Bargoed Miracle: Online Graphic Novel

‘Nobody expected Jesus to rock up in Bargoed. He arrived one friday night dressed in a Wales shirt’
A man carrying a halo walks into Bargoed. An observant beggar sits on the highstreet. Mrs Hargreeves is stressing out trying to get her seven kids home from the shop. Cato is chopping garlic in his shed with an eye on the armageddon clock.
Tomorrow, the world’s media will come to town to find out what went down.

‘The Bargoed Miracle’, a graphic novel I was hired to illustrate over the winter by Literature Wales, who instigated the project alongside Caerphilly Arts Development.

Link to online version posted by South Wales Literature here:

http://southwalesliterature.co.uk/projects/the-bargoed-miracle/

And the following images are edits of some of my favourite pages

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It was a brilliant experience to get to work on visualising such a unique (and bizarre) story and to work with the writing group at the Innovative Project in Rhymney, and witness the energy of writer/perfomer Mike Church.

The Bargoed Miracle written by: Mike Church, Mcauley wheeton, Alisha Michael, Angharad Price, dylan Reynolds, Jake James, Keiron Connick, Callum Thomas, John Goddard, Myomi Clear, India Davies, Corey Emmot, and Libbie Jones.


Fuel me to the moon (evening doodle)

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Riot Zine and Performance

Tiny Zine I made which was distributed at our riot performance at Jimmy Cauty’s ADP Container’s visit to Cardiff’s School of Art and Design (CSAD).

The charcoal city was drawn live as I sat in different parts of Cardiff. The context of a riot performance that referenced Welsh riots of the past (the Rebecca Riots) made me want to reference potential riots of the future. London-based writers are predicting that it will be as a reaction to the housing crisis.

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Cardiff Met

Riot Performance 22nd May 2016 at Cardiff Met University

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Riot Performance, 22nd May 2016 at Cardiff Met University. Here is Myself (osian Grifford) with Ian Cook Tapia and Lloyd Huston grinding our own banana barricades into the concrete using bricks.

Riot Performance 22nd May 2016 at Cardiff Met UniversityCardiff Met


Meat Men songs

Recently at a Dada themed event at The Andrew Buchan pub in Roath, Cardiff I brought Meat Man out again to perform a couple of my songs but with monologues written into them. The monologues are written partly form memory from things I’ve heard from people in my family (as in Berlin Wall) or things that unlikable neighbours said and did in the village I grew up in (Jailbait Rock).

Performing as The Meat Men at the dada-themed event was myself (osian grifford, guitar and vocals), Lucy Thomas (vocals), Delyth Griffiths (Banjo) and James Fraser (monologue). It went down very well and we got some good laughs from the crowd but it was only a short set.

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The Meat-Men perform at the Dada event at The Andrew Buchan Pub, Cardiff in October 2016 photo by Dave Daggers

Yesterday we got round to doing some very quick recordings of the same songs but with some different performers. These recordings are myself (osian grifford, guitar and vocals), Polly Thomas-Colquhoun (cello),  Lucy Thomas (vocals) and Simeon Davies (monologue).


Boomtown 2016 (live drawing)

Live sketch of Boomtown 2016 from Mayfair hilltop. Best boomtown show yet.
After some light probing from security I even managed to get my Guarana in – Rock and Roll contribution complete.

 

Boomtown sketch


Degree show exhib 2015

My degree show exhibition photos from June 2015 (photos just found on Mair’s camera). My work at the time dealt with uncomfortable subject matters with (separately) comedy, music and painting.

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Dalis Cayo Evans, Osian Grifford, Mair Morel, and Norman Raistrick at end-of degree show, (Illustration section CSAD 2015)

 


‘The Bargoed Miracle’

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Earlier this week was the book launch for ‘The Bargoed Miracle’, a graphic novel I was hired to illustrate by Literature Wales, who instigated the project alongside Caerphilly Arts Development. Written by a group from ‘The Innovative Project’, an Educated Other Than School provision project in Rhymney, the opening line of the story is:

‘Nobody expected Jesus to rock up in Bargoed. He arrived one friday night dressed in a Wales shirt’

and the story continuous through a peculiar depiction of the valleys town and it’s characters. I would say the theme of the short tale is sensationalism through hearsay, told by looking at charming but atmospherically odd people within the setting familiar to semi-rural welsh residents.

cover image with text

 

I had a lot of fun illustrating this book. It was done through workshops hosted by an energetic and inspiring Mike church, (writer/performer). Through engaging with the group in the workshops over the period of about 5 weeks, I was able to picture a visual representation of the story that would hopefully cement itself into the reader’s mind.  I took this unique opportunity to work very hard at creating a comic strip that was unique, but also clear. One that was creatively conveying an event and setting, whilst grounded in a modernly traditional storytelling technique. The story and characters were a gift to work with. after some visual character designs I was able to confidently move through the story using different mediums (paint, ink, charcoal, fine liners) to keep the visuals surreal and entertaining.

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Literature Wales will soon be uploading an online version of the graphic novel, so I’ll post a link to that when they do. Until then, here are some photographs of the original artwork and then the printed final project.