postgraduate programmes. Dr Murray is one of the UK’s foremost authorities on the medium and the organiser of the annual Dundee Comics Conference.
The talk takes place as part of the Engage Dundee Evening Lecture series. Organised to showcase the work of academics within the University's College of Arts & Social Sciences, lectures are part of a wider Engage Dundee initiative by CASS to disseminate knowledge locally and globally in order to make a positive difference to the social and cultural wellbeing of society.
'From the Fun Factory to the Treehouse: Dundee Comics - past, present & future' takes place in the Dalhousie Building, Old Hawhill, at 5.30pm on Thursday, 27th March.
The lecture is free and will be followed by a drinks reception. Places can be reserved by calling 01382 381184 or visiting http://tiny.cc/engagedundee.    
More information about Comics Studies at the University can be found at http://www.dundee.ac.uk/study/pg/comics-graphic-novels/.
For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
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University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384768
E-MAIL: g.hill@dundee.ac.uk
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