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GRAPHIC Festival 2013 Program Announced

Sydney Opera House today announced their program for the fourth annual GRAPHIC Festival, four days of graphic storytelling, illustration, comics, animation and music which will take place from Friday 4 – Monday 7, during the October long weekend.

Featuring the biggest program in the festival’s history, GRAPHIC’s sixteen specially commissioned works will showcase legendary figures from the print, pixel and pop worlds, showcasing these underground art forms to a wider audience – from the stages of Sydney Opera House.

Unlike any other festival in the world, this festival of firsts includes three world premieres, four Australian debuts and sixteen Sydney exclusives. GRAPHIC 2013 features WORDLESS! a special presentation from Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Art Spiegelman(MAUS) with music by Phillip Johnston; comic writing geniusGrant Morrison (All Star Superman, Batman: Arkham Asylum) in conversation with Gerard Way the Eisner-winning creator of The Umbrella Academy and former frontman of My Chemical Romance; the live stage performance of Emmy-Award winning stop-animation sketch comedy Robot Chicken featuring co-creators Seth Green, Matt Senreich and friends; Len Wein, the legendary co-creator ofWolverine and Swamp Thing will host an intimate Q&A session; andThe Sandman and Batman graphic artist Dave McKean will debut his newest project, 9 Lives in a world premiere live performance.

Part of the contemporary music program presented by Sydney Opera House, GRAPHIC 2013 also includes two of the world’s most ground-breaking music artists live in the Concert Hall. In a world premiere event The Cinematic Orchestra will perform with the 40-piece Sydney International Orchestra with specially commissioned visuals, while the chart-topping Italian maestro ‘with rock god tendencies’ Ludovico Einaudi will make his long awaited Australian debut.

GRAPHIC co-curator and Head of Contemporary Music at Sydney Opera House, Ben Marshall said, “There’s nothing else like the GRAPHIC festival in the world so programming it is a thrilling experience every year and half the fun is coming up with the ideas - everything you see in the program is more or less being done for the first time and exclusively for GRAPHIC.”

“It’s wonderful this Sydney Opera House presented festival is cross-pollinating the world’s gold-standard in comics, animation and illustration work with music. These areas produce so much amazing and culturally influential work that’s usually completely missing from the arts sphere everywhere. It’s going to be an incredible October long weekend.”

Watch GRAPHIC Festival co-curators Ben Marshall and Jordan Verzar discussing this year's line-up here.

GRAPHIC co-curator Jordan Verzar said, “I am incredibly excited and proud of this year’s program. It features many artists whose work we've long loved and admired and worked for many years to secure for GRAPHIC. This program boasts a very strong array of ground-breaking and legendary artists at the top of their respective games delivering the goods.”

“Straddling the art forms of comics, music, animation, storytelling and the juncture points where they meet is GRAPHIC’s niche and this year’s shows well stake that claim. From the psychedelic and multi-dimensional to the analytical and intellectual to the absurdist and comedic, there are many easy entry points for all tastes. New works by some of the finest creators on the planet will be unveiled as well as deep and engaging discourse through our panels and talks. We had a ball crafting this event for you, I hope you enjoy!”

Since 2010, GRAPHIC has presented original and inspiring content attracting some of the world’s most respected artists to Sydney Opera House. Previous festival highlights include a special presentation from Pixar’s Academy Award winning director Lee Unkrich in 2012; Gotye’s exclusive world-wide album launch in 2011, where the festival commissioned special animations for his Grammy Award-winning songs; the exclusive collaborations and screening of the work of Academy Award-winning Australian illustrator and author Shaun Tan, and a special commission with international best-selling author and comic writer Neil Gaiman, who turned an unpublished short story into a proto-cinematic reading with projected paintings and musical score. 

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